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No National Veterans Cemetery location determined months after deadline

By Joe Dominguez, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau , j.dominguez@krdo.com
Published On: Mar 28 2013 12:08:37 AM CDT
Updated On: Mar 28 2013 10:13:18 PM CDT

The U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs has yet to choose a site for a National Veterans Cemetery in Southern Colorado. The location was supposed to be finalized last summer.

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. -

When Jawnie Holsker moved to Colorado because of her husband's transfer to Fort Carson she looked for a National Veterans Cemetery to photograph the yearly Wreaths Across America ceremony.  Holsker was disappointed by what she found.

"There wasn't anything close," said Holsker, who noted the closest national cemetery is in Fort Lyon near Denver.

On Wednesday, Holsker was taking photos in the very spot that may house the  next national cemetery in Colorado. It's meant to serve southern Colorado but is behind schedule. A final decision on the land was expected last summer.

The Department of Veterans Affairs lists two locations as finalists for the cemetery. Both are near the Big Johnson Reservoir off Powers Blvd.

Rolling Hills Ranch is between Drennan and Bradley roads southeast of the Colorado Springs airport. Bradley Heights is at the intersection of Bradley and Marksheffel.   

Kane Ranch, which had been the preferred location for the cemetery, was eliminated from consideration last summer after no one wanted to pay for two miles of water pipelines to the land.

Now with the government sequester, some are wondering if there will be enough time and money to open the cemetery in 2014 as expected.

Holsker said delaying the project is disappointing.

"It's rough, you have to make that drive and people want to be close to their loved ones," said Holsker.

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