Trump Signs Tester, Rounds Memorializing Veterans Act into Law

Law establishes grant program to support the Veterans Legacy Program, helping honor the lives of those who served

A bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) establishing a grant program to help honor the lives of our nation’s veterans was signed into law by President Trump.

The Veterans Legacy Program is an educational initiative from the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) under U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) which commemorates veterans interred in NCA cemeteries through partnerships with institutions of higher learning. Previously, institutions of higher education experienced difficulty obtaining and utilizing federal funding through this program.

The Senators’ Memorializing Veterans Act establishes a grant program to administer funds more efficiently through the Veterans Legacy Program, facilitating research and developing educational tools to increase public awareness of veteran service and sacrifice.

“Our bipartisan bill is a testament to what Washington can accomplish when we put our veterans—and their sacrifice—above party politics,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “This law paves the way for students, teachers, and researchers in Montana to focus on what’s at the core of this nation: honoring those who served and inspiring future generations of Americans to do the same.”

“I thank President Trump for signing into law our bipartisan bill that establishes a grant program to honor veterans’ legacies,” said Rounds. “Sharing veterans’ stories of service and sacrifice is one way we can encourage the next generation to join the armed forces. Many South Dakotans have proudly served our country, and our legislation will help to preserve their memories so students and communities can learn more about their service and the sacrifices they made for the United States.”

The Memorializing Veterans Act makes grants available to recipients such as institutions of higher learning, local education agencies, and non-profit entities with a history of community engagement. These grants are available for research related to national, State or Tribal veterans’ cemeteries, to produce educational materials or to promote community engagement about the history of the veterans interred at those cemeteries.

“The American Legion is proud to support efforts to properly memorialize America’s veterans and educate future generations on the legacy of our nation’s heroes. It is imperative that we continue to invest in programs that honor and preserve the memory of America’s veterans. The American Legion thanks Senators Tester and Rounds for sponsoring and shepherding this legislation to the president’s desk,” said Ralph P. Bozella, Chairman of The American Legion Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission.

“Perpetuating the memory and history of our dead is one of the VFW’s founding principles,” said Carlos Fuentes, Director National Legislative Service, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). “The Veterans Legacy Program ensures the memories and stories of the brave men and women who have worn our nation’s uniform are preserved in perpetuity. This law will ensure the Veterans Legacy Program is expanded so more veterans can have their stories digitized and preserved for the benefit of future generation.”

Full text of the bill can be found HERE.