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Veterans Affairs, DPW collaborate on improvement of Marpi Veterans Cemetery

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(Office of the Governor) — Members of the CNMI Veterans Affairs Office along with the Department of Public Works recently attended a week-long training in Honolulu that was geared toward strengthening the efficiency and management of the CNMI Veterans Cemetery.

From left, DPW Field Manager Joseph Manuel C. Castro, Hawaii Office of Veterans’ Services Director Ron P. Han Jr.,  CNMI Office of Veterans Affairs Executive Officer Stanley T. Iakopo, Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific Director Jim Horton, CNMI Veterans Cemetery Groundsman Raymond C. Teregeyo.  Office of the Governor photo

This was made possible through a collaborative effort between both the Federal (Punchbowl) and State (Kaneohe) Cemeteries in Hawaii. Attendees from the CNMI included Executive Officer of Veterans Affairs Stanley T. Iakopo, Veterans Cemetery Groundsman Raymond C. Teregeyo, and DPW Field Manager Joseph Manuel C. Castro. Hawaii Office of Veterans’ Services Director Ron P. Han Jr. and Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific Director Jim Horton were also on hand for the training.

Executive Officer Iakopo expressed that changes in demographics and the increasing Veteran population, government legislation, and new cemetery procedural techniques require formal training and education. He also highlighted that the ability to meet the needs and expectations of our communities as it relates to our veterans and their families is paramount.

“This hands-on training is essential for all cemetery operators because it is designed to provide knowledge and training for the cemetery’s management in order to make the area safe and peaceful for our veterans and their families,” said Iakopo.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios emphasize the importance of taking care of all of our veterans needs including the maintenance and improvements to the Veterans Cemetery.

“We are forever indebted to our service members for all the sacrifices they make for our country. Our administration is committed to improving the quality of all services provided to our veterans and their families including the Veterans Cemetery. We would also like to thank Executive Officer Iakopo and the hardworking staff at Veterans Affairs and DPW for their continued efforts to serve our veterans in the Commonwealth.”

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