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Attractions

Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery
2520 S Inspiration Rd.
Mission, TX, 78572

The State Veterans Cemetery in the Rio Grande Valley is a special place to the many from this community who have served their country. The Rio Grande Valley is a very proud, patriotic community and has a long history of military service.

The 75-acre veterans cemetery includes a visitors center, a computer system for locating specific graves and an assembly area for special occasions.

The Facts

  • Dedicated in 2006
  • 75-acre site about 230 miles south of San Antonio
  • Administered by the Texas Veterans Land Board
  • Nearly 45,000 veterans live within the service radius of the cemetery
  • VA provided an $8.7 million grant to build the new cemetery
  • Burials began in December 2006 in a 31-acre section
  • A committal shelter, administration building, maintenance building, assembly area and columbarium for cremated remains also will be developed in the first phase of construction

History
In the November 2001 constitutional amendment elections, Texas voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 7, which authorized the use of assets from certain Texas Veterans Land Board funds for the operation of state cemeteries for veterans and their eligible dependents. The cemeteries will be built and operated through a partnership between the VLB and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The VLB will own and operate the cemeteries and fund most of the costs of operations.

A total of seven proposals were received by the May 1, 2002 deadline.

At the time, the USDVA couldn’t award more than 20 percent of its available state veterans cemetery funding to any single state in one year, so the Texas State Veterans Cemeteries Committee had the difficult task of selecting two of the seven proposed sites for initial development.

On May 10, 2002, the Committee announced two sites had been chosen, including one near Killeen and Fort Hood in Bell County and one in Mission in Hidalgo County. The city of Mission acquired a 75-acre cotton field from Bentsen Palm, Limited, and ownership was transferred to the VLB in January 2004.

At the Nov. 18, 2004 public meeting of the Veterans Land Board, a name was chosen for the future place of honor: Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery. Construction on Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery began in September 2005 and was completed in early 2007 with an ultimate capacity for as many as 25,000 interments.

Burial Accommodations
The cemetery will have options to accommodate veterans and their spouses wishing full-casketed burial, as well as those desiring cremation. The cemetery will be built in phases with phase I covering approximately 31 acres and including 2,430 standard casketed burial sites, 2,000 double-depth lawn crypts, 1,300 in-ground sites for cremated remains, and 500 columbarium niches. This is expected to provide enough gravesites for approximately 10 years, after which the cemetery will be expanded to add additional gravesites.