On June 29, Barry A. Searle, director of The American Legion's Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Division, attended a quarterly update brief of veterans service organizations by the Department of Veterans Affairs' National Cemetery Administration. During the briefing, NCA pointed to its hiring practices and veterans' preference as being the best of any in the federal government, with veterans making up 71.5 percent of its workforce.
Further discussions involved major and minor construction and the emphasis on "green cemeteries" that are more environmentally friendly than traditional systems. One example is a reef system on the East Coast where the ashes of veterans are mixed with cement, cast into large reefs and lowered with a bronze plaque for the benefit of sea life. Also discussed was the new bronze medallion, which is available to veterans who do not utilize a standard VA headstone. The medallion is attached to the veteran's non-VA supplied marker to show veteran status. More information on the new medallion can be found on the Legion's Web site.