HMCS Donel C. Kinnard
The cemetery is named in honor of U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman Senior Chief Donel C. Kinnard, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran whose awards include the Navy Cross, several Purple Hearts, and the Bronze Star.
After he retired from the U.S. Navy at the end of his distinguished 22-year career, Kinnard became an outspoken advocate for veterans’ issues throughout the state. He was appointed chairman of the West Virginia Veterans Council and served as chairman of the West Virginia State Veterans Cemetery Organization and the West Virginia Veterans Nursing Home Committee.
At his request, following his death on February 14, 2009, his ashes were held until the new state veterans cemetery was completed. The state of West Virginia was proud to honor him as the first veteran interred in the cemetery that bears his name.
To read Don's full biography, please click here.
In 1987, the construction of an 89-acre West Virginia National Cemetery in Grafton - the second national cemetery in North Central West Virginia - gave the Mountain State two national veterans cemeteries. However, neither was conveniently located for use by residents of the state’s central or southern counties.
Members of veterans service organizations and concerned citizens organized a successful effort in 2006 to establish a State-run veterans cemetery better to serve West Virginia’s veterans and their families.
A U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs grant helped facilitate the construction of the cemetery. Work began in October 2010. The opening and dedication ceremony was held on Memorial Day 2012.
Burial or interment services are available to an eligible veteran at no cost. This includes a grave site or niche, opening and closing services, a pre-set crypt, a headstone or niche cover, and perpetual care. A Presidential Memorial Certificate will also be provided to the veteran’s surviving next of kin.
For the spouse or another eligible family member, a fee of $780 will be charged. The order of death does not determine eligibility for benefits. A spouse or eligible child may pre-decease the veteran. The veteran’s service makes them eligible, not the veteran's death.
A veteran’s non-veteran surviving spouse can be buried in the cemetery based on their marriage to the eligible veteran, even if they remarry following the death of the veteran.
The grave location of your loved one is furnished on the map included in the burial document folder. Additionally, there is a grave locator in the Administration Building to assist visitors who may not know the location of a gravesite.
A temporary grave marker marks the grave following the interment. A permanent grave marker will be furnished free of charge by the federal government without application from the family. Every effort is made to have the grave marker delivered and set within 60 days of interment.
The United States flag is flown over the cemetery every day. The flag is flown at half-staff on the morning of Memorial Day and during interment services. Graves are decorated with small US flags the day before Memorial Day and are removed immediately after the holiday. Flags are not permitted on graves at any other time. The Funeral Home is responsible for providing flags for burial services.
The grave is filled and leveled immediately after each interment. The site will be seeded as soon as the headstone/marker is set. Until growing conditions are favorable and turf has been established, burial areas may appear substandard. A new grave requires repeated renovation because the soil continues to sink after a burial. Matters that seem to need immediate corrective action should be brought to the attention of the Cemetery Administrator.
Floral Policies at the DCKMSVC are modeled after the policies of federal veterans’ cemeteries.
The DCKMSVC follows federal guidelines and requirements for eligibility.
Generally, to be eligible for burial in the DCKMSVC, you must be a veteran who died on active duty or who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. The spouse or surviving spouse of an eligible veteran may also be buried in the cemetery, even if they remarried following the veteran’s death. Additionally, the minor children may also be eligible, and in some cases, unmarried adult dependent children of the veteran could be eligible.