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Camp Butler Improvements Coming

Updated: Saturday, July 26 2014, 01:50 AM CDT
Camp Butler National Cemetery is one of the original 14 national cemeteries that President Lincoln signed off on in 1862.

If you walk around Camp Butler National Cemetery you'll see the patches of weeds and damaged sod.

But the director of the cemetery says changes are coming to restore the cemetery and honor those who served.

"My grandparents are there, my parents are there, my sisters there. On my wife's side of the family, her grandparents, her mom and dad. She's got aunts and uncles and I have an aunt and uncle there. So it's sort of a family plot," said Michael Lee, Veteran who has family buried at Camp Butler.

Some family plot that currently has sections of overgrown weeds and patches of broken sod.

But Michael Lee understands how budget restraints can affect the cemetery. He's even raised money to replace the flags at Camp Butler.

"Camp Butler doesn't have it in their budget for beautification things. So a lot of the people that are unhappy with that and say maybe we need more bushes and flowers and all that, well write a check, Camp Butler gift fund because that's the only way they're going to get it," said Lee.

Camp Butler has acknowledged the problem and just in the last few months has spent $15,000 on irrigation equipment and seed for the worst area in the cemetery,

"The problem with that section is the turf that was put in a few years ago by a different contractor wasn't the right kind of sod for this region, so we're replacing it with a different kind of seed and we're expecting that section to come back hopefully in two to three months," said Michael Henshaw, Director, Camp Butler National Cemetery.

Recently the V.A. recognized the need for even more work at camp butler and granted them $2.3 million to improve the grounds.

Because Camp Butler sits on sandy soil they don't have a lot of solid ground, but a new project will fix that.

"They're going to put in some heal-able anchor systems, which is a new type of technology that holds the headstones in place so they don't shift so they stay perfectly aligned," said Henshaw.

The cemetery is also is using the money from the V.A. to install a sprinkler system and replace the sod with grass that grows better in this region.

They'll also clean all of the headstones.

Prior to receiving the funds from the V.A. the maintenance staff at Camp Butler National Cemetery was responsible for all of the improvement projects and they fell behind.

Now, they've hired a contractor that has worked in other national cemeteries to tackle the projectsCamp Butler Improvements Coming

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