By Reg Chapman

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Minnesota’s top veterans official says the state will continue helping pay for honor guards at veterans’ funerals.

On Wednesday, Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito said his agency has the funds to keep paying for the funeral honors, even though the spending was cut in the new state budget.

The honor guard is a special tribute at the funeral for someone who has served. Honor guards, dressed in full military apparel, play a crucial role in the dignified burial most veterans want. They carry the flags, play Taps and conduct the gun salute at a burial.

Since 2008, Minnesota has given a one-time funding of $100,000 to the MDVA, which is given to local American Legions and Veterans of Foreign War Posts.

Honor guards get a $50 reimbursement per burial, which covers the cost of mileage and uniforms.

Shellito says he and Gov. Mark Dayton are committed to working together with the Legislature in the coming session to establish permanent funding for funeral honors. He also pointed out that the MDVA was one of only two agencies to receive a funding increase for the next fiscal year.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

The honor guard group that was shown in video originally attached to this story has never received government funding.  WCCO apologizes for the error and has taken down the original video.

Comments (54)
  1. Kevin says:

    Go Dayton Go!!! He is too busy pampering the Unions to care about vets……

    1. Funky Munkey says:

      Dayton and Obammy just promised to do more for Vets yesterday. You know what, people will still be tricked by these clowns lying

      1. Ron says:

        The republicans put that in you idiot!

        1. Barackbottom debt says:

          And another fool is born!!!

    2. kman says:

      @Kevin Dayton Really do you don’t Know who wrote this Bill it was your Cowards the Republicans.there the First to Line up with Bush’s starting two Wars but the Last to line up with the People who Fought it Be Very Ashamed that The Republicans Voted this In.They will Pay a Price for This Freedom Isen’t Free

    3. A Voter says:

      It’s called “Minnesota Cheap” a trend promoted by Republicans who don’t want to pay their fare share of taxes.

  2. elle says:

    It is a shame that they choose to cut here. The very least we can do for a citizen that has honorably served their country, and put their lives on the line for our freedom is publicly thank their families at their final passing and give them an honorable send off.

    1. Jake says:

      This is really remarkable. Public sector employees cannot be asked to accept even a conservative increase but this miniscule funding can be completely cut. Shameful, Mr. Governor.

  3. Mike says:

    While I sincerely appreciate WCCO publishing this article, it would be nice if you went a little further and asked Mr. Worlds some more questions like;

    Who made this decision?
    Who at the MDVA will field questions from the public about this?
    Why doesn’t the MDVA publish, or at least make it easy to find, their email addresses?

    The veterans of this country get a pretty raw deal in a number of ways, and I believe most veterans never complain about it, but the least we as a community, State, Country can do is honor them with ceremonial traditions that have been recognized for generations.

    Maybe some of our politicians can donate some of the money they continued to receive while the State was shut down because they weren’t able to get their budgetary duties completed in the mandated time frame. I’ll wager there are a number of questionable items that received funding.

  4. hard rains says:

    While we should do what we can for those who serve, we have a dismal record, as a Nation, in doing so. When the projected cuts come, because of the Tea Party stone wall stubborness, expect to see those cuts in areas even both the conservatives, the moderates, and liberals together hold dear. It’s reality you know? Or don’t you?

    1. Kevin says:

      Funny I am a vet and a Tea Party member! This country is broke! You are part of the problem. Our education system is ranked 37th in the nation! Lets cut their funds and give $100,000 to the VFW to bury our heros! Lets trim the welfare roll to get it! Lets pay Govt union workers less to get it! Lets not pay the daycare for 38,000 Minnesota families and have them deal with their own choices! Lets stop enableing people and force them to take RESPONSIBLITIY for their own lives! It dum* as*es like yourself want to continue to throw your money away…and your ok with over 50% of Americans not paying taxes or over 47% off illegals collecting some type of welfare….then break out your check book….we opt out….its time for individual responsibility! I served my county and I will pay for my own honor gurard……now go to a different blog and blame Bush for Obami being a pile of garbage…..

      1. Sam I am says:

        Thank you Kevin. Every word you said I whole heartedly agree.

      2. Swamp Fox says:

        If you are so well off put-up or shut-up about your honor guard funding. This veteran does feel sorry for your invective T-Bagger thinking. It’s time to back-off, cool-off, and really take a look at what you are espousing. You really are overboard on this one today.

        1. TL says:

          well Im a vet too and although some of Kevin’s rant is true….he comes off as just another angry tea-bagger in the rest of his rant.

          I thank him for his permission to continue to blame Bush however.

          1. Kevin says:

            Go for it TL…..Bush sucked….Obami sucks and tgeh next one will suck too….but we will just keep playing the game over and over again. Id rather be an angry Tea Bagger than a liberal with you know…..that male enhancement issue….now like the seanator from Ind said the other day I will not be happy till he is swinging in a tree….got to go find lots of trees….

            1. G Dog says:

              This is the second day in a row, Kevin, that you have referred to male enhancement. That sounds like a desperate cry for help. See a urologist. There are ways to help you with your problem.

              1. Kevin says:

                Thanks G diogity I’ll call ASAP…..maybe they can stop that constant drip….drip….drip….

        2. Kevin says:

          Such anger…..esousing? Really? Say….is all this anger due to….you know…your male enhancement issue? Inective? Really? Any way…I do not need to back off anything…I do not need to cool off anything…..and I look at things everyday…….but hey thanks for your opinion…and I hope you the best with your male enhancement issues….

          1. TL says:

            either someone was just born yesterday or forgot to stop by the maturity store growing up.

            Kevin, please stay on the GOP side of the fence…and tighten the straps on your hockey helmet when you type…it seems to fall off when you get yourself all worked up.

            1. Kevin says:

              No GOP here….and no Liberal here…and no Tea Bagger here…..I am just your average armed American waiting for the fun to begin… know the guy who is tired of paying for the 50% of Americans who pay nothing…tired of paying for Mercedes and her 6 children (my neighbor)….and tired of the liberals finding ways to spend my money…and tired of garbage republicans giving breaks to the rich….and tried of Bachman always being dressed…..G Diggity Doggity has cured my male enhancement issues now……so it me and Bachman…game on…..

      3. what's with this 37 again? says:

        You have been touting this bogus education ranking in many of your posts. The only aspect of education where Minnesota ranks 37th is in funding, which actually disputes your point Education rankings fall under many different categories using different criteria. Consider this: Minnesota’s ACT scores have led the nation for five consecutive years. Considering we rank 37th in funding, I would say our public schools do a very good job. We get plenty of bang for our buck. In every ranking category, Minnesota actually does very well, and you are doing our state a great disservice with your misinformation. One has to wonder if you are lying about being a vet as well.

        1. Kevin says:

          Do you not read your own liberal stuff? But I did make a mistake…we are ranked 36th in the Nation K-12 not 37th…..

          This is from WCCO…..

        2. Kevin says:

          When your done reading the article… may say your sorry for all the bad things you said……will say……think….or will think…..or will tell your wife about me…..

          1. 37 still meaningless says:

            Not only had I read the WCCO story, I read the Education Week Magazine article cited. As I said rankings are assigned and based on many different categories, and the ranking given by the magazine was based on many things besides achievement. Most significantly it was heavily based upon funding. This ranking again refutes your ignorant attempt to malign Minnesota Public Education. It is interesting that you believe that only liberals value education. No apology. And I still doubt your claim to be a veteran.

            1. Kevin says:

              2nd of the 75 th Rangers….Ft Lewis WA…Ill stamp my coin on your head if you like? And your a mron if thats what you got out of the article….the new school Sup was upset of the overall 37th ranking K-12….good god are you a teacher? Oh and if you would like to ever doubt my service to my country let me know and you can man up and do it in person…I will give you directions to my home… know my dog used to be a Republican…..I had him neutered now he is a liberal……now go march around chanting we’re #37! we’re #37……

              1. no 37 says:

                Again, the ranking was based on many things including funding, which I think refutes your point. When Minnesota is ranked on outcome and achievement, we rank quite high. As for my questioning your status as a veteran, that was uncalled for and below the belt. I apologize. I will still be marching and chanting we’re #1.

                1. Kevin says:

                  Thanks no 37…..and I apologize about the ranking….it does indeed involve numerous things…..the initial article was vague……

      4. Barackbottom debt says:

        Good post Kevin, can’t agree more. Now let’s watchy leftie spending everybody else’s money’s head spins.
        I remember when everybody hated the idea of higher taxes.
        What happened?
        Too many drugs?

  5. MAJ says:

    Let your representative know how you feel on this one. I was very honored to have the Honor Guard at my husbands (Korean War Veteran) funeral. This should not be cut.

  6. TL says:

    But lets keep funneling them welfare checks to Chicago and Gary, Indiana residents.

    At least two things that should NOT be touched in budget issues – Public Safety and Veteran benefits.

    No common sense here at all.

  7. Ellen says:

    While the honor guard is a wonderful thing, I’m sure fundraising can be done or
    donations from the private sector. Granted, this seems like a pretty minor thing
    to cut funding for but it has to start somewhere. I think we should pare down the
    legislature to half of it’s size….think of the money that would be saved! And with
    less people to argue over where the waste or pork goes, it could be a good thing.

  8. I'm Just Sayin' says:

    it’s george Bush’s fault.

  9. Tea man says:

    You want an honor guard? Pay for it just like you pay for any funeral service. The government shouldn’t have to pay. Take some personal responsibility!

    1. TL says:

      The point is a vet funeral shouldnt be “just any funeral.”

      We were there when the government…and non-vets such as yourself, Im guessing by your comment…needed us….shouldnt be so much to ask for the government to be there for us in the end.

  10. Nick Kilpatrick says:

    honor guard is just that. a show of thanks to those who served our country without question. many sacrificed their bodies to protect some far off shore against some enemy that is dead now. it is disappointing that we dont treat our vets with more respect. most were called and answered, to get shot at, maimed or even killed just to be treated to poor health coverage when they came home. very disappointing

  11. kman says:

    Here we Go the Republicans start with Tax Breaks for the Rich. we Need to create more Tax Payers then they take away home owners Property Tax Break about 300 a year cut money to the Countys/citys = Tax hikes ok Im good with that.but Take Pay for the Time you had not worked when its your Ignorance that caused the State to shut down and then cut Honor Guard too the People that Served this all Need to be Voted Out

  12. Lock N Load says:

    Kevin I hope you get that drip, drip, drip, fixed……I laugh my a** off everyday! Thanks bro! Male enhancement…good god son…..but remember your in liberal land here….the land of hand outs of plenty……entitlement 101…….its me! its mine! Its owed! Give me! The other side is jsut as evil! Corporate wealth! The suck too……when it hits the fan…..we will make sure they go first……oh and you have to back off Bachman…..she is in my shower as I type….see I dont have male enhancement issues…..

  13. Msark says:

    But gee, we can’t raise taxes on the top 2% of Minnesotan’s.

    So Republicans, who do you think is important to your elected party members? Veterans, normal working folks, or the ultra-rich?

    Excuse me while I continue to question why anyone would ever vote for these uncarring wealthy elitists!

    1. sid says:

      Maybe you should look a little deeper before launching your class warfare offensive. Maybe we should prioritize a bit, maybe put the woodchuck crossing sign after the vets 50 dollar funeral. Maybe we should look at cutting pbs, community centers, arts and entertainment, snowmobile paths, etc. Or maybe we should cut all of them and allow the private sector to build these with people that want them through donations and keep the state out of this type of funding.

    2. Chicago welfare train says:

      Would that be ultra rich liberals or republicans?

  14. Kevin says:

    Look everyone, I’m gay, I’m frustrated, I have no job, insurance, or meds. I take it out on you here from the public library. Just had a sandwich and want to apologise. Going to start my walk home. Everyone have a great night. Again I’m sorry.

    1. Kevin says:

      Gay….nope….frustrated…..yup…..job…..yup… yup…..meds….only illegals……public library…nope they closed mine…..apologize……sure if it makes you feel like more of a man……..and yes everyone have a good nite… off to get that drip…..drip….drip…..fixed tomorrow….

  15. Kevin says:

    GAY HATER! I knew it….by saying that I am gay….you insinuate that begin Gay is a bad thing….oh your a bad littelr gay hater liberal….tisk tisk……oh and I do love a good sandwich….now be a good little b and make me one…..

  16. Mark Binder says:

    As a vet this disgustsd me. Thank you Republicans. Not one penny in tax increases for the wealthy but cut benefits for those who sacrificed so you can get rich. The Tea Party is not patriotic, they are fanatics who would destroy the country rather than realize every one must help solve the countries problems. They have nothing in common with the people who founded this country and risked their lives in the name of freedom and the greater good.

    1. Luke says:

      you are entitled to your opion. I am also a vet and a backer of fiscal responsibility. The tea party, as far as I can tell, is also for fiscal responsibility, and personal responsibility. Maybe you should look into the Minnesota State Budget and see all the things this state is spending money on and then decide if you want to continue to raise taxes, fees, licenses, etc everytime some politician wants to buy some votes from some group of voters.

      1. Carl says:

        Thank you for the level headed common sense response!

  17. Larry Nelson says:

    I am 71 yrs old & a vet on Soc. Sec. & a limited budget.
    Where do I send my donation?


  18. Proud Honor Guard Member says:

    JUst love all the terrible comments on here. As a member of the “Honor Guard” Just asking how many of you have been at a military funeral??? Have you ever witnessed the grieving familiy when the flag is presented to them?? Have you seen their faces when we give the gun salute?? Have you heard them weep when taps are played? Most of you don’t know that a lot of your American Legion and VFW posts are hurting for money just like everyone else these days. Legion clubs and VFW posts pay for their own ammo and flags and flag bags. Sometimes our Legion post has done three funerals in one day.
    So this is for Kevin remind our Legion that you and your familiy don’t want a military funeral it would save us some time and money.

  19. a vet from Viet Nam war says:

    I am a Vet too. The US Military Budge is clearly 1/3rd of our National outgo. I agree we need to cut the Budget, but really is this the place to start????? Let’s start at getting out of Iraq and Afganistan and stop funding the genocide country called Israel and why do we have basis in Germany and on and on and on

  20. Kevin says:

    Wow all this name calling! Finger pointing….and me beign open about my male enhancement problems……all for nothing! Just another political game to rouse the voters….you know what shall we cut to upset the most people…..Vets….Cops….Firemen….Schools….Welfare…..the list goes on and on…..Dem’s and Reb’s are both garbage……I am voting for G Doggity Diggity for Presidant….he helped me with my male enhancement problem…and maybe that constant drip, drip, drip……

  21. Ruth says:

    Another shameful cut by the government; we’ve got billions to spend on wars that are NOT ours but no money to honor those the government sends to these useless wars to get killed. Let the president and politicians who are in favor of war be the first at the front line – then we’ll see how many more useless wars the United States gets itself involved in.

    1. Dave's Not Here says:

      Dumb comment of the day. I only wish I had spotted it sooner, so you could have received the recognition you deserved. Way to go, Ruth.

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