Records obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act show that the VA has spent nearly $3 million on the cemetery security since August 2017. Another $1.6 million is budgeted for fiscal 2019 to pay for security at all Confederate monuments, which could include other sites. The agency has not determined when the security will cease.
Contract specifications call for round-the-clock security at seven of the cemeteries, and during daytime hours only at the Chicago cemetery. Spot checks by the AP found guards at the cemeteries in Columbus and Alton, but no one during the day at the Chicago cemetery. Schiefer said the VA does not discuss security procedures.