Veteran's burial site a grave concern for Kaneohe family

Veteran's burial site a grave concern for Kaneohe family

KANEOHE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow)

Steven Miner was buried at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery on August 1. Mary Ann Miner grooms her late husband's grave three times a week.

"Every day I come it's going worse. It's going down and down and down. I'll call my daughter and say, 'You know, the grave is pretty bad. It's sinking plenty,'" she said.

The grave began sinking about a month ago. The family said it went down more than a foot. They said they complained to cemetery staff, to no avail.

"As someone who served our country, that is the least they could have done is to fix his grave," said the Miner's daughter Maraea Kuuipo Tilton.

Ronald Han heads the Office of Veterans Services. He wasn't aware of their situation but said about sixteen graves need attention. Several near the Miner's plot are also sinking. Han blames the neglect on the outgoing contractor who isn't doing his work.

"We do have some issues with the previous contractor that we're working through," he said. "Some can be withholding of payment if the resolution is not taken care of."

There's another problem with the Miner's grave. There's no head stone.

"And my understanding is it was here as of Oct. 8, and it's still not put on his grave," Mary Ann Miner said.

Han said the new contractor is very responsive, and he expects improvements.

"The responsiveness needs to come at the level it's supposed to be done at. And it's normally at the cemetery at the maintenance level. So we want to make sure we get that fixed for the long term," he said.

Thursday morning the Miner's grave was filled in to ground level. The family is still upset that it took so long, and they worry that it will sink again.

"When I step on it just now, I can feel soft spots," Mary Ann Miner said. "I can imagine what's it's going to look like in two weeks."

Steven Miner served in the Army. He passed away in July. His wife said the way his grave is being handled is a shameful salute to a veteran.

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