National Cemetery supervisor named director of new veterans cemetery
By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer
Tony Ross served as a supervisor at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo for about a year until he was selected to run the state’s first veterans cemetery July 16.
Ross supervised internments and maintenance in Montevallo and essentially served as second in command to Director Quincy Whitehead.
Now, Ross is the director of the new Alabama State Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Spanish Fort. He was selected by Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Clyde Marsh to run the state cemetery.
Ross is working currently to ensure the cemetery’s construction runs smoothly. The state-operated cemetery is set to open spring 2013. He is also responsible for the cemetery’s administration, maintenance and burial operations.
The cemetery will be located on Alabama 225 north of Spanish Fort.
The 122-acre cemetery will serve veterans and family members for the next 100 years. The initial phase of the cemetery will cover 22.8 acres with 2,776 burial sites. This phase should accommodate burials for 10 years before another expansion is needed, according to a press release from the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs.
Ross said state-run cemeteries are similar to their federal counterpart because state cemeteries attempt to follow National Cemetery Association guidelines and design.
“I’ve got to be a part of a whole bunch of different size cemeteries, which is great because each cemetery is unique to itself, “ Ross said.
Ross has served with the NCA in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee.
“The military is basically your family, and this is my way to come back and take care of my family, so to speak,” said Ross, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.