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Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans' Memorial Cemetery

On May 30, 1986, Governor Thomas H. Kean dedicated New Jersey's first state-operated veterans' cemetery as "a lasting memorial to those men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our country's honor and freedom." On January 3, 1989, the cemetery was named for the principal guiding force behind its development U.S. Army Brigadier General William C. Doyle.

The facility was funded jointly by the state and federal governments and is managed by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. It is open to eligible New Jersey Veterans; residents who are members of the Armed Forces or reserve units on active duty at the time of death; certain dependents and certain merchant marines and civilians who have been awarded veteran's status. Rules and eligibility requirements were established within the guidelines of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Washington, D.C.

The cemetery is located in Arneytown, North Hanover Township, Burlington County on Province line Road, which intersects Route 664 to the north of the cemetery and Routes 537 and 528 to the south. It's central location, 15 miles southeast of Trenton, makes it easily accessible from the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway and Interstates 195 and 295.The cemetery is a contemporary memorial type with all grave markers flush with ground level. It covers 225 acres and was designed to accommodate 154,000 veterans and their family members.

To provide privacy and protection from the elements for the bereaved, a chapel is provided for committal ceremonies. The United States and New Jersey State flags are flown in the front court of the chapel in tribute to all veterans buried in the cemetery.

Professional, compassionate service to the bereaved is the concern of the experienced staff who are ready to provide assistance and comfort to the family in their time of need.

There is no finer tribute or more appropriate final resting-place for New Jersey's valiant heroes than in a cemetery dedicated to them.

As a state shrine, Doyle Cemetery honors the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces. Approximately 15 burials occur each business day and the cemetery is visited by thousands of visitors each year.

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Eligible veterans are those whose last active service ended under other than dishonorable or undesirable conditions. Also eligible are members of the U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard) who die while on active duty; any member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces (Army National Guard, Air National Guard or the Reserve Officers Training Corps of the Army, Navy and Air Force) who dies under honorable conditions while on active duty for training or performing full-time service; any member of a reserve component who has attained 20 years of service creditable for retired pay; certain World War II Merchant Marines and others who have attained veterans status. 

The veteran or service member must have established legal residence in New Jersey prior to death or have been a legal resident of the state for at least 50 percent of his or her lifetime. 

Eligible dependents include the veteran's spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21 (23, if they are in college) and unmarried adult children who become incapable of self-support before reaching the age of 21 because of mental or physical impairment. 

The widow or widower of a member of the Armed Forces lost or buried at sea or officially determined missing in action or a member of the Armed Forces buried in a U.S. military cemetery overseas maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission is also eligible. 

To minimize confusion and delays at the time of need, pre-registration may be accomplished in person at the cemetery or any Veterans' Service office. 

Although the cemetery will assist in every way possible, establishing eligibility is the responsibility of these requesting the burial and must be established before burial is permitted. 

Requests for burial in the cemetery may be made at the time of death through any funeral director. The request should be accompanied by proof of the veteran's honorable military service and legal residence in New Jersey. The funeral director will then contact the cemetery. Requests for interment of cremated remains may be made by the family directly to the cemetery.

Establishing Eligibility

Requesting an Exception to Burial Eligibility Policies

Requests for exceptions to burial eligibility policies will not be considered until the death of the individual. A letter requesting an exception should be mailed or faxed, to: 

Chief Executive Officer
BG William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery
14 Chesftield Arneytown RD 
Wrightstown, New Jersey 08562 

The letter should include the following information:

  • Name of the deceased.
  • Reason(s) why the request should be favorably considered for an exception to the burial eligibility policy.
  • All relevant information regarding military service or special service to the Nation.
  • All documentation of military service such as DD Form 214, award certificates, orders, etc.
  • If interment is to be in the same grave with an immediate family member already buried at Doyle Cemetery, include that decedent's full name, burial location and relationship.
  • A point of contact with daytime and evening phone numbers.

Decisions are generally provided by telephone within 24 to 48 hours after receipt of the request. 

Burden of Proof

The decedent's next of kin or representative is responsible for providing the necessary documentation to verify eligibility for interment at Doyle Cemetery. The cemetery staff may offer assistance in verifying eligibility at the time of need. Verification by the cemetery staff may take up to three business days if the family does not have the necessary documentation. 

The following documents may be used to establish eligibility:

  • DD Form 214 (all branches used this form starting in the 1950s);
  • WD AGO Form 53, 53-55 or 53-98 (Army);
  • NAVPERS Form 553 (Navy); or NAVMC Form 553 (Marines used during the 1940s).

A record of Service from the National Personnel Records Center is also acceptable. The preceding represents a partial list of forms and not all of these documents describe them character of service. A copy of the discharge certificate describing the character of service as "honorable" or "under honorable conditions" will meet this requirement. 

Military records may be obtained by contacting your County State Service Officer. State residency may be established by a drivers license, utility bill, or other documentation.

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