VA expands online grave site locator

The Veterans Affairs Department has significantly increased its online list of burial locations and information inscribed on the markers to more than 5 million grave sites for veterans for whom VA has provided grave markers.

VA recently added to its database almost 2 million records for veterans buried primarily in private cemeteries. The grave site locator previously carried records on 3 million veterans buried in VA national cemeteries since the Civil War and in state veterans cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery since 1999.

VA launched the nationwide grave site locator in April 2004 so veterans' families, former comrades-in-arms and others can find the graves of veterans.

'By adding records to our online database, VA also helps families research their genealogy and ensures that future generations of Americans will be able to honor these veterans for their service,' said VA secretary Jim Nicholson in a statement yesterday.

The new records date from January 1997, the earliest time for which electronic records exist. Beyond the 5 million records now available, VA continues to add about 1,000 new records daily to the database.

Internet users only need to provide the last name of the deceased veteran or dependent. Typically, the information available includes name, birth and death dates, rank, branch of service, and the address and phone number of the cemetery.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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