VA expands online burial data features

The Veterans Affairs Department has made available online the grave locations of more than 3 million veterans and dependents buried in national cemeteries. VA has added maps of burial sections online that can be printed from home computers and at national cemetery kiosks.

The latest improvement builds upon a service begun two years ago, in which a VA online feature permits family members to find the cemetery in which their loved one is buried.

"This new map feature makes it easier for families, friends and researchers to find the exact location of a veteran's grave in all national cemeteries and some state veterans' cemeteries," said VA secretary Jim Nicholson.

With the new online feature at the gravesite locator, a person enters a veteran's name to search, click on the "Buried At" (burial location) link and a map of the national cemetery is displayed, showing the section where the grave is located.

In a related development, VA recently added to its database the mostly private cemeteries in which 1.9 million veterans were buried with VA grave markers. With this addition, the number of graves recorded in the locator has reached about 5 million. Those with maps are in VA national cemeteries and in state veterans' cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery if burials were since 1999.

Beyond the 5 million records now available, VA continues to add approximately 1,000 new records to the database each day. VA also plans to add to its online database the exact locations of veterans' gravesites in the remaining state veterans' cemeteries.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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