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VA trying to resurrect its image following grave mistakes

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 26, 2012

Reports of burial mistakes at Arlington National Cemetery and other sites across the nation have the Department of Veterans Affairs laboring to resurrect its image in this most sensitive area, according to an article in The Washington Post.

A review by the VA continues, with the department endeavoring to check for any problems or oversights with each of the estimated 3.1 million graves in its trust, the Post reported. Approximately halfway through the effort, the VA has unearthed problems with about 250 gravesites in Texas, Ohio, New Mexico, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania, according to the cemetery administration's deputy undersecretary for field operations.

The mistakes affected the remains not only of military veterans but of family members who were buried in the same plot as their loved one. Mistakes ranged from incorrectly marked graves and people being buried in the wrong spot, to overturned urns, the Post reported.

VA officials have attributed some of the problems at Arlington and elsewhere to an outdated record system and inattentiveness during cemetery renovations. There certainly is no shortage of individuals and organizations - from family members to the VA to Congress - watching to make sure all known problems are addressed.

Source: The Washington Post

A review by the Department of Veterans Affairs that began in 2011 unearthed problems at several military cemeteries in the United States, including misplaced headstones and cases of remains being interred in the wrong place. The review was prompted by revelations of burial mistakes at Arlington National Cemetery (pictured).
Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes

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