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Department of Veterans Affairs 

News Release
January 3,
2006
 

The burial locations of more than 5 million veterans for whom the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has provided grave markers are now available on the Internet, as well as the information inscribed on the markers.  

Online since April 2004, the nationwide gravesite locator (http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov) helps veterans' families, former comrades-in-arms and others find the graves of veterans. 

VA recently added 1.9 million records for veterans buried primarily in private cemeteries to its database.  The gravesite 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. 

“The expansion of this innovative program continues VA’s commitment to using Internet technology to fulfill the important mission of memorializing our nation’s veterans,” said the Honorable R. James Nicholson, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  “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.”

The new records date from January 1997, the earliest time for which electronic records exist.  The information comes from applications made for these veterans’ headstones or markers.  Beyond the 5 million records now available, VA continues to add approximately 1,000 new records to the database each day.

Last year, VA furnished nearly 369,000 inscribed headstones and markers for veterans’ graves worldwide.         

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.

Veterans whose discharges are other than dishonorable, their spouses and dependent children may be buried in a national cemetery, regardless of where they live.  No advance reservations are made.  VA provides perpetual care, as well as a headstone or marker, a burial flag and a memorial certificate to survivors. 

Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, from a VA Web site at www.cem.va.gov or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 1-800-827-1000.  

 

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