Only a couples months after a shocking and disheartening burial practice by the Air Force was discovered, the Department of Veterans Affairs has found that errors during renovations at multiple VA cemeteries have caused a substantial number of graves to be marked with the wrong headstone. Reports are pending at national burial grounds in Ohio, New Mexico, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania, but the report, prompted by burial problems at Arlington National Cemetery, already indicates “scores” of mistakes at many of the VA’s 131 cemeteries. Officials say the problems at some cemeteries were caused by “sloppy work” during renovations, the Washington Post reports.
At some burial sites, veterans have been relocated to their proper spots. The VA is also attempting to contact the families to apologize and explain what happened during renovations over the past decade and in some cases, earlier.
“We strive to operate the best cemetery system in the world, and if something like this happens, there is no excuse,” said Glenn Powers, the National Cemetery Administration’s deputy undersecretary for field operations. “The amount of times this happens is rare. But there is no margin of error; there shouldn’t be any kind of error. . . . We need to learn and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”