Letter: Identifying Military Graves
To the Editor:
Readers of the June 19 story about the World War I veteran whose grave was not eligible for a government marker because of Veterans Affairs next-of-kin requirements (“On Enfield’s Hallowed Ground”) can help change the regulation that impedes recognizing veterans in unmarked graves.
The rule — Code of Federal Regulation section 38.632-(1) — precludes veterans groups, cemeteries, researchers and others from applying for government markers that identify the final resting places of military veterans unless they have permission from the veteran’s next of kin.
Members of the Civil War history and preservation community recently formed Mark Their Graves and started an online petition to modify the regulation at
The petition, addressed to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, protests the redefinition of “applicant” as “next of kin” and asks the VA to limit the new regulation by making it inapplicable to veterans who served more than 62 years ago.