Bill would put markers on unmarked veterans graves

CLEVELAND (AP) — Historians in Ohio welcome a U.S. Senate bill to provide headstones for historic unmarked veteran graves.

U.S. senators Rob Portman of Ohio and Jon Tester of Montana recently introduced a bipartisan bill to enable veterans' service agencies, military researchers, historians or genealogists to request a free headstone or marker from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The VA previously provided headstones for unmarked veterans' graves based on documentation of a veteran's identity and service provided by those groups or individuals. A 2012 policy change limited requests to a veteran's next-of-kin or authorized family representative. That has made it difficult to get markers for graves sometimes dating back more than a century.

The Plain Dealer in Cleveland (http://bit.ly/1yhtmbv ) reports the change was intended to keep graves from being marked without families' knowledge.

___

Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.