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Veterans Legacy Memorial Touted as ‘Industry Standard’ for Digital Modernization

VA Undersecretary Matthew Quinn told Congress that IT modernization will improve ability to find, connect to records.

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Soldier's National Cemetery, Gettysburg PA.
Soldier's National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Photo Credit: JEJordan/Shutterstock

The National Cemetery Administration’s digital modernization and tools like the Veterans Legacy Memorial received recognition in Congress this week for how they are enabling increased public access to sites for U.S. veterans buried or interred in cemeteries globally.

“Today the Veterans Legacy Memorial is the industry standard,” said Veterans of Foreign Wars Director Michael Figlioli at a Feb. 28 Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing about the agency’s progress in monitoring, maintaining and improving veteran cemeteries and processes thanks to IT improvements.

“Modernizing our information technology systems has been a priority and we have made substantial progress. Previously, veterans waited 60 to 90 days for pre-need eligibility determinations,” Department of Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Matthew Quinn said at the hearing. “Today most have an answer within days and we continue to streamline other eligibility determinations.”

Quinn pointed to NCA’s Veterans Legacy Memorial online platform, which VA expanded last year to include more records of veteran profiles buried or interred in sites around the world. Quinn described it then as “the most ambitious expansion of VLM since its creation” in 2019. 

During the hearing, Quinn pointed to intentions to expand the platform even further.

“In the future, we plan to further expand VLM to include pages for living veterans who are found eligible for burial and memorial benefits through the pre-need determination process. These veterans will be able to upload content for their own pages in advance of their time of need,” Quinn said in his statement to Congress. 

Quinn also said NCA is “exploring the potential for automation, by focusing on pre-need applications” in partnership with the Veterans Benefits Administration to evaluate applications within a matter of hours of receipt and qualify veterans for burial in national cemeteries. In the past, this process could take weeks to process.

NCA plans to expand the solution this year to other NCA benefits including “Presidential Memorial Certificates and applications for headstones, markers and medallions.” 

“We know we have just one chance to get it right, to honor veterans and their families for service and sacrifice at their most vulnerable times,” Quinn said.

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