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‘No veteran ever dies’: Digital map will preserve and share legacies

Orhan Cam /

The National Cemetery Administration has awarded a contract to the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station as part of NCA’s Veterans Legacy Program to engage Texas A&M University students in the development of an immersive and interactive digitized national cemetery experience. 

“We are excited to be partnering with Texas A&M University,” said Randy Reeves, under secretary for memorial affairs. “With this contract, we will make great progress towards our goal of ensuring that every veteran’s story continues to be told – even when it is not possible to visit a VA cemetery. This is an important step in ensuring ‘No veteran ever dies.’”

This initial $249,832 award, part of a $22 million contract, will provide support to faculty, undergraduate and graduate students from Texas A&M’s Department of Geography, Department of History, and Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Researchers will develop geographic information system-based applications to allow public contributions to memorialize veterans interred in three Veterans Administration cemeteries:  Houston National Cemetery and San Antonio National Cemetery in Texas, and Alexandria National Cemetery in Virginia.

“Capturing U.S. veterans’ legacies and enabling virtual visits to their headstones through technology requires a transdisciplinary approach,” said Stacey Lyle, Texas A&M Engineering and Geosciences associate professor of practice, who leads the project team of four faculty and five students. “By transcending disciplinary boundaries between history, geoscience and engineering, we will preserve and make accessible the stories of American veterans’ great contributions to our freedoms, for all people to experience.”