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Military Graves Mismarked At 2 Bay Area Cemeteries

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A child adjusts a flag on a grave at the San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A child adjusts a flag on a grave at the San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is trying to contact family members about mistaken grave markings at a pair of Bay Area military cemeteries.

The department has found 102 misplaced headstones and 21 graves that did not have a marker during an audit of the roughly 3 million graves under its management. The audit, which is approximately half way completed, comes after VA officials notified Congress in January that the remains of eight people had been discovered buried at the wrong site.

This time, the vast majority of mistakes occurred when headstones were temporarily removed during second interments and not put back on the proper gravesite. Those mistakes took place primarily at San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio and Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno.

Glenn Powers, a deputy undersecretary with the VA’s National Cemetery Administration, said the number of discrepancies was small but unacceptable.

“We will make appropriate notifications to those family members that we can contact and, in keeping with our culture of accountability and continuous management improvement, fix the issues,” Powers said in a statement Wednesday.

The total number of problems discovered in under the VA’s supervision has grown to 249 with the latest update.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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