8:50am

Wed April 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Arlington Graves Of Iraq And Afghanistan Vets Digitized By Teen

"Richard 'Ricky' Gilleland III — 11th-grader and Junior Future Business Leaders of America computer ace — has succeeded where the Army failed," the Los Angeles Times writes this morning. "He has created the only digitized record of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans laid to rest at Arlington [National Cemetery]. His website, PreserveAndHonor.com, is a reverent catalog of the fallen, and one young man's response to a scandal of Army mismanagement, mismarked graves and unmarked remains that has rocked this hallowed place for two years."

"It's a tool to help remember people. They can go on and think, 'Wow, look at all these people who gave their lives just so I can walk around,' " 17-year-old Ricky tells the Times. He has focused on the cemetery's Section 60, "where about 700 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are buried, more than anywhere else in the country," the Times says.

Others have previously reported about what Ricky has done, including Washington's WUSA-TV last November. But given the scope of the problems at Arlington, including improperly marked graves and bad recordkeeping, we wanted to spread the word about PreserveAndHonor.

Ricky, by the way, plans to apply to the U.S. Naval Academy, the Times says. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.