Richard Gilleland III is using is helping in ways many kids (or adults) wouldn’t even think of. The 17 year old high school student has started a project to create the only digitized record of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who have been laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetary. The historical cemetery in Arlington, Va (U.S.) is now home for fallen American war heroes who have died in battle. Recently, the cemetery has fallen under tough scrutiny for mismatched grave sites and unmarked remains. In response to this terrible situation, the 17 yr old student started his project called preserve and honor to Honor America’s heroes buried in Arlington Cemetery who served their country in support of the Global War on Terror. The project is A virtual place for loved ones and friends to both locate the graves of the fallen, and reflect on the memory of their sacrifice.
Now to put this in perspective, the U.S. Army relies on old fashioned paper documents for data management(which led to the mishandling), and Ricky is creating the only digitized record of soldiers that have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and were laid to rest in Arlington. He’s doing all of this work with a digital camera and a XOOM. That’s some serious commitment for a kid that’s still in high school. Ricky says “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.” Thanks to the L.A. Times for reporting on this great use of commitment matched with technology.