The armed forces - the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard - have traditions of taking care of their own. So an Associated Press story this week came as no surprise. Still, it was gratifying.
You may remember a report last year about mismanagement at Arlington National Cemetery. The Army's inspector general found disturbing lapses, including dozens of grave sites marked as occupied on maps, but without markers or headstones. Dozens of others were shown on maps as unoccupied, but had headstones.
Arlington National Cemetery may well be the most hallowed ground in America. Nearly a quarter-million of those who have served their country are interred there. That made the inspector general's report a national scandal.
Army officials moved swiftly to make changes aimed at rectifying problems at the cemetery. But improved management wasn't enough for the 3rd Infantry Regiment, often referred to as the Old Guard.
Members of the regiment conduct ceremonial duties, including providing honor guards for burials at Arlington. And this summer, late at night during their "off" hours, about 60 Old Guard members have been photographing headstones and monuments - all of them - to provide an accurate record of who is buried at Arlington, and where they are interred.
It is a labor of love and patriotism. Bless the Old Guard for doing it.