- Associated Press - Sunday, July 19, 2015

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) - Sixty years after his death, a World War I veteran from Texas whose final resting spot is in South Dakota will soon receive the correct headstone.

Joseph Robert Ward served in the U.S. Army during WWI. He died Sept. 24, 1955, and was buried at the Graceland Cemetery in Mitchell. Ward’s grave has been marked by a small temporary headstone for 60 years.

Headstones are provided for free to some veterans. Davison County Veterans Service Officer Jessica Davidson says the Department of Veterans Affairs first denied the headstone request because there was no record of Ward’s discharge.

Davidson, however, was able to get paperwork from the National Archives proving Ward’s discharge. The Black Hills National Cemetery then got involved in the effort and facilitated the new headstone.

The cemetery expects to receive the new bronze-plated headstone in the coming days.

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