The VA furnishes a government headstone or marker for the grave of any deceased eligible veteran in any cemetery around the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state veteran or military cemeteries. Spouses and dependents buried in a private cemetery are not eligible for a government-furnished headstone or marker.
Flat bronze, granite or marble markers, and upright granite and marble headstones are available. The style chosen must be consistent with existing monuments at the place of burial. Niche markers are also available to mark columbaria used for interment of cremated remains.
Headstones and markers must be inscribed with the legal name of the deceased, branch of service and the year of birth and death, in this order. Memorial markers must also include “In Memory Of” at the top. If space is available, the inscription may also contain any or all of the following: veteran’s rank, war service, military decorations, awards and month and day of birth and death. All of these items must be inscribed in English. If desired, headstones and markers may also include an approved emblem of belief.
Cemetery officials will order the headstone or marker, if the veteran is buried or memorialized in a national, state veteran or military cemetery.
When burial is in a private cemetery, VA Form 40-1330, Application for Standard Government Headstone or Marker, must be completed and submitted along with a copy of the veteran’s military discharge documents. Do not send original documents, as they will not be returned.
Government-furnished headstones and markers are shipped free of charge. Cemetery staff in all national and military cemeteries will set the headstone or marker free of charge. However, some state veterans’ cemeteries and most private cemeteries charge a fee for setting a government headstone or marker. This is a non-reimbursable expense.