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Headstones and Markers

VA provides headstones and markers for the unmarked graves of veterans anywhere in the world and of eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state veteran or military post cemeteries.

Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, upright granite and upright marble types are available to mark the grave in a style consistent with the cemetery. Niche markers also are available for identifying cremated remains in columbaria. Headstones and markers are inscribed with the name of the de-ceased, branch of service, and the years of birth and death.

Optional items that may be inscribed are military grade, rank or rate; war service such as “World War II”; months and days of birth and death; an emblem reflecting one’s religion; and text indicating valor awards. When burial is in a national, state veteran or military post cemetery, the headstone or marker is ordered through the cemetery, which will place it on the grave. Information on style, inscription and shipping can be obtained from the cemetery.

When burial occurs in a cemetery other than a national, military post or state veterans cemetery, the headstone or marker must be applied for from VA. It is shipped at government expense. VA, however, does not pay the cost of placing the headstone or marker. To apply, complete VA Form 40-1330 and forward it to Director, Memorial Programs Service (403A), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20420.

Headstones or Markers for Memorial Plots

To memorialize an eligible veteran whose remains are not available for burial, VA will provide a memorial headstone or marker. The headstone or marker is the same as that used to identify a grave except that the phrase “In Memory of” precedes the inscription. The headstone or marker is available to memorialize eligible veterans or deceased service members whose remains were not recovered or identified, were buried at sea, donated to science, or cremated and scattered. The memorial marker also may be provided for placement in a cemetery other than a national cemetery. In such cases, VA supplies the marker and pays the cost of shipping, but does not pay for the plot or the placement of the marker.