Burial preparation is a sensitive subject, but as a servicemember, veteran, or military family member you should be aware of your burial benefits before you need them. The following information is presented to assist you in preparing for the loss of a servicemember or veteran.
Gravesites in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries cannot be reserved in advance; however, reservations made prior to 1962 will be honored. Families are encouraged to prepare in advance by discussing cemetery options, collecting the veteran's military information including discharge papers, and by contacting the cemetery where burial is desired.
Every state and territory has veterans' cemeteries, and many have more than one. The rules are different in each state, see our State Veterans' Benefits page for specific information in the state you are interested in.
If burial will be in a private cemetery and a Government headstone or marker will be requested for the veteran's grave, the family should complete VA Form 40-1330, Claim for Standard Government Headstone or Marker in advance and place it with the veteran's military discharge papers for use at the time of need.