The Department of Veterans Affairs provides headstones and markers for the graves of veterans anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state veteran or federal cemeteries. Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble and upright marble types are available to mark the grave of a veteran or dependent in the style consistent with existing monuments at the place of burial. Niche markers also are available to mark columbaria used for the inurnment of cremated remains.
Headstones and markers are inscribed with the name of the deceased, the years of birth and death, and branch of service. Optional items that also may be inscribed at VA expense 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 beliefs; valor awards received; and the Purple Heart. Additional items may be inscribed at private expense.
When burial is in a national cemetery, military post or state veterans cemetery, the headstone or marker is ordered through the cemetery, which will place it on the grave. Information regarding style, inscription, shipping and placement can be obtained from the cemetery.
When burial occurs in a cemetery other than a national cemetery or a state veterans cemetery, the headstone or marker must be applied for from VA. It is shipped at government expense to the consignee designated on the application. VA, however, does not pay the cost of placing the headstone or marker on the grave.
If you wish to mail your application, please send it to the Quantico, Virginia, mailing address. You may use either the US Postal Service, or one of the mail delivery services commercially available. Our address is:
Memorial Programs Service (41A1)
Department of Veterans Affairs
5109 Russell Road
Quantico, VA 22134-3903
Using the information on the DD-214 and other supporting documents, fill out the application (VA Form 40-1330) as completely as possible. Be sure to include telephone numbers and signatures. To be sure you are using the most current version of the application form, select the following link: VA Form 40-1330, Application for Standard Government Headstone or Marker (Adobe Acrobat Reader required)
Forms and assistance are available at VA regional offices. For information regarding the status of an application, write to the Director, Office of Memorial Programs (403B3), or call 1- 800-697-6947.
Eligibility for a VA headstone or marker is the same as for burial in a national cemetery. VA cannot issue a headstone or marker for a spouse or dependent buried in a private cemetery. Twenty-year reservists without active-duty service are eligible for a headstone or grave marker, if they are entitled to military retired pay at the time of death.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has expanded the available Emblems of Belief for Placement on Government Headstones and Markers to include a greater number of options for veterans. Visit the VA's Headstones and Markers website to view the nearly forty optional emblems.