Veterans, active duty Servicemembers, retired Reservists and National Guard Servicemembers are eligible for an inscribed headstone or marker for their grave at any cemetery — national, state, or private. The VA will deliver a headstone or marker at no cost, anywhere in the world. For eligible Veterans whose deaths occurred on or after Nov. 1, 1990, the VA may provide a government headstone or marker even if the grave is already marked with a private one. The VA may also provide a medallion instead of a headstone or marker for Veterans’ graves in private cemeteries when the grave is already marked with a privately-purchased headstone or marker. Spouses and dependent children are eligible for a government headstone or marker only if they are buried in a national or state Veterans' cemetery.
Flat markers are available in bronze, granite or marble. Upright head-stones come in granite or marble. In national cemeteries, the style provided will be consistent with existing monuments at the place of burial. Niche markers are available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains. Medallions are made of bronze and are available in three sizes: 5-inch, 3-inch, and 1 -inches.
Headstones, markers and medallions previously provided by the government may be replaced at the government’s expense if badly deteriorated, illegible, vandalized or stolen. To check the status of a claim for a headstone or marker for placement in a national or state Veterans' cemetery, call the cemetery. To check the status of one being placed in a private cemetery, call (800) 697-6947.
Headstones and markers must be inscribed with the name of the deceased, branch of service, and year of birth and death. They also may be inscribed with other optional information, including an authorized emblem of belief and, space permitting, additional text including military rank; war service such as "World War II;" complete dates of birth and death; military awards; military organizations; civilian or Veteran affiliations; and personalized words of endearment.