The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a Government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any deceased eligible Veteran in any cemetery around the world, regardless of their date of death.
A Government-furnished headstone or marker may be provided for eligible Veterans who died on or after Nov. 1, 1990 and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone. A Government-furnished medallion may be provided for eligible Veterans who served on or after Apr. 6, 1917 and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker.
Flat markers in granite, marble, and bronze and upright headstones in granite and marble are available. Bronze niche markers are also available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains. The style chosen must be permitted by the officials in charge of the private cemetery where it will be placed.
When burial or memorialization is in a national cemetery, state Veterans' cemetery, or military post/base cemetery, a headstone or marker will be ordered by the cemetery officials based on inscription information provided by the next of kin or authorized representative.
Spouses and dependents are not eligible for a Government-furnished headstone or marker unless they are buried in a national cemetery, state Veteran's cemetery, or military post/base cemetery.
Note: There is no charge for the headstone or marker itself, however arrangements for placing it in a private cemetery are the applicant's responsibility and all setting fees are at private expense.
What are veterans’ headstones made of?
A deceased veteran can receive a headstone free of charge upon request to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans’ headstone is typically carved from marble or granite. Upright types are 42 inches long, 13 inches wide and 4 inches thick and approximately 230 pounds in weight.
Do veterans affairs pay for headstones?
Yes, the Department of Veterans Affairs furnishes any eligible deceased veteran in any cemetery around the world for free.
What do the symbols mean on veterans’ headstones?
The Department of Veterans Affairs permits graphics on government-issued headstones and markers that are approved insignia of beliefs, mostly religious. The emblem of belief is not compulsory, these markers are displayed as simple inscriptions without the imprint of religious symbols or any coloring other than black.