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.
For eligible Veterans that died on or after Nov. 1, 1990, VA may also provide a headstone or marker for graves that are already marked with a private headstone or marker. When the grave is already marked, applicants will have the option to submit a claim for either a traditional headstone or marker, or a new medallion (available by April 30, 2010).
Flat markers in granite, marble, and bronze and upright headstones in granite and marble are available. The style chosen must be consistent with existing monuments at the place of burial. Niche markers are also available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains.
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. However, if requested on the application, space may be reserved below the veteran’s inscription so that the non-veteran's information can be inscribed later by private arrangement at private expense. Or, if requested on the application, the non-veteran dependent's name and date of birth can be included as an additional inscription at Government expense and the date of death may be added later at private expense.
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.
Inscriptions: Government-furnished headstones and markers must be inscribed with the legal name of the deceased, branch of service, and the year of birth and death, in this order. Memorial markers must also include "In Memory Of" at the top. If space is available, the inscription may also contain any or all of the following: veteran's rank, war service, military decorations, awards, and month and day of birth and death. All of these items must be inscribed in English.
Application form 40-1330 (pdf)