Headstones and Markers


for an inscribed headstone or marker for their grave at any cemetery -- national, state veterans, or private.  VA will deliver a headstone or marker at no cost, anywhere in the world. For certain veterans whose deaths occurred on or after November 1, 1990, VA may provide a government headstone or marker even if the grave is already marked with a private one. 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 headstones come in granite or marble. In national cemeteries, the style chosen must be consistent with existing monuments at the place of burial. Niche markers are available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains.


Headstones and markers 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 an application for a headstone or marker for 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.


Inscription: 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 markings, 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 words of endearment.


Private Cemeteries: To apply for a headstone or marker for a private cemetery, mail a completed VA Form 40-1330.  Application for Standard Government Headstone or Marker, and a copy of the veteran’s military discharge document to Memorial Programs Service (41A1), Department of Veterans Affairs, 5109 Russell Rd., Quantico, VA  22134-3903. The application and supporting documents may also be faxed toll free at 1-800-455-7143.


Before ordering, check with the cemetery to ensure that the additional headstone or marker will be accepted. Any placement fee will not be reimbursed by VA.


“In Memory Of” Markers: VA provides memorial headstones and markers, bearing the inscription “In Memory Of” as the first line, to memorialize those whose remains were not recovered or identified, were buried at sea, donated to science or cremated and scattered. Eligibility is the same for regular headstones and markers. There is no fee when the “In Memory Of” marker is placed in a national cemetery. Any fees associated with placement in another cemetery will not be reimbursed by VA.