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National Cemetery Administration

Eligibility for a Headstone or Marker

Most Recent Legislative Changes Concerning Eligibility for Headstones, Markers and Medallions

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. The VA may also furnish a headstone or marker for graves that are marked with a private headstone or marker, for Veterans that died on or after November 1, 1990.

For Veterans that served prior to World War I, a grave is considered marked when a headstone/marker displays the decedent's name only, or if the name was historically documented in a related document, such as by a number that is inscribed on a grave block and is recorded in a burial ledger.  For service during and after World War I, a grave is considered marked if a headstone/marker displays the decedent's name and date of birth and/or death, even though the Veteran's military data is not shown.

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 Veterans' cemetery, or military post/base cemetery.

Persons Eligible for a Government Headstone, Marker or Medallion in a Private Cemetery

Persons NOT Eligible for a Government Headstone or Marker