Wood National Cemetery
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from dawn until dusk.
Wood National Cemetery is closed to new interments. The only interments that are being accepted are subsequent interments for veterans or eligible family members in an existing gravesite. Periodically however, burial space may become available due to a canceled reservation or when a disinterment has been completed. When either of these two scenarios occurs, the gravesite is made available to another eligible veteran on a first-come, first-served basis. Since there is no way to know in advance when a gravesite may become available, please contact the cemetery at the time of need to inquire whether space is available.
The cemetery is co-located with the VA Medical Center and the VA Regional Office in Milwaukee. From Mitchell International Airport take Interstate 94 west to exit 308A (Mitchell Boulevard/VA Center), turn left on Mitchell Boulevard. Turn right onto Hines Boulevard, (Lake Wheeler will be on your left.) Keep left as Hines Boulevard curves, Cemetery Administration Office (BLDG 1301) will be on your right.
Fax all discharge documentation to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-866-900-6417 and follow-up with a phone call to 1-800-535-1117.
Wood National Cemetery is the only cemetery in the National Cemetery Administration that is co-located with both a Veterans Affairs Medical Center and a Veterans Affairs Regional Office.
Military Funeral Honors
The State of Wisconsin has a Military Funeral Honors Program. Please call (262) 878-5962 for more details.
Cemetery policies are conspicuously posted and readily visible to the public.
Floral arrangements accompanying the casket or urn at the time of burial will be placed on the completed grave. Natural cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time of the year. They will be removed when they become unsightly or when it becomes necessary to facilitate cemetery operations such as mowing.
Artificial flowers and potted plants will be permitted on graves during periods when their presence will not interfere with grounds maintenance. As a general rule, artificial flowers and potted plants will be allowed on graves for a period extending 10 days before through 10 days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day.
Christmas wreaths, grave blankets and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves from Dec. 1 through Jan. 20. They may not be secured to headstones or markers.
Permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights, breakable objects and similar items are not permitted on the graves. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not permit adornments that are considered offensive, inconsistent with the dignity of the cemetery or considered hazardous to cemetery personnel. For example, items incorporating beads or wires may become entangled in mowers or other equipment and cause injury.
Permanent items removed from graves will be placed in an inconspicuous holding area for one month prior to disposal. Decorative items removed from graves remain the property of the donor but are under the custodianship of the cemetery. If not retrieved by the donor, they are then governed by the rules for disposal of federal property.
VA regulations 38 CFR 1.218 prohibit the carrying of firearms (either openly or concealed), explosives or other dangerous or deadly weapons while on VA property, except for official purposes, such as military funeral honors. Possession of firearms on any property under the charge and control of VA is prohibited. Offenders may be subject to a fine, removal from the premises, or arrest.
Wood National Cemetery is located on the grounds of a former Soldiers Home that today is called the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wis.
From 1867 until 1871, the home buried its soldiers in private cemeteries in the Milwaukee area. In 1871, a cemetery opened on the grounds. Originally known only as Soldiers Home Cemetery, it wasn’t until 1937 the name was changed to honor Gen. George Wood, a longtime member of the Soldiers’ Home’s Board of Managers. It became a national cemetery in 1973.
The cemetery is part of the Northwestern Branch-National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers National Historic Landmark district, designated on June 6, 2011.
Monuments and Memorials
The 60-foot-tall granite Civil War Soldiers and Sailors monument was erected in 1903 when the cemetery was part of the Northwest Branch Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. The monument was sponsored by the Soldiers and Sailors Association and was sculpted by Joseph Shaver Granite and Marble Co. of Milwaukee.
A memorial pathway is lined with a variety of memorials that honor America’s veterans. As of 2003, there were seven memorials along there — most commemorating soldiers of 20th-century wars.
Medal of Honor Recipients
Ordinary Seaman James K. Duncan (Civil War), U. S. Navy, USS Fort Hindman. Harrisonburg, La., April 16, 1864 (Section 19, Grave 41).
Private Milton Matthews (Civil War), U.S. Army, Company C, 61st Pennsylvania Infantry. Petersburg, Va., April 2, 1865 (Section 11, Grave 61).
Corporal Winthrop D. Putnam (Civil War), U.S. Army, Company A, 77th, Illinois Infantry. Vicksburg, Miss., May 22, 1863 (Section 16, Grave 109).
Private Lewis A. Rounds (Civil War), U.S. Army, Company D, 8th Ohio Infantry. Spotsylvania, Va., May 12, 1864 (Section 20, Grave 256).
Boatswain’s Mate Michael McCormick (Civil War), U.S. Navy, USS Signal. Red River, May 19, 1865 (Section MA, Grave 10A).
Section 8 contains private monuments marking the graves of civilians buried in the Wood National Cemetery. They include doctors who worked for the old Soldiers Home and their families. The largest monument marks the grave of General Kilbourn Knox, the sixth Governor of the Northwest Branch of the Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers who passed away on April 17, 1891 (Section 8, Grave 7).
The first interment at Wood National Cemetery is John Afton, Private in Co. G, 1st Michigan Infantry who died May 22, 1871 (Section 5-II, Grave 163B).
There are unknown soldiers interred in Section 4.
The first Vietnam War Casualty buried in the cemetery is Private Duncan F. Krueger, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry. Killed in action on Nov. 17, 1965 (Section 37A, Row 22, Grave 1).
Corporal David Gander, Company F, 2nd Battalion. Killed in action on Oct. 23, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon (Section 4, Grave 820).