As a final tribute to the years served in the United States military, the government provides deceased service men and women a military memorial headstones. It is a simple, yet very effective, way to honor the military accomplishments made in life even after death. It is a final and lasting tribute fit for those who served any time in the military.
headstone is available for unmarked graves of any eligible Veteran. The grave may be located in any cemetery in the world and the date of death is irrelevant in this program.
The VA will also provide a headstone or marker for eligible veterans that passed away on or after the date of November 1, 1990, even if the grave already has a marker provided by a private source. If the veterans grave is privately marked already, the applicant may submit an application for one of three options. Headstones, markers and the new medallion (available by April 30, 2010) are the available selections.
Upright headstones are available in both granite and marble. If the applicant chooses the flat marker, the options include marble, granite and bronze. When making the selection, the chosen option must be in line with the previously existing markers or headstones at the cemetery where the veteran is to be buried.
Veterans that have chosen to be cremated also have an option provided by the VA. Niche markers are an available option. These markers are used to mark the columbaria that hold the cremated remains of the deceased veteran.
The process is slightly different for veterans that have opted to be buried or memorialized in a state Veterans cemetery, national cemetery or military base/post cemetery. When this is the case, cemetery officials will order the headstone or marker for the deceased veteran. The inscription will be decided upon by the veterans next of kin or an authorized party.
It should be noted that the spouses and dependents of deceased veterans will not be eligible to receive a military headstone or marker furnished by the government unless they are buried alongside the deceased veteran in a state Veterans cemetery, national cemetery or military base/post cemetery. This helps to keep a uniformed look in the military cemeteries across the nation. If the spouse is buried outside of the listed cemeteries, the headstone or marker expense becomes a private matter.
It is also important to noted that while the headstone or marker is provided free of charge by the government, the arrangements for having it placed at a private cemetery are not. These charges are a private expense and are handled by the applicant.