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Request Veterans Headstones, Grave Markers, and Medallions

Find out how to apply for a headstone, grave marker, or medallion to honor a Veteran or eligible family member.

Who can be honored with a Veterans headstone, grave marker, or niche cover?

Any Veteran who was not dishonorably discharged and meets any of the requirements below may be eligible for a headstone, grave marker, or niche cover.

At least one of these must be true. The Veteran:

  • Died on or after November 1, 1990, or
  • Was buried in an unmarked grave and served before September 7, 1980, or
  • Was buried in an unmarked grave and served for 24 months or longer, or died while on active duty (including training) after September 7, 1980

Note: An eligible spouse or other family member buried in a national cemetery, state or tribal Veterans cemetery, military post cemetery, or military base cemetery may also be eligible for these memorial items.


Who can be honored with a Veterans medallion to attach to a privately purchased headstone or marker?

Any Veteran who was not dishonorably discharged and meets any of the requirements below may be eligible for a medallion.

At least one of these must be true. The Veteran:

  • Died before November 1, 1990, or
  • Served on or after April 6, 1917, or
  • Is buried in a privately marked grave

Can I apply for one of these memorial items?

You can apply for one of these memorial items if you’re representing the Veteran in any of the below relationships or professional roles.

One of these must describe your relationship or role:

  • A family member of the Veteran, or
  • A personal representative (someone who officially represents the Veteran), or
  • A representative of an accredited Veterans Service Organization, or
  • An employee of a state or local government whose official responsibilities include serving Veterans, or
  • Any person who is legally responsible for making arrangements for unclaimed remains or for details having to do with the Veteran’s interment or memorialization, or
  • Any individual representing the Veteran, if their service ended before April 6, 1917

Note: For memorial headstones and grave markers that honor the memory of the Veteran, the person who applies must be a member of the Veteran’s family.

How do I apply for a memorial item?

For a headstone, grave marker, or niche cover, fill out the Claim for Standard Government Headstone or Marker (VA Form 40-1330).
Download VA Form 40-1330.

For a medallion to be placed on a privately purchased headstone or marker, fill out the Claim for Government Medallion for Placement in a Private Cemetery (VA Form 40-1330M).
Download VA Form 40-1330M.

  • Make a copy of the Veteran’s discharge documents. Don’t send the originals, because we can’t return them.

  • Fax the documents to 1-800-455-7143. Or, mail the discharge papers and the form to this address:

Memorial Products Service (41B)
Department of Veteran Affairs
5109 Russell Road
Quantico, VA 22134-3903

What information goes on the headstone or marker?

You must put this information on the headstone or marker:

  • The person’s legal name
  • The Veteran’s service branch
  • The beginning and ending years of the person’s life
  • The section and grave number (if in a state or national cemetery)

You can also choose to inscribe:

  • The full beginning and ending dates of the person’s life
  • The highest rank the Veteran attained
  • The Veteran’s awards and war service
  • An emblem of belief

We may approve other requests, such as:

  • Nicknames
  • Terms of endearment (like “Loving Father”)
  • Special unit identification

Special arrangements

We provide memorial headstones and markers for qualified Veterans when their remains are missing, not identified, donated to science, buried at sea, or scattered.

For Veterans, dependents, and Servicemembers who qualify for a memorial headstone or marker, the words engraved on the memorial item must begin, “IN MEMORY OF,” and the headstone or marker must be placed in a national cemetery, state Veterans cemetery, or military base cemetery.

Get help applying for a headstone, marker, niche cover, or medallion by calling 1-800-697-6947.