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Requesting a replacement government headstone or marker

If you’re the family member of a deceased Veteran who was given a government-issued headstone or marker, and you want to replace it, we may be able to give you a replacement. Read below to learn about eligibility for a replacement headstone or marker.

The headstone or marker must meet one of the requirements listed below to be eligible for replacement.

One of the following must be true. The headstone or marker:

  • Is badly deteriorated, unreadable, stolen, or vandalized, or
  • Has an incorrect inscription, or
  • Was damaged during shipping, or
  • Doesn’t meet certain contract specifications

Some historic headstones and markers, or those that are more than 50 years old, may also be eligible for a replacement. 

If a historic marker has inaccurate information, which can be verified with documents like death certificates or discharge papers, we will correct the error. Then we'll replace the marker “in kind,” which means the marker will have the same type, style, and inscriptions used when the Veteran was buried.

However, if a historic government headstone or marker in a private cemetery is damaged by cemetery personnel, the cemetery should pay all replacement costs.

Note: Marble and granite headstones or markers that are replaced and removed from a grave must be destroyed to make sure that the inscription is no longer readable. Bronze markers must be returned to the contractor.

For information about replacing a Veteran’s headstone or marker, you can call us at 800-697-6947. We’re here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET. Please be sure to have the Veteran’s name, Social Security or service number, and the date of the Veteran’s death. 

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