to Obtain a Free Grave Marker
Unfortunately, most of the graves of soldiers who
died during our wars are forgotten and unmarked.
It is sad that many families can't afford to place
a headstone on the final resting places of veterans
who survived our wars and returned to the United
States to live until their natural end.
Free veteran grave markers for most of the unmarked
graves of any American veteran can be ordered from
the U.S. Veterans Administration. They are available
in a variety of types and are made of either granite,
marble or bronze. Any person can order a memorial
marker for the veteran. It is not necessary to be
a descendant or relative.
To obtain an Application for
Standard Government Headstone or Marker, write to
the following address:
Department of Memorial Affairs
941 N. Capitol St., N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20420
click on the following links
download this form you will need Adobe Acrobat
Grave Marker Form
receipt of the application, complete it as directed
and take the filled out form on how you wish the
marker to read to the cemetery, they need to agree
to accept delivery of the marker, a cemetery official
has to sign the form. The cemetery will return it
to the Veterans Administration for you normally.
also note: Even though the veteran's
grave marker is free, you will most probably have
to pay a setting, care and or foundation fee to
have it erected or placed on your loved ones burial
space within the cemetery.
Be forewarned; your application may take
as long as two years to be processed.The marble
or granite stones are very heavy, we recommend as
well as the V.A. that you have the veteran's memorial
marker sent directly to the cemetery. Upon receipt
of the veteran's burial marker at the cemetery,
it will normally take them one to two weeks to place
the veteran's marker on your loved ones grave space.
with the Cemetery to see if a V.A. Grave Marker
is permissible in the area where your loved one
is laid to rest. Also most Cemeteries will want
the property owner of record to give permission
to place the veteran's grave marker on the veteran's
cemeteries do not allow the upright headstones
due to the extra required ground maintenance that
These headstones are 42 inches long, 13 inches
wide and 4 inches thick. Weight is approximately
230 pounds. Variations may occur in stone color,
and the marble may contain light to moderate veining.
In some cemeteries a concrete border may be required,
to extend the size of the marker to make it uniform
in size to the surrounding markers, this is known
as a restricted area.
grave marker is 24 inches long, 12 inches
wide, with 3/4 inch rise. Weight is approximately
18 pounds. Anchor bolts, nuts and washers for
fastening to a base are furnished with the marker.
The government does not furnish a base.
The flat granite and flat marble grave
marker is 24 inches long, 12 inches wide,
and 4 inches thick. Weight is approximately 130
pounds. Variations may occur in stone color; the
marble may contain light to moderate veining.
(Shown is the Flat Granite)
Granite or Flat Marble
Dodd Introduces VA Marker Bill for Private Cemeteries
Last week, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) introduced
S. 909 to expand on legislation enacted in 2002
whereby veterans who were interred in private cemeteries
where the grave was already marked could receive
a government-issued marker for placement as a second
marker on the grave. The 2002 law, the Veterans
Improvement Act, established this burial benefit
as a five-year pilot program and applied only to
veterans who died on or after September 11, 2001.
This new benefit met with a mixed reaction from
private cemeteries because not all permit a second
marker on the grave site. S. 909 would extend the
second marker benefit back to 1990 when it had been
abolished by Congress.
stated, "Until 1990, moreover, the family of
a deceased veteran could receive reimbursement for
a VA headstone, a VA marker or a private headstone.
However, in the name of cost-cutting, measures were
taken to prevent the VA from providing markers to
those families that had purchased gravestones out
of their own pockets. In my view, this measure was
a serious injustice." Despite Dodd's reference
to the repealed marker cash reimbursement, his legislation
does not address the restoration of this benefit.
However, Reps. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) and Steve
Miller (R-FL) have stated that they will introduce
legislation to restore both the plot and the marker
cash allowances as they applied to private cemeteries.