Program DescriptionThe Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any deceased eligible Veteran in any cemetery around the world, regardless of their date of death. If the Veteran died on or after November 1, 1990, and the grave is marked with a private headstone or marker, the Veteran may be eligible for a medallion.
General Program RequirementsAny deceased Veteran discharged from the U.S. armed forces under conditions other than dishonorable is eligible for a government-furnished headstone or marker. Service after Sept. 7, 1980, as an enlisted person or after Oct. 16, 1981, as an officer, must be for a minimum of 24 consecutive months or be completed under special circumstances (e.g., death on active duty.)
For eligible Veterans that died before Nov. 1, 1990, by law, VA may only furnish a headstone or marker if the grave is unmarked, but cannot provide a medallion.
For eligible Veterans that died on or after Nov. 1, 1990, there is no requirement that the grave be unmarked. When the grave is already marked, applicants will have the option to apply for either a traditional headstone or marker, or a medallion that will be affixed to an existing privately purchased headstone or marker.
Headstones and markers are furnished for eligible spouses and dependents of Veterans, only when they are buried or memorialized in a national, military post/base or state Veterans cemetery. Spouses and dependents buried in a private cemetery are not eligible for a government-furnished headstone or marker.
Veterans whose only active duty service was for training while in the National Guard or Reserves are not eligible unless there are special circumstances (e.g., death while on duty or as a result of training.)
Persons with 20 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves who are entitled to retired pay are also eligible for a government headstone or marker. A copy of the Reserve Retirement Eligibility Benefits Letter must accompany the application. Active duty service (other than active duty for training) while in the National Guard or Reserves also establishes eligibility and does not require retiree pay eligibility.
Your Next StepsThe following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this benefit.
Application ProcessPlease visit the National Cemetery Administration webpage to download the VA Form 40-1330, Claim for Standard Government Headstone or Marker or VA Form 40-1330M, Claim for Government Medallion and to obtain additional information about the VA headstone and marker program, including information about the available headstone, marker and medallion types and styles. Completed applications may be faxed or mailed to the following:
Toll Free Fax Number:
Memorial Programs Service (41B)
Department of Veterans Affairs
5109 Russell Road
Quantico, VA 22134-3903
Program Contact Information
You may call our Applicant Assistance Unit toll free between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday at:
If you have questions:
- Visit the Inquiry Routing & Information System (IRIS) website to search Frequently Asked Questions or ask a question on-line
- Call 1-800-827-1000
- Call 1-800-829-4833, if you are hearing impaired