Replacement of Veteran Gravestones

General Information

The National Cemetery Administration in the U.S. 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.

For eligible veterans that died on or after Nov. 1, 1990 and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone, VA may also furnish a headstone or marker to supplement the graves or a Medallion to be affixed to a privately purchased headstone.

Flat markers in granite, marble, and bronze and upright headstones in granite and marble are available. Bronze niche markers are also available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains. The style chosen must be permitted by the officials in charge of the private cemetery where it will be placed.

When burial or memorialization is in a national cemetery, state Veterans' cemetery, or military post/base cemetery, a headstone or marker will be ordered by the cemetery officials based on inscription information provided by the next of kin or authorized representative.

Spouses and dependents are not eligible for a Government-furnished headstone or marker unless they are buried in a national cemetery, state Veteran's cemetery, or military post/base cemetery.

Continue reading at the National Cemetery Administration web site...

In Practice
by Cliff Giffin, VOCA Rutland County Representative

The Veterans Administration has a program available to replace veteran gravestones that are missing, damaged or unreadable. The process starts by submitting Veterans Administration form 40-1330. The form can be obtained on-line at http://www.va.gov/vaforms/va/pdf/VA40-1330.pdf.

It is not difficult to fill out but does require the interest, responsibility and cooperation of local officials to get it done. I found it to be a very personally rewarding experience!

Below is an example of a replacement stone at the West Street Rutland cemetery. The granite stone for Henry Parker, a revolutionary war soldier for five years 1776-1781, could not be read and thus the name forgotten. The old stone was left behind the new stone.