VETERANS' CORNER: Headstones, markers and medallions available for vets
The Department of Veterans Affairs furnishes upon request, as no charge to the applicant, a government headstone or marker for the 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 the 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.
- Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who dies on active duty.
- Any veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. With certain exceptions, service beginning after Sept. 7, 1980, as an enlisted person, and service after Oct. 16, 1981, as an officer, must be for a minimum or 24 months or the full period for which the person was called to active duty. (Examples include those serving less than 24 months in the Gulf War or Reservists that were federalized by Presidential Act). Undesirable, bad conduct and any other type of discharge other than honorable may or may not qualify the individual for veterans’ benefits, depending upon a determination made by a VA regional office. Cases presenting multiple discharges of varying character are also referred for adjudication to a VA Regional Office.
- Reservists and National Guard members who, at time of death, were entitled to retired pay under Chapter 1223, title 10, U.S. code, or would have been entitled, but for being under the age of 60, specific categories of individuals eligible for retired pay are delineated in Section 12731 or Chapter 1223, title 10, U.S. code.
- Members of Reserve components who die while hospitalized or undergoing treatment at the expense of the United States for injury or disease contracted or incurred under honorable conditions while performing active duty for training or inactive duty training, or undergoing such hospitalization or treatment.
- Members of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps of the Army, Navy, or Air Force who die under honorable conditions while attending an authorized training camp or on an authorized travel to or from that camp or cruise, or while hospitalized or undergoing treatment at the expense of the United States for injury or disease contracted or incurred under honorable conditions while engaged in one or those actions.
- Members of reserve components who, during a period of active duty for training, were disabled or died from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated in line or duty or, during a period of inactive duty training, were disabled or died from an injury incurred or aggravated in line of duty.
This information is from the www.cem.va.gov/cem/hmm/elilgibility.asp website.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Veterans’ Corner, a column to inform armed-forces veterans about services and benefits available to them, appears the first Sunday of each month.