I think we can all agree that military service is something to be honored. Every spring, our local cemeteries are peppered with tiny red, white, and blue flags marking the final resting place of souls who once served their country.
For the families of those who have served, it is important to know the many options available to mark the graves of these heroes, ensuring a new flag will be placed for them each year.
- The first option is to have the government furnish a headstone or grave marker that details the veteran’s service. The Department of Veterans Affairs will furnish a marker upon request, at no charge to the family, for eligible veterans. These markers can be placed in any cemetery around the world, so long as the veteran does not have an existing grave marker.
- If the veteran already has a privately purchased headstone, the government will provide a new stone for eligible veterans who died on or after November 1, 1990.
- Memorial stones may be requested for veterans whose remains were not recovered, were buried at sea, were donated to science, or were cremated and the ashes were scattered.
- The final option is to request a medallion to mark an existing headstone. This option is available for veterans who served on or after April 6, 1917 and whose grave is currently marked with a privately purchased headstone.
While there is no cost for these markers, it is the family’s responsibility to pay for installation or setting, unless the veteran is buried in a national, military post, or military base cemetery.
The easiest way to submit a request for a military service marker is through the cemetery. Family can also contact their local VFW or American Legion post. For more information or to place the request directly with the Department of Veterans Affairs, contact the VA Regional Office at 1-800-827-1000.
The team at Disability Planning Partners thanks you for your service.