VA Providing Headstone Medallions
> From: VA Media Relations [mailto:va.media.relations@...]
> Sent: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 9:22 AM
> To: VANEWS-L@...
> Subject: VA Medallions Available for Headstones
> Recent VA News Releases
> To view and download VA news release, please visit the following Internet
> Veterans' Medallion Available for Order
> New Option for Marking Veterans' Graves in Private Cemeteries
> WASHINGTON (June 29, 2010) - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki
> announced today that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is offering
> bronze medallions to attach to existing, privately purchased headstones or
> markers, signifying a deceased's status as a Veteran.
> "For Veterans not buried in a national or state Veterans cemetery, or those
> without a government grave marker, VA is pleased to offer this option that
> highlights their service and sacrifices for our country," said Secretary
> The new item can be furnished instead of a traditional government headstone
> or marker for Veterans whose death occurred on or after Nov. 1, 1990, and
> whose grave in a private cemetery is marked with a privately purchased
> headstone or marker.
> Under federal law, eligible Veterans buried in a private cemetery are
> entitled to either a government-furnished grave marker or the new medallion,
> but not both. Veterans buried in a national or state Veterans cemetery will
> receive a government headstone or marker of the standard design authorized
> at that cemetery.
> The medallion is available in three sizes: 5 inches, 3 inches and 1 ½ inches
> in width. Each bronze medallion features the image of a folded burial flag
> adorned with laurels and is inscribed with the word "Veteran" at the top and
> the branch of service at the bottom.
> Next of kin will receive the medallion, along with a kit that will allow the
> family or the staff of a private cemetery to affix the medallion to a
> headstone, grave marker, mausoleum or columbarium niche cover.
> More information about VA-furnished headstones, markers and medallions can
> be found at http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/hm/hmtype.asp.
> VA is currently developing an application form for ordering the medallion.
> Until it is available, applicants may use the form for ordering government
> headstones and markers, VA Form 40-1330. Instructions on how to apply for a
> medallion are found on the VA Web site at www.cem.va.gov/hm_hm.asp.
> Veterans with a discharge issued under conditions other than dishonorable,
> their spouses and eligible dependent children can be buried in a VA national
> cemetery. Other burial benefits available for all eligible Veterans,
> regardless of whether they are buried in a national cemetery or a private
> cemetery, include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate and a
> government headstone or grave marker.
> The new medallions will be available only to Veterans buried in private
> cemeteries without a government headstone or marker. Families of eligible
> decedents may also order a memorial headstone or marker when remains are not
> available for interment.
> VA operates 131 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico and 33
> soldiers' lots and monument sites. More than 3 million Americans, including
> Veterans of every war and conflict -- from the Revolutionary War to the
> current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan -- are buried in VA's national
> cemeteries on more than 19,000 acres.
> Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery
> offices, from the VA Web site on the Internet at www.cem.va.gov or by
> calling VA regional offices toll-free at 1-800-827-1000.