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Military Order of the Purple Heart Missouri

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Marking Veterans' Graves in Private Cemeteries

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

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

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 or by
calling VA regional offices toll-free at 1-800-827-1000.

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