HEADSTONES AND MARKERS
VA provides headstones and markers for
the graves of veterans anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents
of veterans buried in national veteran, state veteran, or military
cemeteries. Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, upright granite and
upright marble types are available to mark the grave in a style
consistent with the place of burial. Niche markers also are available to
mark columbaria used for the interment of cremated remains.
Headstones and markers are inscribed with the
name of the deceased, the years of birth and death, and branch of
service. Optional items that also may be inscribed at VA expense are;
military grad, rank or rate, war service (example: “World War II”)
months and days of birth and death; an emblem reflecting one’s religious
beliefs; valor awards, and the Purple Heart. Additional items may be
inscribed at private expense.
All markers to be placed in private cemeteries
are ordered through the County Veteran Service Office. Markers to be
placed in state veterans or military cemeteries are ordered through the
respective cemetery officials.
BURIAL ALLOWANCE BENEFITS
VA will pay a burial allowance of up to $2,000
if the veteran’s death is service connected. VA also will pay the cost
of transporting the remains of a service connected disabled veteran to
the national cemetery nearest the home of the deceased that has
available grave sites. In such cases, the person who bore the veteran’s
burial expenses may claim reimbursement from VA. VA will pay a $300
burial and funeral expense allowance for veterans who at the time of
death, were entitled to receive pension or compensation. Eligibility is
also established when death occurs in a VA facility or a nursing home
with which VA contracted. Additional costs of transportation of the
remains may be reimbursed. There is no time limit for filing
reimbursement claims of service connected deaths. In other deaths,
claims must be filed within 2 years after permanent burial or cremation.
VA will pay up to $700 for a plot allowance
when the veteran is not buried in a cemetery that is under U.S.
government jurisdiction if the veteran was entitled to receive pension
or compensation, or if the veteran died while hospitalized by VA.
VA provides an American flag to drape the
casket of an Active Duty veteran, a person entitled to retired military
pay and to a reservist who completed at least one enlistment in the
Selected Reserve. After the funeral service, the flag may be given to
the next of kin or a close associate.
VA also will issue a flag on behalf of a
service member who was missing in action and later presumed dead. In La
Crosse County, flags are issued to funeral homes through the County
Veterans Service Office.
BURIAL IN NATIONAL CEMETERIES
Burial benefits in a VA national Cemetery
include the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, and perpetual
care. Many national cemeteries have columbaria for the interment of
cremated remains or special gravesites for the burial of cremated
Spouses and minor children of eligible veterans
and of armed forces members also may be buried in a national cemetery. A
surviving spouse of an eligible veteran who married a non-veteran, and
who is again single at the time of death, is eligible for burial in a
Gravesites in national cemeteries cannot be
reserved. Funeral directors or others making burial arrangements must
apply at the time of death.