Veterans, service members and dependents
are eligible for burial in a VA National Cemetery. Burial benefits
include the gravesite, headstone or marker, grave opening and closing,
and perpetual care.
Eligible veterans must have been discharged or separated from active
duty under conditions other than dishonorable and have completed the
required period of service. Persons entitled to retired pay as a result
of 20 years creditable service with a reserve component are eligible. U.
S. citizens who served in the armed forces of a government allied with
the United States in a war may also be eligible. A 1997 law bars any
veteran convicted of a federal or state capital crime from being buried
or memorialized in one of the VA National Cemeteries. Headstones or
markers are available to memorialize eligible veterans or deceased
service-members whose remains were not recovered or identified, buried
at sea, donated to science, or cremated and scattered. The headstone or
marker is the same as that used to identify a grave, except the
mandatory phrase "In Memory Of" which precedes the inscription. The
memorial marker may be provided for placement in a cemetery other than a
National Cemetery. In such a case, VA supplies the marker and pays the
cost of shipping, but does not pay for the plot or the placement of the
marker. Only a relative recognized as the next of kin may apply for a
headstone or marker.