Veterans’ Headstone Medallion

Source: Department of Veterans Affairs

Veteran’s medallion’s are available through the VA, which can be affixed to an existing privately purchased headstone or marker to signify the deceased’s status as a veteran, will be furnished upon request in lieu of a traditional Government headstone or marker for veterans that died on or after November 1, 1990, and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker.

The medallion is currently available in three sizes, 5 inches, 3 inches, and 1 ½ inches. Each medallion will be inscribed with the word VETERAN across the top and the Branch of Service at the bottom. Appropriate affixing adhesive, instructions and hardware will be provided with the medallion.

Important: This benefit is only applicable if the grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker. In these instances, eligible veterans are entitled to either a traditional Government-furnished headstone or marker, or the new medallion, but not both.

Navy Example

Family members of eligible Veterans interested in submitting a claim for the new medallion, can visit the NCA’s web site at The VA will create a new form specifically for ordering the medallion, however, until then eligible family members can use the current Application for Standard Government Headstone or Marker – VA Form 40-1330. (PDF Format)

Be sure to Fill the form out completely with the exception of blocks 11 (Type of Headstone or Marker Requested) and 27 (Remarks). Leave block 11 blank. In block 27 put the word Medallion followed by the size requested. For example; use “Medallion 5 inch” to request a 5 inch medallion.

Visit the VA website for more details.

About the Author

Terry Howell
Before becoming the Managing Editor for, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.
  • Gpmidgette

    Why can’t any veteran get a medallion? My father was in the service for 26 years, and served in three wars. I think it is only right for the medallion to be offered to all deserved veterans! Rocfish13

    • Paul

      You are correct Gpmidgette, my Dad died in 88 and he can’t get a marker, makes no sense.

  • Aturner65

    Ok, my headstone is up already because my wife passed away. Why can’t I have the marker now as I am retired military and save my kids the problem of having to file after I’m gone? Most likely they won’t know of this eligibility. My wife stood at my side all the years I was on active duty so as far as I am concerned, she deserves it also.

  • Colonae2

    Nice medallion but there is a problem with the design. A properly folded flag should only display four stars not nine.

    Has anyone thought of this when they designed this thing.

  • Bud9288


  • Rprenticel

    Illegal aliens out rank us all; that’s factual, look at the court rulings on school, medical benefits, legal assistance etc etc etc. The question is WHY.

  • Cheeseman

    Its Ugly, was it designed by the lowest bidder and made by the institute for the blind?

  • Pingback: New Veterans Headstone Medallion()

  • Wilmare60

    what was wrong with the bronze plate marker, give us what we deserve now instead of waiting til we are gone, another marker will not feed our familys now

  • Patrick Tyrrell

    Some people raise their right hand and swear to defend and uphold the Constitution of The Uniteded States of America and get a nice seat in Wahingtonton or a Black Robe. Others are given a rifle and have their hand blown off.

  • SFC (Ret) PJB

    As a SFC (Ret) I offer my opinion. The medallion has come to be for several reasons; more Veterans are being cremated and placed in small places or buried atop other family members with their names added to the existing stone and unfortunately the value of the larger bronze plaque has driven some dishonorable people to stealing and selling the metal.
    In my humble opinion this is also a way for the VA to save money both by the reduction of the cost of individuallly casting each marker, the cost of the metal, and the shipping. With the need to focus more money on the healthcare of our living Veterans and the fact that none of us who strapped on the boots did it for the prestige.

  • SFC (Ret) PJB

    Continued from above:

    For me at least it doesn’t matter what rank I was (E-7) or when I served (1982 – 2004), it is the acts of kindness, the thank you’s and the occasional handshake that means so much. Not to say it won’t be nice to have my service acknowledged but by then it won’t matter to me. Please take the time to tell Veterans that you appreciate their willingness to risk so much for you.

    If you have the time and the means you could even offer to help them get to and from the VA for the care they may need.

    To all the Veterans and their families “THANK YOU!!” from a Female Veteran who continues to serve her military family by assisting them in getting connected to the VA.

  • dick silvernail

    !Sir, I sent away for my father-in-laws military records and they sent me a letter back saying that it would cost me 60 dollars for his records, when did this all start ?
    Was just curious about this whole thing.
    Dick Silvernail

  • Les Best

    I’d like to put some type of marker on my grandfathers’ stone. He was a veteran of WWI and the thieves stole the bronze plaque before the grass grew. He died in 83, and I think the Medallion is the ticket. CAN I BUY ONE? The Boy Scouts put flags on the graves if there is a recognizable notation.

  • Daughter of a marine

    My dad, a USMC Veteran of WWII died on August 7, 2010. This past Sunday, the one year anniversary of his death, I placed this medallion on his grave in Rhode Island. I know that he would love it and he would say “what the heck are all those guys belly-aching about, at least they’re still alive”.

  • newt wilson

    Im putting my grandfathers military for stone down how far from the head stone should it be im guessing 6 foot but dont know

  • R. Petty

    Why is the medallion not offered to Veterans who died before 1990? The date of death should not matter. If anyone is a Veteran, they should be eligible for a plaque!

  • Jerry K.

    Since my father who served in the U.S. Navy during WWII died PRIOR to 1990, and it not eligible for a bronze, gravestone medallion. Can the family purchased one fro placement on his family, not government, provided gravestone? How?

  • Mike Whiatlock

    My father died prior to 1990 and I would like to buy a 3″ bronze medallion to attach to his headstone showing his military service. He was a Merchant Marine.I have researched but cannot find where I can purchase one.

    • Marie Roper

      You have to go through the US National Maritime Center in West Virginia, which is run by the Coast Guard: On the left of the home page, look for the tab for WWII Veterans. You can write to them for a copy of your dad’s discharge paper, and then you can contact the Department of Veteran Affairs to receive the medallion.

  • Irritated

    so far we have ordered 4 and still not received one?????

  • Jim Borel

    To ALL veterans: Pls be aware that if you elect to be creamated & interred in an URN – – you will NOT be entitled to one of these medallions – – – SHAME ON THE VA!!!

  • Rene H. Garcia

    My dad died last july . he was a ww2 vet in the Army is there some thing i can put on his headstone to so he was a vet. And how much will it cast me.