Posted June 1, 2012
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has streamlined the process for families of veterans to receive a medallion indicating the status of their loved one that can be affixed to grave markers at private cemeteries.
"This new form streamlines the ordering process, making it easier for families to order the medallion," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "The families want everyone to know that their loved one was a Veteran. We should help them do that in any way we can."
Previously, families ordered the medallion using the form to order a government headstone or marker. The VA has introduced a new form, VA Form 40-1330M, that will solely be used to order a medallion. The older form, VA Form 40-1330, remains in place to order a traditional government headstone or marker.
The medallion is furnished in lieu of a traditional government headstone or grave marker for veterans whose death occurred on or after November 1, 1990, and whose grave in a private cemetery and 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 medallion, but not both.
The medallion is available in three sizes: five inches, three 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 receive the medallion, along with a kit that allows the family or the staff of a private cemetery to affix the medallion to a headstone, grave marker, mausoleum or columbarium niche cover.
The medallion is 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.
More information about the medallion or headstones and markers can be found at www.cem.va.gov/cem/hm/hmorder.asp. To download the VA Form 40-1330M, Claim for Government Medallion, visit www.va.gov/vaforms/va/pdf/VA40-1330M.pdf.
Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices; from the VA website, www.cem.va.gov; or by calling VA regional offices at 800-827-1000.
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