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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 16, 2017 03:54 PM
From: Representative Stephen Barrar
To: All House members
Subject: VA Grave Marker Requirements
In the near future, I am planning to introduce legislation that will prohibit cemeteries from refusing to allow government issued grave markers for veterans to be positioned at their final resting place.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a Government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any deceased eligible veteran in any cemetery around the world. For eligible veterans who died on or after November 1, 1990 and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone, VA will furnish, upon request, a headstone, marker or medallion to be positioned at the veterans final resting place. There is no charge for the headstone or marker itself, however arrangements for placing it in a private cemetery are the applicant's responsibility and all setting fees are at private expense.

My legislation would add a chapter to Title 51 (Military Affairs) providing for the installation of veterans markers and would prohibit cemeteries from refusing to install a VA provided marker, headstone, or medallion. The proposal also limits the amount a cemetery can charge for the installation of these VA provided grave markers. Additionally, this act establishes a grievance procedure for a family or a custodian of a deceased veteran and establishes fines for violations of the act.

It is the countless sacrifices of our service men and women that have given us the freedom, prosperity, and way of life that make this country the greatest in the world. This bill will ensure that veterans, who have served our country with distinction and honor, are properly and respectably recognized for their service with a military grave marker, a benefit they have rightfully earned.

Introduced as HB1413