(Photo above from Linda Jean Limes Ellis collection)
Date: January 5, 2016
From: Mr. Bruce D. Frail
National Graves Registration Officer at Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Providence, Rhode Island Area Research
VA40 - 1330 - Dept. of Veterans Affairs Information and Form for ordering government issued grave markers for veterans
"The VA has tightened their control over who can order government headstones. But, it can be done. The easiest way is to do a Next of Kin (NOK) search to see if you can locate a NOK. If you can, ask them to fill out the paperwork or write a letter to the VA stating who they are and that they give you or your group the right to act on their behalf to order the headstone. You will still need to get supporting documents, i.e. copies of actual military or pension records, these need to be the records not transcriptions of records and you will need to have someone to sign for the headstone when it is delivered and you will need someone from the cemetery or cemetery land owner to state they will allow the headstone to be installed.
If you are ordering for someone whose service ended prior to 1917 it gets a little easier"
".....a letter from the VA to a Congressman's office stating that the VA will allow people other than the NOK to order for older veterans, i.e Pre-1917 which should be included with the application for a headstone.
It is our hope that all people who wish to work on the graves of others outside of their family would try to locate NOK to get permission before touching the grave site."
(Letter below provided by Mr. Bruce D. Frail)
Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War National Headquarters:
National Graves Registration