38 USC 2306 - Headstones, markers, and burial receptacles

(a) The Secretary shall furnish, when requested, appropriate Government headstones or markers at the expense of the United States for the unmarked graves of the following:
(1) Any individual buried in a national cemetery or in a post cemetery.
(2) Any individual eligible for burial in a national cemetery (but not buried there), except for those persons or classes of persons enumerated in section 2402 (4), (5), and (6) of this title.
(3) Soldiers of the Union and Confederate Armies of the Civil War.

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(4) Any individual described in section 2402 (5) of this title who is buried in a veterans cemetery owned by a State.
(5) Any individual who at the time of death was entitled to retired pay under chapter 1223 of title 10 or would have been entitled to retired pay under that chapter but for the fact that the person was under 60 years of age.
(b) 
(1) The Secretary shall furnish, when requested, an appropriate memorial headstone or marker for the purpose of commemorating an eligible individual whose remains are unavailable. Such a headstone or marker shall be furnished for placement in a national cemetery area reserved for that purpose under section 2403 of this title, a veterans cemetery owned by a State, or, in the case of a veteran, in a State, local, or private cemetery.
(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), an eligible individual is any of the following:
(A) A veteran.
(B) The spouse or surviving spouse of a veteran.
(C) An eligible dependent child of a veteran.
(3) For purposes of paragraph (1), the remains of an individual shall be considered to be unavailable if the individuals remains
(A) have not been recovered or identified;

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(B) were buried at sea, whether by the individuals own choice or otherwise;
(C) were donated to science; or
(D) were cremated and the ashes scattered without interment of any portion of the ashes.
(4) For purposes of this subsection:
(A) The term veteran includes an individual who dies in the active military, naval, or air service.
(B) The term surviving spouse includes an unremarried surviving spouse whose subsequent remarriage was terminated by death or divorce.
(5) For purposes of this section, the term eligible dependent child means a child
(A) who is under 21 years of age, or under 23 years of age if pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution; or
(B) who is unmarried and became permanently physically or mentally disabled and incapable of self-support before reaching 21 years of age, or before reaching 23 years of age if pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution.
(c) A headstone or marker furnished under subsection (a), (b), or (d) of this section may be of any material, including but not limited to marble, granite, bronze, or slate, requested by the person entitled to request such headstone or marker if the material requested is determined by the Secretary
(1)  to be cost effective, and
(2)  in a case in which the headstone or marker is to be placed in a national cemetery, to be aesthetically compatible with the area of the cemetery in which it is to be placed.
(d) 
(1) The Secretary shall furnish, when requested, an appropriate Government headstone or marker at the expense of the United States for the grave of an individual described in paragraph (2) or (5) of subsection (a) who is buried in a private cemetery, notwithstanding that the grave is marked by a headstone or marker furnished at private expense. Such a headstone or marker may be furnished only if the individual making the request for the Government headstone or marker certifies to the Secretary that the headstone or marker will be placed on the grave for which the headstone or marker is requested, or, if placement on the grave is impossible or impracticable, as close as possible to the grave within the grounds of the cemetery in which the grave is located.
(2) Any headstone or marker furnished under this subsection shall be delivered by the Secretary directly to the cemetery where the grave is located or to a receiving agent for delivery to the cemetery.
(3) The headstone or marker furnished under this subsection shall be the headstone or marker selected by the individual making the request from among all the headstones and markers made available by the Government for selection.
(4) In lieu of furnishing a headstone or marker under this subsection, the Secretary may furnish, upon request, a medallion or other device of a design determined by the Secretary to signify the deceaseds status as a veteran, to be attached to a headstone or marker furnished at private expense.
(e) 
(1) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall provide an outer burial receptacle for each new grave in an open cemetery under the control of the National Cemetery Administration in which remains are interred in a casket. The Secretary of the Army may provide an outer burial receptacle for such a grave in the Arlington National Cemetery.
(2) The use of outer burial receptacles in a cemetery under the control of the National Cemetery Administration or in the Arlington National Cemetery shall be in accordance with regulations or procedures approved by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs or Secretary of the Army, respectively.
(3) Regulations or procedures under paragraph (2) may specify that
(A) an outer burial receptacle other than a grave liner be provided in lieu of a grave liner at the election of the survivors of the interred veteran; and
(B) if an outer burial receptacle other than a grave liner is provided in lieu of a grave liner upon an election of such survivors, such survivors be required
(i) to pay the amount by which the cost of the outer burial receptacle exceeds the cost of the grave liner that would otherwise have been provided in the absence of the election; and
(ii) to pay the amount of the administrative costs incurred by the Secretary (or, with respect to Arlington National Cemetery, the Secretary of the Army) in providing the outer burial receptacle in lieu of such grave liner.
(4) Regulations or procedures under paragraph (2) may provide for the use of a voucher system, or other system of reimbursement approved by the Secretary (or, with respect to Arlington National Cemetery, the Secretary of the Army), for payment for outer burial receptacles other than grave liners provided under such regulations or procedures.
(f) 
(1) When the Secretary has furnished a headstone or marker under subsection (a) for the unmarked grave of an individual, the Secretary shall, if feasible, add a memorial inscription to that headstone or marker rather than furnishing a separate headstone or marker under that subsection for the surviving spouse or eligible dependent child of such individual.
(2) When the Secretary has furnished a memorial headstone or marker under subsection (b) for purposes of commemorating a veteran or an individual who died in the active military, naval, or air service, the Secretary shall, if feasible, add a memorial inscription to that headstone or marker rather than furnishing a separate memorial headstone or marker under that subsection for the surviving spouse or eligible dependent child of such individual.
(g) 
(1) A headstone or marker may not be furnished under subsection (a) for the unmarked grave of a person described in section 2411 (b) of this title.
(2) A memorial headstone or marker may not be furnished under subsection (b) for the purpose of commemorating a person described in section 2411 (b) of this title.
(3) A headstone or marker may not be furnished under subsection (d) for the grave of a person described in section 2411 (b) of this title.