Congressman Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) and Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) issued the following statement after introducing the Honoring Veterans’ Families Act, to allow the spouse of a veteran to be included on the veteran’s grave marker upon their death.
Due to a flaw in current law, the Department of Veterans Affairs cannot include almost any information about the spouse of a veteran on a VA-provided tombstone at a non-VA cemetery.
LaMalfa said:“Last year, veterans from Northern California brought a problem issue to our attention. Under current law, the spouse of a veteran is not permitted to be recognized on a VA-provided gravestone. With all that veterans and their families sacrifice for our country, every veteran should have the opportunity to include their spouse on their own tombstone if they so wish. I thank my colleague, Mr. Panetta – a veteran himself – for joining with me to correct this oversight. Honoring the families of our veterans is something that everyone can and should support.”
Congressman Jimmy Panetta said: “Military families provide tremendous support to their loved ones, both during their service and afterwards, home and abroad. Unfortunately, current statute prevents the VA from adding an inscription on a veteran’s grave about their spouse or child. We ought to honor the meaningful contributions of military families.”
Summary of legislation:
- Upon request, the VA will replace the marker of a veteran to add an inscription about their spouse following the death of that spouse.
- If the spouse passes before the veteran then, upon the death of the veteran, the marker furnished for the veteran’s grave will include an inscription about the spouse.
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.