Veteran Status for Memorials

With Memorial Day coming up, we’re pleased to announce that we have recently updated the site so that you can indicate someone’s service as a veteran on their memorial. This has been one of the most requested feature updates for the site and we’re glad to make it available.

When you create a new memorial and on the Edit/Suggest Edits page of existing memorials, you’ll find a section labeled, “Designations.” There you’ll find a toggle switch that you can use to update the veteran status of the person the memorial page is for.

Once that veteran status is set, you’ll see an icon next to the person’s name on the memorial and in the search results.

We’ve also added veteran status as one of the “More search options” so you can limit your search to veterans, though, since this is a new feature, most memorials on the site will not have been updated with the veteran status yet, so don’t be surprised if you don’t find the person you are looking for using that option.

You can learn more about using this veteran option on the support site.

We’re excited for this new feature and encourage you to update the memorials you manage and suggest edits for the memorials of veterans you know of.


  1. My husband is a Combat Vietnam Veteran. He loves his Country and the flag of the United States of America. He was proud to serve Her and salutes every flag he sees. A name tag doesn’t represent his veteran status. However, a United States flag would. I won’t designate any memorial of my family members who were veterans with a name tag!

    • I think the flag is a good idea, but with the tags members can also designate veterans from other countries.

      Maybe Find a Grave would consider adding flag icons in the future?

    • Well they arent just name tags, they are dog tags and every mititary member gets them issued when they first get there. I think its a great idea.

      • Dog Tags did not exist prior to WWI. And since FG is international, Dog Tags are inappropriate for other countries. I’d go for the word veteran. I want Gender searchable, so I can find female veteran’s.

      • Thanks for the veteran icon update. Now I would still like to search on gender so I can find female veterans.

  2. Does not seem to be available to me. I don’t see the option when I try to edit Memorial #50213123.

    • You have to refresh the screen when you click the veteran toggle, I looked at memorial 50213123 and the marker is there.

  3. Thank you for listening to your customers – This improvement is a huge help for groups such as Wreaths Across America, and the other Veterans groups who place flags on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

  4. So pleased!!!! Thank you to everyone who made this possible!! I hope this field will update Ancestry and Family Search at some point.

  5. This is a terrific new feature! But I’ve just edited quite a few to toggle the “Designate this person as a veteran” on, and I’m not seeing an icon next to their names as yet. Are others seeing this working?

    • Is the toggle still set on the edit page for the memorial? If so, this may be a caching problem in your browser. It should show up at some point, or you can clear you cache or do a hard refresh of the page to clear it out. Hope that helps.

  6. I tried to enter the Vet status for my uncle # 41431611 and nothing happened, no icon or anything.
    Larry H. #47183068

    • Is the toggle still set on the edit page for the memorial? If so, this may be a caching problem in your browser. It should show up at some point, or you can clear you cache or do a hard refresh of the page to clear it out. Hope that helps.

  7. It may prove helpful when suggested burial sites are brought together as family, that the person suggesting the correction is reported in the suggested linked persons. For example, Father Smith’s memorial shows his parents and children but not his spouse. I find the spouse and suggest the link be made. The Memorial will report that I, suggested the link that was approved to link Smith’s wife to him and his family.

  8. My grandfather registered in 1942 at age 39 per registration form on Ancestry. Since there are no additional military form, it appears he never served. Based on my thinking and Find-A-Grave help saying Veteran is someone who served. I follow up on any edit requests to verify and if no documentation is found I would decline and say why and ask for backup data. Is this procedure we should take? I do realize this could cause disagreement at times so wanting to know what is expected. Thank you.

  9. ‘Brilliant Idea’ and love the new Veteran facility, each and every person to serve in the Military deserves to be honoured

  10. Thank you for this enhancement. I have seen some comments in the forums that some contributors would like Find A Grave to designate EVERY memorial in a VA cemetery as a veteran. Please do not do that. I work extensively in our nearby VA cemetery and know there are many spouses and eligible dependents buried there and it would be huge task to go through and undo the designation. I know, for instance, there is a family of five that were killed in a horrific auto accident. Only one of them is a veteran. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

    • They don’t need Find A Grave to do that for them; I have seen several already do it themselves. Veteran tags for children, wives, everyone.


    • It is my understanding that we only designate the person who SERVED, not the wife or minor children. I’ve been going through my memorials and have seen the veteran designation already added to some I manage and wonder why they have already been processed when this feature has not been in place long enough to be auto-accept.

  11. Thank you, Find a Grave, for continuing to build ways we can honor our ancestors.

  12. Thank you so much for this recognition! It is so important to recognize our brave men and women who served in our armed forces to protect our democratic ideals.

  13. I am concerned with the “Veteran” check off. I believe that each and every Veteran should be recognized but with that comes the scammers and abuser of those who know what honor comes with this.

    How is Find A Grave prepared to and going to stop those who where dishonorably discharged and have lied about their military service?

    This may be of no big deal to nonservice members, but for those of us who have had family members serve in the military during war, it is a huge deal.

    It would need to be fixed or removed.

    What about other distinguished symbols such as Missing in Action (MIA), Killed in Action (KIA), Purple Heart, Prisoner of War (POW)

    Granddaughter, daughter of Veterans

    • Brenda, these people on here are infactuated with the military and want ways to make them feel good and squishy inside while having no idea about what it means.

      Most of them do not view their service as something to be lauded. My own spouse said he was horrified at the thought that a set of dog tags would be placed next to a veteran. He did not swear an oath to dog tags. He pledged his allegiance to the American flag and swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. He joined because he wanted to serve his country, not be patted on the back.

      Granddaughter of Veterans as well.

  14. So.. I don’t have a choice to accept or decline? Is that what you are saying findagrave? Response to a declined edit from someone. SOOOOO HAPPY this person knows me well enough to judge me.

    I received your declined edit request to honor this veteran. XXXXXXX XXXX Your bio shows disdain for Findagrave policy but I would simply ask that you not place Private XXXXXX and other Veterans in the crosshairs. I didn’t make the request or this message frivolously. Please honor Private XXXXX as a Veteran.
    XXXX. USA (Ret)

    • Jokester, designating someone as a Veteran works like every other edit that goes through the Suggest Edit system. I found the following info at the support site.

      How do I designate a person as a veteran?

      Go to the memorial for the person that is a veteran. Select Edit, use the toggle switch to designate veteran status, and save your update. If you don’t manage the memorial, you can send a Suggested Edit. Select Suggest Edits, use the toggle switch to designate veteran status, and save your suggestion. We encourage members to refer to local customs or relevant military guidelines for specific guidance on veteran status.

      • Um,,, I am not village idiot or lacky. I know how to accept it. I don’t agree with it for so many reasons and my question is: why give me a choice to when clearly according to some you must approve every fart on this site whether it is already clear and obvious. sheezzzzzz.its like NO is a dirty word.

      • I’m sorry you took offense with my message, however, since we don’t know one another or the level of expertise each person has, I found it best to respond with a general response that could apply to your concern. I certainly did not word my post to insinuate either of the derogatory terms you mentioned, nor would I ever do that in any format.

  15. It would appear that someone has made the ridiculous assumption that all people buried in national cemeteries are veterans. At Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minnesota, for example, I found that the new veteran icon had been added to the memorial for my mother, who was not a veteran. I removed the icon, but when I checked other non-veterans buried at Fort Snelling (all spouses and children of veterans), I found that all of them now display the new icon. How did this happen and why? Labeling everyone in the cemetery as a veteran—including those who are not–cheapens the meaning of the veteran designation. This should be corrected immediately.

    • Thanks for your message. Many of these records were imported to Find a Grave years ago and were marked with a military tag that was not editable. This update makes those designations editable, so if you find one that is incorrect, please suggest removing it.

      • Thank you for letting us know what caused these to happen. I manage a memorial for a small child who was buried in a military cemetery and several spouses. If I don’t know for sure, I check records and if info isn’t readily accessible, I have made a list of those to go back and research later.

  16. My brother served in Korea on the front lines but would never talk about it. Through another source I found out that his best Army friend died jumping on an enemy hand grenade landed next to them. He is buried with an Army Service plaque on his grave. My local village is honoring him with a flag with his photo in uniform. Unfortunately his record and those of many others were lost in a government storage fire some years ago although his service dates survived elsewhere.

  17. Does serving in the Merchant Marine during WWII count? He has the symbol on his tombstone.

  18. Will the tag icon show up on the app? I have designated some that I manage through the website, but when I look at the memorial on the app, the icon is not there.

    • We will be adding the veteran icon to the apps. We added it to the website first and then will be doing so in the app. Any that are already added before that will automatically be showing.

      • I can’t believe you caved in to people who didn’t like dog tags. Most countries do use some type of dog tags in their military. It’s just silly. Changing it to a “V” doesn’t look as good as the dog tags.

      • Civil War, War of 1812, Revolutionary War none had identification other than maybe a letter home pinned to their clothing. Maybe a Bigger V or Veteran spelled out, but an improvement nonetheless

  19. I want gender searchable. That way I can find female veterans.

  20. I would also like to see the vet icon on the LIST when I search an entire cemetery. You put an icon when there are flowers on the entry- just add the military icon as well

  21. As someone (Cay) posted on the previous thread about the edit updates “the current icon resembles an American military dog tag, but keep in mind that veterans from other nations may have different-shaped tags–for example, Britain’s tags are round, Canada’s consists of two break-apart rectangles, Australia’s can be hexagonal, Yugoslavia’s are rectangular. A simple banner with VETERAN might be a better icon that reflects no particular country.”

    • The icon has been updated this morning. We have some small updates for languages and are in the process of that.

  22. This is for the Find a Grave team:

    I love this new feature, and I also like the “V” better than the dog tags. However, I didn’t think the dog tag was inappropriate, after all, without those tags, many veterans killed in action would unfortunately not have been able to be identified, nor returned to the families for burial. But the V looks more professional, in my opinion.

    I am in charge (volunteer) of tracking, mapping, and coordinating volunteers to place flags at the cemetery where our VFW Post was designated to do so for Memorial Day. Also, due to the poor record keeping of the cemetery, I mapped the whole thing, and update it anytime there is a new burial. Fortunately, this is a relatively small cemetery compared to many, only about 7,600 burials (maybe more). I’m slowly trying to get them all in Find a Grave, and photograph them as well.

    There are 2,199 veterans in this cemetery…and I was wondering if there could be some sort of “shortcut” to adding the new feature of veteran without having to go into each memorial to add it? I have a spreadsheet as well as maps I did in Excel for names and locations within the cemetery, and it would be much easier to go down the alphabetical list to check off the designation.

    Thank you.

  23. I actually liked the dog tags for veterans instead of just a V

    • Same here. I thought they were a very nice touch. I now understand now about other countries, so how about plain flag on a stick that says Veteran. We all have flags and veterans , so problem solved. Or at the very least, please make it a little larger because not everyone has bionic eyes. Thank you.

  24. I liked the dog tag effect why was it changed , the V means hardly anything why not put an American Flag instead. I really liked the dog tags which I and others would recognize as Veteran.

  25. I think that the new Veteran Tag is poorly thought out and has a distinctly US-centric slant to it. What Find A Grave has defined is actually a military servicemen. Also, the meaning of the term military veteran differs from country to country but it is usually defined as someone who has served with, and has been discharged from, the military services and generally would not apply to war casualties. Some countries recognise merchant mariners only if they served on military operations but how is this going to be determined? Many countries have had, or still have, compulsory military or national service – would be these individuals be classed as veterans? In my opinion the Veteran Tag is already being widely misapplied across Find A Grave and its introduction has potentially created a tsunami of edits for memorial managers.

  26. I’m trying to designate my great great grandfather as a civil war veteran but can’t find the button for that.

    • Hi Karen, go to the memorial and click on Edit or Suggest Edits. Scroll down to Designations and use the toggle switch for veteran and save your changes.

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