Senator Witkos Attends Unveiling of Headstone for WWI Soldier

September 26, 2018

Witkos headstone dedication

Caption:  State Senator Kevin Witkos talks with veterans following a ceremony to dedicate a government white marble headstone at the grave of WWI soldier Leon Starr Bunnell at the Riverside Cemetery in Pleasant Valley. Mr. Bunnell’s grave was unmarked until the Riverton American Legion Post 159 assisted his family with obtaining the proper paperwork for the headstone.

State Senator Kevin Witkos (R-8) recently attended the unveiling of a government white marble headstone for the grave of World War I soldier Leon Starr Bunnell. Until recently, Bunnell’s grave at the Riverside Cemetery in Pleasant Valley remained unmarked since his death in 1959.

“Our soldiers sacrifice so much for our country. It’s only fitting that in life and death they should be honored by the community,” Sen. Witkos said. “It’s unfortunate that Mr. Bunnell’s grave remained unmarked for so long. Thanks to the efforts of Riverton American Legion Post 159 working with Mr. Bunnell’s family, his final resting place received the distinction it deserves.”

The 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, regardless of their date of death. To receive a headstone, marker, or medallion, the eligible applicant must submit a VA Form 40-1330, Claim for Standard Government Headstone or Marker or VA Form 40-1330M, Claim for Government Medallion to the VA along with proof of military service, to request a Government-provided headstone or marker More information can be found at the VA’s National Cemetery Administration website at

Senator Witkos represents the communities of Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby, Hartland, Harwinton, New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury, and Torrington.