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Veteran Funerals

Important Facts You Need To Know About Your Veteran’s Burial Benefits

 When it comes to the burial of a person who served in the armed forces, it’s important that family members and friends know what their loved one is entitled to when it comes time to lay that person to rest. Many people are confused about the benefits that veterans are entitled to, making these 10 facts important to learn and understand: Fact 1: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs benefits do not cover all of the funeral or cremation arrangements of honorably discharged veterans There are monetary, recognition, and service benefits that are available to this veteran’s family; however, reimbursement for funeral or cremation costs is limited. Typically this kind of reimbursement only applies to veterans who have: Retired from the armed services Were disabled in the line of duty Died in a VA hospital or nursing home while under VA contract A family should do some research about the benefits that apply to their loved one, as these guidelines are meant to serve only as an overview. Fact 2: You will need documentation to verify military service In order to verify military service, you will most likely need to provide discharge papers. If the family does not have this paperwork available at the time of the individual’s death, the funeral home can help to secure this necessary information. Fact 3: A veteran’s family needs to request an American flag A flag is provided free of charge, and can be used to drape over the casket or accompany the urn of the veteran who has passed away. The flag is typically presented to the next of kin. In order to obtain this flag, the family should complete an Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes form and provide a copy of the veteran’s discharge papers. Fact 4: Military funeral honors ceremonies need to be scheduled in advance Federal law states that every eligible veteran must receive a military funeral honors ceremony, including the folding and presentation of the United States flag and the playing of taps, should the family request such a service. Fact 5: Veterans’ caskets are not free of charge Neither the VA nor the branches of the armed services offer a free casket for a deceased veteran, except in the instance that death occurred while on active duty. Fact 6: A Presidential Memorial Certificate must be requested The Presidential Memorial Certificate is an engraved paper certificate that is signed by the current president. It honors the memory of a deceased veteran. To receive this prestigious certificate, the family of the veteran can apply at any VA regional office or by U.S. mail. Fact 7: For those veterans who are not buried in a VA national cemetery, monetary burial benefits are limited Those who are buried in a private cemetery may be eligible for a partial reimbursement to cover burial costs. This typically includes a $700 burial allowance and a $700 plot allowance. Fact 8: There are requirements that must be met in order to bury a person in a VA national cemetery Those who died while on active duty and veterans who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable are entitled to be buried in a VA national cemetery. Fact 9: Headstones for burial space in a private ceremony must be requested At no charge... read more

The Military Funeral Service

 A military funeral service is an important way to honor a person who has bravely defended and served his or her county. Military funeral traditions can actually be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome. While today’s ceremonies still incorporate some of these ideas and principles, current military funerals also have a decidedly American feel. They are full of respect and honor, and can also be a source of comfort for surviving family members and friends. United States law now mandates the rendering of military funeral honors for an eligible veteran at the request of the family. This funeral comes at no cost to that family, courtesy of the Department of Defense. This allows the brave men and women to receive the gratitude and honor that they deserve, and is an important way of allowing the family to mourn the loss of a loved one. At the service you will see a flag draped over the coffin. If you are having a chapel service, the flag will be pulled away from the head of the coffin and the coffin can be open for viewing (should you so request). There should not be a spray of flowers on top of the flag. If you wish to adorn the casket with flowers, request a crescent-shaped arrangement from the florist. This is to be placed upon the open lid of the coffin at the upper left corner. At the gravesite, a military detail (if available) will carry the coffin to the grave and prepare for honors. The honors will include details about the individual’s service (usually given by family clergy or a family friend), military rifle salute (if available), folding of the flag, presentation of the flag, and the playing of Taps. Military honors are provided to the family at no cost. Who is eligible for a military funeral? The following people are eligible to receive a military funeral: Military members who are currently on active duty Military retirees Members and former members of the Selected Reserve Eligible U.S. veterans Veterans who served at least one term of enlistment and separated under conditions that do not include dishonorable discharge If you have questions about how to apply to receive a military funeral for your loved one, contact us and we will be able to provide guidance on completing the process.... read more


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