If you are an eligible veteran or family of one, we can contact the appropriate Military Service to arrange for funeral honors detail. These are provided by the Department of Defense at no cost to a family.
Who is eligible for a Military or Veteran’s Memorial Service?
- Members of the Armed Forces on active duty
- Military retirees
- Other U.S. veterans who served at least one term of enlistment and separated under conditions other than dishonorable
- Members and former members of the Selected Reserve
Who is not eligible for a Military or Veteran’s Memorial Service?
- Those discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions
- Other explicit circumstances
- Individuals sentenced to death or life imprisonment without parole for a federal or state capital offense
What are eligible recipients entitled to?
Upon the family’s request, Public Law 106-65 requires that every eligible Veteran who desires one receive a military funeral honors ceremony.
At no cost to the Veteran’s family, the Veterans Administration will provide:
- A gravesite, headstone or marker
- A Medallion for a privately purchased gravestone marker
- A Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC)
- A United States flag, to accompany casket or urn and to be folded and presented by the honor detail
- The playing of “Taps” by recording or buglers
- Perpetual care of the gravesite and will open and close the grave in a Veteran’s cemetery
- A military funeral honors detail as consisting of two or more uniformed military persons, with at least one being a member of the Veteran’s parent service of the armed forces.
Note: The Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) and the United States flag will be given to the next of kin or authorized service representative acting on their behalf.
Am I eligible for burial in a VA National Cemetery?
- Burial in a national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces and Veterans who have met minimum active duty service requirements and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Their spouse, widow or widower, minor children, and, under certain conditions, unmarried adult children with disabilities, may also be eligible for burial. Eligible spouses and children may be buried even if they predecease the Veteran. Members of the reserve components of the armed forces who die while on active duty or while performing training duty, or were eligible for retired pay, may also be eligible for burial.
- Gravesites in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries cannot be reserved in advance. However, families are encouraged to prepare in advance by discussing cemetery options and setting aside copies of any discharge documents.
- VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration pays a burial and plot allowance for those Veterans who are eligible by law. For information, please contact the nearest VA regional office at 1-800-827-1000.
- To establish eligibility for burial in a VA national cemetery, the family should provide: the Veteran’s discharge document; report of casualty; or the Veteran’s full name; military rank; branch of service; dates of entry and discharge; serial, Social Security, and/or VA claim numbers; date and place of birth; and date of death.
- If the discharge document is not available, a copy may be obtained from the National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records Office,1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138. This should be done prior to the time of need. Additional information about requesting military personnel records is available at the National Archives Website, www.archives.gov.
Source: United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
Questions or comments concerning the DOD military funeral honors program may be sent to the address listed below:
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
(Military Community and Family Policy)
4000 Defense Pentagon, Room 5A726
Washington, DC 20301-4000
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