Who is eligible?
The rendering of Military Funeral Honors for United States Armed Forces veterans is a tribute that our veterans and their families justly deserve. Section 578 of the national Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2000 requires the Department of Defense to provide, upon request, Military Funeral Honors (MFHs) for eligible veterans.
Any person (Active, National Guard, or Reserve) who has completed at least one enlistment or other obligated military service (officer) and received a discharge under conditions other than dishonorable, is eligible for military funeral honors
Other services may be provided upon request
Depending upon rank of the deceased veteran, the following honors may be rendered:
Basic Honors: A military detail may be provided to conduct a military flag folding ceremony, presentation of the flag to the next of kin, and the sounding of Taps for the deceased veteran.
Ceremonial Rifle Volley: A rifle detail may be provided to conduct a three - round rifle salute for the deceased veteran.
Military Pall Bearers: A six-soldier pall bearing detail may be provided for the family of the deceased veteran.
How do you apply?
Family members of the deceased veteran should notify the funeral director of their desire to have military funeral honors rendered at the interment of their loved one. One of our funeral directors will contact the appropriate military branch and make the necessary arrangements. Military funeral honors may not be furnished for any individual convicted of a capitol offense under federal or state law for which the person was sentenced to death or life without parole.
VA will pay a $300 plot allowance when the veteran is not buried in a cemetery that is under U.S. Government jurisdiction if the veteran is discharged from active duty because of disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty, if the veteran was in receipt of compensation or pension or would have been in receipt of compensation but for receipt of military retirement pay, or if the veteran died while hospitalized by VA.
VA provides an American flag to drape the casket of a veteran and to a person entitled to retired military pay. VA also will issue a flag on behalf of a service member who was missing in action and later presumed dead.
Burial in National Cemeteries VA Cemeteries
Burial benefits in a VA national cemetery include the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, and perpetual care. Many national cemeteries have columbaria for the inurnment of cremated remains or special gravesites for the burial of cremated remains. Headstones and markers and their placement are provided at the government's expense. An eligible veteran must have been discharged or separated from active duty under honorable or general conditions and have completed the required period of service. Persons entitled to retirement pay as a result of 20 years creditable service with a reserve component are eligible. A U.S. citizen who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in a war also may be eligible. Spouses and minor children of eligible veterans and of armed forces members also may be buried in a national cemetery.
Headstones and Markers
VA provides headstones and markers for the unmarked graves of veterans anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state veterans or military cemeteries.
Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, upright granite and upright marble types are available to mark the grave in a consistent with the place of burial. Niche markers also are available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains.
When burial is in a national, state veteran or military cemetery, the headstone or marker is ordered through the cemetery, which will place it on the grave. Information regarding style, inscription, shipping and placement can be obtained from the cemetery.
When burial occurs in a cemetery other than a national cemetery or a state veterans cemetery, the headstone or marker must be applied for from VA. It is shipped at government expense to the consignee designated on the application. VA, however, does not pay the cost of placing the headstone or marker on the grave.