When a United States veteran dies, they are eligible for various benefits for their burial and services. These benefits will be arranged for by the funeral home and are provided whether the veteran is buried in a National Cemetery or not. Below we will touch on some of the benefits all veterans are allowed following their death.
Military Funeral Honors
All honorably discharged veterans are eligible for military funeral honors, provided by their specific branch active-duty members. These honors include the playing of Taps, gun salute and folding and presentation of the United States flag. Military funeral honors can be arranged to take place at the church, funeral home, or cemetery depending on the type of service.
United States Burial Flag
Every veteran, whether they are requesting military honors or not, has the right to receive a brand-new United States flag for their family. This flag will be presented to the next-of-kin after military honors are conducted or by the funeral director if active military is not present.
Burial in a National Cemetery
Veteran’s who meet the eligibility requirements may be buried in any of the over 100 National Cemeteries that still have available space. This includes the burial space or wall niche, opening and closing of the grave, a standard government vault and perpetual care at no cost to the deceased’s family.
Monument or Marker
If interred in a National Cemetery, a headstone will be provided free of charge for the veteran. This will be inscribed with the veteran’s name, rank, branch, conflict and dates of birth and death. Some cemeteries will also allow for an additional inscription, the length of which depends on where the veteran is interred. If a spouse or eligible dependent child is buried with the veteran, their name and dates of birth and death will be inscribed on the back side of the headstone.
If a veteran is not buried in a national cemetery, they are allowed a government marker, typically in bronze or granite, that can be placed on their grave. Like the headstone, this will be inscribed with the veteran’s name, rank, branch, conflict and dates of birth and death.
Presidential Memorial Certificate
The Presidential Memorial Certificate is an engraved certificate, bearing the veteran’s name and the signature of the seated president. This certificate expresses the nation’s recognition of the veteran’s service.
As you can see, veteran’s are eligible for many different accolades in their death, each to show respect and honor for their service. If you’d like to learn more, you can visit us at our Veteran’s Services Page for more information.