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MILITARY FUNERAL HONORS

 

Military Funeral Honors demonstrates the Nation's deep gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country.

  • The Veterans Administration (VA) offers burial/memorial benefits to eligible active duty and veteran Armed Forces members. These benefits may apply to spouses and dependents as well as to Members of the Commissioned Officer Corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; certain civilian or contractual groups who have been given Active Duty Service Determinations; and National Guard members.
  • Go to: dmdc.osd.mil for information on Military Funeral Honors and helpful links to websites related to other military and veterans' issues. This website is a great resource for funeral directors as they assist families in arranging Military Funeral Honors. For assistance, call the VA at 1-800-827-1000.
  • Military Funeral Honor Requests - Families of eligible veterans should request Funeral Honors through their funeral director at least 48 hours in advance. The funeral director will contact the appropriate Military Service to arrange for the Funeral Honors detail.
  • Families in possession of their veteran loved ones' body/remains, who wish to have a burial ceremony, may contact the appropriate Military Funeral Honors coordinator directly. Go to: Funeral Directors' Information page at dmdc.osd.mil and indicate the Service of the deceased and the state where burial will take place. Call the number provided. The Service Funeral Honors personnel will assist in arranging for Funeral Honors detail.
  • Eligibility - The preferred method is to provide the member's DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. If the DD Form 214 is not available, any discharge document showing honorable service can be used.
  • To obtain a copy of the DD Form 214, complete an SF 180 and send it to:

National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)
9700 Page Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63132

  • Military Funeral Honors Benefits – Benefits may include Military Funeral Honors (see below) in a private cemetery; free burial in a national cemetery for eligible veteran, spouse and children; Government headstone or grave marker; a U.S. flag to drape the casket or to accompany the urn; and a Presidential Memorial Certificate. (Note: No VA benefits available to spouses and children buried in a private cemetery).
  • Military Funeral Honor Ceremony – The following resources are available to you:
    • Core Elements - By law, military units are required to provide a two-person uniformed detail to present the following during the Funeral Honors ceremony:
      • Playing of Taps
      • Folding Flag
      • Flag presentation (The veteran's Service rep will present the flag)
    • Additional Elements - Contingent upon resources and eligibility, military units provide:
      • Rifle detail
      • Color guard
      • Pallbearers
      • Caisson
      • Military flyover
    • Burial Flag
      • You must apply to obtain a burial flag.
      • Complete VA Form 27-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes. Go to: http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-27-2008-ARE.pdf.
      • You can submit your application to any VA regional office or U.S. Post Office. The funeral director can help you obtain the flag.
      • Burial flags are provided at no cost.
      • After the burial, the flag will be presented to the veteran's next of kin. If no claim is made for the flag by the next of kin, it may be given, upon request, to a close friend or associate of the deceased veteran. For additional info, go to: VA.gov