Burial in National Cemeteries
benefits in a VA national cemetery include the gravesite,
a headstone or marker, opening and closing of the grave, and
perpetual care. Many national cemeteries have columbaria or
gravesites for cremated remains.
and service members are eligible for burial in a VA national
cemetery, An eligible veteran must have been discharged or
separated from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable
and have completed the required period of service, Persons
entitled to retired 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 A 1997 law
bars persons convicted of federal or state capital crimes
from being buried or memorialized in one of the VA national
cemeteries or in Arlington National Cemetery.
and minor children of eligible veterans and of service members
also may be buried in a national cemetery. Adult children
incapable of self-support due to physical or mental disability
are eligible for burial. If a surviving spouse of an eligible
veteran marries a nonveteran, and remarriage was terminated
by divorce or death of the nonveteran, the spouse is eligible
for burial in a national cemetery.
Gravesites in national cemeteries cannot be reserved. Funeral directors
or others making burial arrangements must apply at the time
of death, Reservations made under previous programs are honored.
Cemeteries do not provide military honors but may make referrals
to military units or volunteer groups. The National Cemetery
Administration normally does not conduct burials on weekends,
A weekend caller, however, will be directed to one of three
VA cemetery offices that remain open during weekends to schedule
burials at the cemetery of the caller's choice during the
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery is under the jurisdiction of the Army.
Eligibility for burials is more limited than at other national
cemeteries. For information on Arlington burials, write to
Superintendent, ArlingtonNational Cemetery, Arlington, VA
22211 or call 703-695-3250.
Interior Department, State
two active national cemeteries administered by the Department
of the Interior are AndersonvilleNational Cemetery in Georgia
and Andrew Johnson National Cemetery in Tennessee, Eligibility
for burial is similar to VA cemetery eligibility. Cemeteries
for veterans also are operated by many states. For burials
in these cemeteries, contact the cemetery or the applicable
Headstones and Markers
provides headstones and markers for the unmarked graves of
veterans anywhere in the world and of eligible dependents
of veterans buried in national, state veteran or military
post cemeteries, Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, upright
granite and upright marble types are available to mark the
grave in a style consistent with the cemetery, Niche markers
also are available for identifying cremated remains in columbaria.
Headstones and markers are inscribed with the name of the
deceased, branch of service, and the years of birth and death.
Optional items that may be inscribed are military grade, rank
or rate; war service such as "World War 11"; months and days
of birth and death; an emblem reflecting one's religion, and
text indicating valor awards. When burial is in a national,
state veteran or military post cemetery, the headstone or
marker is offered through the cemetery, which will place it
on the grave, Information on style, inscription and shipping
can be obtained from the cemetery, When burial occurs in a
cemetery other than a national, military post or state veterans'
cemetery, the headstone or marker must be applied for from
VA. It is shipped at government expense. VA, however, does
not pay the cost of placing the headstone or marker To apply,
complete VA Form 40-1330 and forward it to Director, Memorial
Programs Service (403A), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810
Vermont Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20420. Forms and assistance
are available at VA regional offices, For information regarding
the status of an application, write to the Director, Memorial
Programs Service (4MA), or call 1-800-697-6947, VA cannot
issue a headstone or marker for a spouse or child buried in
a private cemetery- Twenty-year reservists generally are eligible
for a headstone or grave marker.
Headstones or Markers
for Memorial Plots
memorialize an eligible veteran whose remains are not available
for burial, VA will provide a memorial headstone or marker,
The headstone or marker is the same as that used to identify
a grave except that the phrase "In Memory of" precedes the
inscription. The headstone or marker is available to memorialize
eligible veterans or deceased service members whose remains
were not recovered or identified, were buried at sea, donated
to science, or cremated and scattered. The memorial marker
also may be provided for placement in a cemetery other than
a national cemetery, In such cases, VA supplies the marker
and pays the cost of shipping, but does not pay for the plot
or the placement of the marker.
Presidential Memorial Certificates express the nation's recognition
of veterans' service. Certificates bearing the signature of
the President are issued honoring deceased veterans with honorable
discharges. Eligible recipients include next of kin and other
loved ones. The award of a certificate to one eligible recipient
does not preclude certificates to other eligible recipients-
The veteran may have died at any time in the past. Requests
for a certificate must be accompanied by a copy of a document
such as a discharge to establish honorable service. VA regional
offices can assist in applying for certificates.
provides an American flag to drape the casket of a veteran
or a reservist entitled to retired military pay. After the
funeral service, the flag may be given to the next of kin
or a close associate. Flags are issued at VA regional offices
and national cemeteries, and post offices.
Reimbursement of Burial
will pay a burial allowance up to $1,500 if the veteran's
death is service-connected. In some instances, VA also will
pay the cost of transporting the remains of a service disabled
veteran to the national cemetery nearest the home of the deceased
that has available gravesites. In such cases, the person who
bore the veteran's burial expenses may claim reimbursement
from VA. VA will pay a $300 burial and funeral expense allowance
for veterans who, at time of death, were entitled to receive
pension or compensation or would have been entitled to compensation
but for receipt of military retirement pay. Eligibility also
may be established when death occurs in a VA facility, a nursing
home under VA contract or a state nursing home. Additional
costs of transportation of the remains may be paid, There
is no time limit for filing reimbursement claims of service-connected
deaths. In other deaths, claims must be filed within two years
after permanent burial or cremation. VA will pay a $160 plot
allowance when a veteran is not buried in a cemetery that
is under US. government jurisdiction under the following circumstances:
the veteran was discharged from active duty because of disability
incurred or aggravated in the line of duty-, the veteran was
in receipt of compensation or pension or would have been except
for receiving military retired pay; or the veteran died in
a VA facility. The $150 plot allowance may be paid to the
state if a veteran is buried without charge for the cost of
a plot or interment in a state-owned cemetery reserved solely
for veteran burials- Burial expenses paid by the deceased's
employer or a state agency will not be reimbursed, For information
on monetary benefits, call 1-800-827-1000.
Contacting the Veteran
Depending on their circumstances, military veterans and their dependents
are entitled to a variety of benefits beyond these burial
benefits. Contact should be made to the Veterans Affairs Office
to determine what benefits can be claimed and then gather
the information required.
National Toll-free Number for the Veterans Affairs Office
What is new about Military
Funeral Honors have always been provided whenever possible.
However, the low now mandates the rendering of Military Funeral
Honors for an eligible veteran if requested by the family.
As provided by low, an honor guard detail for the burial of
on eligible veteran shall consist of not less than two members
of the Armed Forces. One member of the detail shall be a representative
of the parent Service of the deceased veteran. The honor detail
will, at a minimum, perform a ceremony that includes the folding
and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and
the playing of Tops, Tops will be played by a bugler, if available,
at by electronic recording. Today, there are so few buglers
available that the Military Services often cannot provide
Who is eligible for Military
Military members on active duty or in the Selected Reserve
Former military members who served on active duty and departed
under conditions other than dishonorable.
Former military members who completed at least one term of enlistment
or period of initial obligated service in the Selected
Reserve and departed under conditions other than dishonorable
Former military members discharged from the Selected Reserve due
to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of
clarification on eligibility is available in United States
Who is not eligible for
Military Funeral Honors?
person separated from the Armed Forces under dishonorable
conditions or whose character of service results in a
bar to veteran's benefits.
person who was ordered to report to an induction station,
but was not actually inducted into military service.
person discharged from the Selected Reserve prior to completing
vile term of enlistment or period of initial obligated
service for reasons other than a disability incurred or
aggravated in the line of duty
person convicted of a Federal or State capital crime sentenced
to death or life imprisonment or in flight to avoid prosecution.
How much does a Military
Funeral Honors detail cost?
Funeral Honors are provided by the Department of Defense at
no cost to the family.
What can the family of
an eligible veteran expect?
rare elements of the funeral honors ceremony, which will be
conducted on request, include;
- Playing of Tops
veteran's parent Service representative will present the flag.
Who is eligible for a
Veterans Administration establishes eligibility. Funeral directors
can assist families in obtaining a flag, More information
is available at:
How does a family request
a grave marker?
questions about grave markers, family members can write to
the VA at:
Programs Service (403)
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Ave , NW
Washington, DC 2042Q
information available at:
How much notice should
be provided for the honors request?
Services requests at least 48 hours in order to organize the
funeral honors detail.
To whom can the family
write to express comments or concerns about the Military Funeral
may write to,
9504 IM-35 North, Suite 320
Son Antonio, TX 78233-6635