Military funeral honors are free of charge and mandated by law for eligible veterans. Eligibility will be verified by the veteran’s DD-214, or discharge papers. Eligible members include:
- Military members on active duty or in the Selected Reserve.
- Former military members who served on active duty and departed under honorable conditions.
- Former military members who completed at least one term of enlistment or period of initial obligated service in the Selected Reserve and departed under honorable conditions.
- Former military members discharged from the Selected Reserve due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
At minimum, eligible veterans are entitled to the folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps by a bugler or recording. These honors are performed by an honor guard detail that consists of at least two members of the Armed Forces. One member must be a representative from the branch in which the veteran served, and this member will be the individual who presents the flag.
Honors also can include:
- A three-volley rifle salute to represent duty, honor, and country (if local association is available)
- The US Flag draped over the casket and given to the next of kin following services
- The Playing of Taps by a lone bugler or audio recording
- A final salute at the gravesite
Full honor military funerals include traditional honors in addition to the following for retired and active service members:
- A Military Chaplain
- Depending on their rank, a 21 Gun Salute
- Military Pallbearers
In addition to coordinating honors related to the service itself, we can help you communicate with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to arrange for:
- A Presidential Memorial Certificate: This is a certificate expressing the nation's recognition of the veteran's service. The veteran's name is inscribed, and the certificate bears the signature of the President.
- Headstones or markers: The VA provides headstones and markers for the graves of veterans anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state, or military cemeteries.
- Memorial plots: If an eligible veteran's remains are not available for burial, the VA will provide a plot and headstone or marker in a national cemetery for memorialization. If you wish to place the memorial in a cemetery other than a national cemetery, the VA will provide the headstone or marker but not the plot itself.
- Burial in a VA national cemetery: This includes the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, a grave box, and perpetual care.
- Reimbursement of burial expenses: For information on eligibility and the different levels of potential reimbursement, please review their Guide to VA Burial Allowances.
Please visit the following links for detailed information about the options available for honoring service members and other aspects of military funerals:
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Click on Veteran Services and look underneath the Burials & Memorials heading.
- Veterans' Funeral and Burial Benefits. Helpful information from the Funeral Consumers Alliance.