The men and women who serve our country in the armed forces sacrifice their time and put their safety at risk to protect our nation. As a result, these individuals are often honored for their service after they pass away.
Planning a funeral for a veteran requires that you make some special considerations. Understanding the burial benefits that are available to veterans will help you better take the appropriate actions to plan a military funeral for your veteran in the future.
Start by contacting your local veterans affairs office.
There are many elements of a military funeral that require special authorization. In order to obtain this authorization, it can be helpful to work with your local veterans affairs office.
A representative from the office will be able to help make the necessary arrangements to secure a memorial flag that can be draped over your veteran's coffin and then presented to a family member to honor the veteran's memory.
The veterans affair office will also arrange to have uniformed military personnel in attendance at the funeral, as well as a bugler to play Taps for your loved one.
Consider where your loved one will be buried.
Individuals who served the nation honorably in the armed forces are eligible for burial in special national cemeteries that are reserved for military personnel only. If your loved one wants to be buried in one of these cemeteries, you will need to make arrangements to secure a burial plot.
Be prepared to provide evidence of your loved one's military service, and consider asking for an adjoining plot if you are a spouse. National cemeteries do allow for the burial of spouses next to their veterans.
Commemorate your veteran's service with a headstone.
Veterans are often proud to have been of service to their country. If your loved one was a proud soldier, then commemorating his or her service with a proper headstone is important. The Veterans Affairs Administration will furnish a headstone detailing your loved one's service at no cost.
These headstones are typically flat grave markers made from copper, granite, or marble, depending on the rules of the cemetery in which your loved one will be buried. You will need to fill out a request form to secure one of these free headstones.
Arranging a military funeral can be challenging. By partnering with your local veterans' affairs office and working with a funeral home experienced in military funerals, you will be able to honor your deceased veteran for his or her service.