Updated: Jan 15
This post has been written by our sponsor, Indiana Funeral Care.
Eligible veterans can receive military funeral honors free of charge. Their eligibility will be determined by their DD-214 or discharge papers.
The following qualify for military funeral honors:
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.
How They Are Honored
Depending on your loved one’s eligibility, they can receive a variety of veteran burial benefits and veteran death benefits. At a military funeral of an eligible veteran, they 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. An honor guard detail that includes at least two members of the Armed Forces performs these specific honors. One of the members needs to be a representative from the military branch the veteran served in. This will be the person who presents the flag at the service.
Additional honors at a military funeral include:
A three-volley rifle salute to represent duty, honor, and country
The U.S. flag draped over the casket
A final salute at the gravesite
Veteran Death Benefits
Along with coordinating veteran funeral services and the military funeral honors that come along with them, we can also help you contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to arrange for:
A Presidential Memorial Certificate: This certificate expresses our country’s recognition of the veteran's service. The veteran's name is inscribed on the certificate, and it bears the President’s signature.
Headstones or markers: Veterans and their eligible dependents may qualify for headstones or markers provided by the VA.
Memorial plots: Sometimes the veteran’s remains are not available for burial. In these cases, the VA can provide a plot and a headstone or marker in a national cemetery. If you want to memorialize the veteran in a different cemetery, the VA will provide the headstone or marker but not the plot.
Burial in a VA national cemetery: This includes the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, a grave box, and perpetual care.
Veteran Burial Benefits: Some families may receive a reimbursement of burial expenses. To see if you qualify, and to learn more about the different levels of potential reimbursement, please review the Guide to VA Burial Allowances.
Indiana Funeral Care is here to assist your family in planning a military funeral. However, we know that fully understanding all the veteran burial benefits and veteran death benefits can be a little overwhelming at first. To help you get started, we have provided some helpful resources below:
VA Burial Benefits and Memorial Items
Veterans' Funeral and Burial Benefits