Burial benefits available for veterans may include a burial flag, government headstone, marker or medallion, and a presidential memorial certificate, at no cost to the family. Cremated remains are buried or inurned in the same manner with the same honors.
The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) National Cemetery Administration maintains 135 national cemeteries in 40 states (and Puerto Rico), as well as 33 soldier's lots and monument sites.
1. Burial Benefits
Burial benefits available for veterans buried in a national or private cemetery may include a burial flag, government headstone, marker or medallion, and a presidential memorial certificate, at no cost to the family. Some veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. There are not any VA benefits available to spouses and dependents buried in a private cemetery.
2. Burial Flags
A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran who served honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces. It is furnished to honor the memory of a veteran’s military service to his or her country.
3. Who Is Eligible to Receive the Burial Flag?
Generally, the flag is given to the next-of-kin, as a keepsake, after its use during the funeral service. When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend making request for it.
4. How Can You Apply to Receive the Burial Flag to honor a veteran’s military service?
Call 925-935-3311 and ask your funeral director to help you obtain a flag.
5. Headstones, Markers and Medallions
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a Government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any deceased eligible veteran in any cemetery around the world, regardless of their date of death.
6. How can I order a headstone, marker or medallion for a deceased eligible veteran?
Call 925-935-3311 and ask your funeral director to help you obtain a headstone, marker or medallion.
7. Military Funeral Honors "Honoring Those Who Served"
Upon the family's request, Public Law 106-65 requires that every eligible veteran receive a military funeral honors ceremony, to include folding and presenting the United States burial flag and the playing of Taps. The law defines a military funeral honors detail as consisting of two or more uniformed military persons, with at least one being a member of the veteran's parent service of the armed forces.
8. How do you arrange Military Funeral Honors?
The DOD program calls for funeral home directors to request military funeral honors on behalf of the veterans' family. To arrange military funeral honors, simply call 925-935-3311 and ask your funeral director to help you arrange Military Funeral Honors.
9. Presidential Memorial Certificate
A Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) is an engraved paper certificate, signed by the current President, to honor the memory of honorably discharged deceased veterans. The program was initiated in March 1962 by President John F. Kennedy and has been continued by all subsequent Presidents. Statutory authority for the program is Section 112, Title 38, of the United States Code. Eligible recipients include the next of kin and loved ones of honorably discharged deceased veterans. More than one certificate may be provided.
10. How can you apply to receive a Presidential Memorial Certificate to honor the memory of honorably discharged deceased veteran?
Application for a Presidential Memorial Certificate for eligible recipients can be made by U.S. Mail. A copy of the veteran's discharge and death certificate must be included with the application. A print copy of the application form is available at the funeral home. To obtain a print copy of the application, simply call 925-935-3311 and ask your funeral director for a print copy of the Presidential Memorial Certificate application.
For any other inquiries regarding VA burial benefits, please call 925-935-3311 and ask to speak to your funeral director. It is our desire to assist you in every way possible.