Military Funeral Honors Frequently Asked Questions
Information on Military Honors, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, and answers to frequently asked questions are at the Military Funeral Honors web site:http://www.militaryfuneralhonors.osd.mil/ The web site contains up-to-date information and direct links to other related web sites.
1. What is Military Funeral Honors?
The basic Military Funeral Honors ceremony consists of the folding and presentation of the United States flag to the veteran s family and the playing of Taps. The ceremony is performed by a funeral honors detail consisting of at least two members of the Armed Forces. At least one of the funeral honors detail will be from the Armed Force in which the deceased veteran served. Taps may be played by a bugler or, if a bugler is not available, by using a quality recorded version. This basic ceremony will be provided to every eligible veteran, when requested. Depending upon the culture and traditions of the Military Service, additional personnel or other elements of funeral honors may be added.
In addition, local Veterans Service Organizations VSO), who have historically performed Military Funeral Honors, and other authorized organization may complement the Military Funeral Honors detail. For example, the VSOs might augment the ceremony by providing a firing party. This voluntary assistance would be in addition to the services provided by the Military Funeral Honors detail. If there is a VSO or authorized organization in the area that might have an interest in assisting in the Military Funeral Honors ceremony, and if desired by the family, the funeral director should notify the Military Service point of contact.
2. How do I establish veteran eligibility?
The preferred method is the DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. If the DD Form 214 is not available, any discharge document showing other than dishonorable service can be used. The DD 214 may be obtained by filling out a Standard Form 180 and sending it to:
National personnel Records Center (NPRC)
The standard Form
180 may be obtained from the National Records Center or via the Internet
3. Who is eligible for a burial flag
The VA establishes eligibility. Your funeral director will assist you in obtaining a flag. More information is available at: http://www.cem.va.gov/bflags.htm
4. What is a Presidential Memorial Certificate? Who is eligible to receive this certificate? How does the family obtain this certificate?
This is a parchment certificate with a calligraphic inscription expressing the nation s grateful recognition of an honorably discharged, deceased veteran s service in the Armed Forces. The veteran s name is inscribed and the certificate bears the signature of the President.
All veterans are eligible to receive this certificate. The family may request a Presidential Memorial Certificate either in person at any VA regional office or by U.S. mail. Requests cannot be sent via email. There is no form to fill out when requesting this certificate. If requesting by mail, a return address and a copy of the veterans s discharge documents must be enclosed. Send requests to:
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
5. How do I request a grave marker?
Your funeral director will assist you or if you have questions about grave markers, family members can write to the VA at:
Memorial Programs Service (403)
6. To whom can I write to express comments or concerns about the Military Funeral Honors program?