FAQs About Military Funeral Honors


If your loved one served in a branch of the military, he or she could be eligible for military funeral honors. Many aspects of the service will be handled by the Department of Defense if the deceased is eligible. To help ensure that your loved one receives the honors he or she deserves, here is what you need to know. 

Who Is Eligible?

Serving in a branch of the military does not automatically make someone eligible for military honors. In order to be eligible, at the time of death, the deceased has to be on active duty or in the Reserves. As a veteran, your loved one is eligible if he or she were honorably discharged. 

To prove eligibility, you must present the Department of Defense Form 214. It is provided at the time of discharge. If you do not have the form, you can request a copy from the National Archives. 

What Do You Need to Do?

In most instances, a military funeral honor can be arranged by simply alerting the funeral director of the request. If you are opting for a private cemetery burial, you can request a reimbursement for the funeral expenses. The form to request reimbursement is available through the Veterans Affairs. You will need to provide copies of the funeral-related bills, death certificate, and the DD Form 214.

However, if you are requesting burial in Arlington National Cemetery or any of the state veterans cemeteries, the government will compensate the funeral home directly for the memorial or service.  You only need to provide DD Form 214.

A Presidential Memorial Certificate can be requested through the Veterans Affairs nearest you. A copy of the death certificate is required. If your loved one is buried in a state or national veterans cemetery, the certificate is usually ordered on your behalf by the cemetery's staff. 

What About the Headstone?

Veterans are entitled to have a special marker and headstone placed on their graves. If your loved one is buried in a private cemetery, a request to Veterans Affairs must be submitted. 

If the service is at a state or national veterans cemetery, the officials overseeing the cemetery will order the headstone or marker. The family has the right to select the inscription though.

The director at a local funeral home can provide you with additional details to ensure that your loved one receives the honors he or she deserves. 

For a funeral home that deals with veteran memorial services, contact a facility such as Hartsell Funeral Home.


29 January 2016

Planning Your Loved One’s Funeral

A couple of weeks ago, one of my dear family friend’s suffered the loss of her husband. After a brief illness, he passed away at a local hospital. Immediately after his passing, she started planning the funeral arrangements. She didn’t want his funeral to be a sad occasion. Instead, she wanted the service to celebrate his amazing life. She worked tirelessly with the professional staff at a local funeral home in order to plan the order and type of service for the funeral. On this blog, you will discover tips for planning a funeral service that will celebrate the life of your deceased loved one.