"Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices."
~ President Harry S Truman
The rendering of Military Funeral Honors is a way to show the nation's deep gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country. This ceremonial paying of respect is the final demonstration a grateful nation can provide to the veteran's family.
Upon a family's request, an eligible veteran will receive military funeral honors including folding and presenting of the United States burial flag. Full military burial honors are provided only to those on active duty or retired military personnel and at the sole discretion of the military.
What can the family of an eligible veteran expect?
The core elements of the funeral honors ceremony, which will be conducted, are:
•Flag folding •Flag presentation •Playing of Taps
What additional Funeral Honors elements could be provided if personnel and resources are available?
By law, military units are required to provide, at a minimum, a two-person uniformed detail to present the core elements of the Funeral Honors ceremony. Additional elements that could be provided as part of the Funeral Honors ceremony include:
•Rifle detail •Color guard •Pallbearers •Caisson •Military flyover
Burial flags are provided at no cost. After the burial, the flag will be presented to the veteran's next of kin. If no claim is made for the flag by the next of kin, it may be given, upon request, to a close friend or associate of the deceased veteran.
Beyond medical records, beyond medals and beyond pay stubs, the most important document a veteran can have is a DD 214. The DD 214, or the Department of Defense Form 214, shows how long a military veteran served, what type of discharge he/she had, and what benefits he/she is entitled to. It isn't a large complicated form but it possesses key information needed to obtain death benefits from the Veterans Administration.
If you are planning ahead you can request a copy of a DD214 from the National Archives using the link below.
If your request is urgent (e.g. upcoming funeral) and there is a deadline associated with your request, please provide this information in the "Purpose" section of the SF-180 and fax it to Customer Service at (314) 801-0764 and then contact customer service at (314) 801-0800 if you have questions or require same day service. The staff of FRENCH Funerals – Cremations would also be glad to assist you.
How Do I Request Military Awards and Decorations?
For the Veteran: in general, the military services will work replacement medal requests for the veteran at no cost. This includes family members with the signed authorization of the veteran.
For the Next-of-Kin: the process (and cost) for replacement medals requests differs among the service branches and is dependent upon who is requesting the medal, particularly if the request involves an archival record.
Veterans Headstone & Medallion
If burial has been selected, usually any ceremonies we design revolve around the casket being present. You can choose to follow tradition, with a viewing, and then a funeral service in a church or memorial chapel. Or you could decide to have a more relaxed service, even in your family home.
Let’s just say this: there is no ‘hard and fast’ formula for honoring your loved one when burial has been selected. We’re here to listen to your concerns, share our experience, and help you to arrive at the perfect way to gather together before your loved one's interment in the cemetery of your choice.
VA Burial Benefits
Cremation only refers to the manner in which you or your loved one has chosen to deal with the physical remains. We want you to know that this decision doesn’t limit the ways you can honor your loved one's life. We heartily suggest that you have a funeral or memorial service, because your need for such a healing experience is not lessened by the decision to be cremated. Again, the options are limited only by your imagination. We hope that you will contact us to discuss the wide variety of celebratory options open to you.