Veteran's Funeral Honors: Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are 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. Additionally, we can now request the playing of Taps and/or a rifle salute. 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 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.
2. How do I establish veteran eligibility?
The preferred method is the Form DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. If the DD-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 request Form 180 may be obtained here. Also, please let one of the directors at Collins know if you cannot find the discharge. In some cases we are able to track down records of service for you.
3. Who is eligible for a burial flag?
The VA establishes eligibility, but generally it is the same as for the honors they will require proof however, usually in the form of a copy of the DD-214. We will assist you in obtaining a flag. More information is available at: http://www.cem.va.gov/bbene/bflags.asp
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 at Collins will assist you with any questions and in filing for veteran's grave markers, we can coordinate its placement with the cemetery as well. The stone request form we use can be viewed here. Family members can also write to the VA directly at:
Memorial Programs Service (403)
6. To whom can I write to express comments or concerns about the Military Funeral Honors program?
You may write to:
Additional information on Military Honors, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, and answers to frequently asked questions are available 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.