Best Funeral Options for Military Veterans

Did you know that eligible military veterans can receive free of charge military funeral honors by law?

Depending on the eligibility of military veterans, the funeral services can be heavily discounted or  free of charge, which is significant for military families developing a funeral payment plan. Among the many military benefits provided for funeral services, the VA also offers cash allowances to families to help defray funeral financing.

Military Funeral Honors Eligibility

In order to be eligible for military funeral services, individuals must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Military members on active duty/selected reserve
  • Military members who served on active duty and were discharged, except for dishonorable discharge
  • Military members who completed at least one term of enlistment or period of service in the Selected Reserve, except for dishonorable discharge
  • Military members discharged from the Selected Reserve due to disability that took place or was aggravated in the line of duty

Funeral Options for Military Veterans

If you’re planning a funeral for a member of the military, here are some options for putting together a thoughtful tribute to the military member.

Burial Flag

This is no cost to a family member, next of kin, or friend, and the flag can be draped over a casket or placed under an urn. Generally, a family member keeps it as a keepsake. To secure a burial flag, fill out this application here.

Burial at Arlington or VA cemeteries

Your military family member might be eligible for burial at Arlington Cemetery or at one of 135 national cemeteries in 40 states (and Puerto Rico). They might also be eligible for inurnment. It’s important to ask your military member where they would like to be buried or have their remains scattered.

Burial at Sea

This funeral tradition on a military vessel is limited to active-duty members who were honorably discharged, especially appropriate for Navy men and women. However, family members are not allowed to be on the vessel during the ceremony, and the commanding officer of the ship sends the family a letter, photos, and a chart showing where the ceremony was performed.

Burial at State Veterans’ Cemeteries

If your military member would like to be buried in a specific state veterans’ cemetery, there are some residence requirements. Visit the State Veterans’ Cemetery directory here.

Headstones and Markers

The Department of Veteran Affairs will provide headstones/markers for military members upon request at no charge. Those who are allowed to apply for the headstone include the military member’s next of kin, authorized representative of the deceased, or authorized representative of next-of-kin.

Presidential Memorial Certificate

This certificate thanks the military member for their service, with the veteran’s name and a signature from the President of the United States.

When it comes to military funeral services, Funeral Help is here to help: we finance funeral loans for families planning the perfect memorial to honor their military member.

For more information on how Funeral Help can help provide you with financing options, please visit our financing overview or check your rate to apply for a loan.

2 Comments

  1. My uncle died recently and he’s a war veteran, so, aunt wants to give him a funeral he deserves. It was mentioned here that my aunt can have the burial flag as a keepsake. Moreover, it’s best to talk to professionals about veteran funeral services.

  2. Hazel Owens says:

    That’s interesting that veterans can receive funeral services that are either heavily discounted to free of charge as long as they were on active duty and discharged correctly. My grandpa is getting pretty old and he found in the Vietnam War so I wanted to see what type of services he could receive. I’ll have to tell him about this so he can instruct us on any wishes he has for his service and that way he won’t have to worry about leaving money for a funeral service, or at least not a lot since he served honorably.

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