When planning funerals at funeral homes in West Elmira, NY, if the deceased was an honorably-discharged military veteran, they are eligible for funeral benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The funeral home will coordinate with the VA for all arrangements. A copy of the military veteran’s separation papers – Form DD-214 – should be provided to the funeral director (do not give anybody the original form).
One of the military veteran benefits available is free burial in any national cemetery where space is available. This includes a gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, a gravestone or grave marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate. National cemeteries are maintained by the United States government, so perpetual care of the gravesite is included in this burial benefit.
Spouses and dependents are also eligible for free burial with military veterans in a national cemetery. The names and dates of birth and death of the spouses and dependents will be added to the veterans’ headstones. If a spouse or dependent of an eligible military veteran dies before the veteran, they are still eligible for burial at no charge.
Gravesites in a national cemetery cannot be reserved ahead of time, but the VA will, upon request, determine eligibility for burial in a VA cemetery before the need arises.
For eligible military veterans who want to be buried in a private cemetery, free burial benefits include a gravestone or grave marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate. Some military veterans may also be eligible for burial allowances, but the family will have to apply for that on their own. Spouses and dependents of military veterans are not eligible for any burial benefits in a private cemetery.
If an eligible military veteran is buried in an unmarked grave in any cemetery around the globe, the VA, upon request, will provide a gravestone at no cost to the family, regardless of the date of the veteran’s death. For graves of eligible military veterans who died on or after November 1, 1990 that have a privately-purchased gravestone, the VA will provide a government gravestone as well. The VA will provide a government medallion for the privately-purchased gravestones of eligible military veterans who died on or after April 6, 1917.
Grave markers are flat and can be bronze, marble, or granite. Gravestones are upright and can be granite or marble. If the military veteran has been cremated and is stored in a columbarium, bronze niche markers can be provided for the niche where the remains are stored.
When burial is at a national cemetery, state veteran’s cemetery, or military base or post cemetery, the cemetery will order the gravestone or grave marker with the information provided by the family to the funeral home. Spouses and dependents of eligible military veterans are provided with a gravestone or grave marker only if they are buried at a national cemetery, a state veteran’s cemetery, or a military post or base cemetery.
While there is no cost for a government gravestone or grave marker to eligible military veterans who are buried in private cemeteries, the family is responsible for having it placed on the grave.
To get more information about military funeral benefits at funeral homes in West Elmira, NY, our sympathetic and experienced staff at Roberts Funeral Home is available to help. You can come to our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.