Military funeral honors are free of charge and mandated by law for eligible veterans. Eligibility will be verified by the veteran’s DD-214, or discharge papers. Eligible members include:
- Military members on active duty or in the Selected Reserve.
- Former military members who served on active duty and departed under honorable conditions.
- Former military members who completed at least one term of enlistment or period of initial obligated service in the Selected Reserve and departed under honorable conditions.
- Former military members discharged from the Selected Reserve due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
At minimum, eligible veterans are entitled to the folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps by a bugler or recording. These honors are performed by an honor guard detail that consists of at least two members of the Armed Forces. One member must be a representative from the branch in which the veteran served, and this member will be the individual who presents the flag.
Honors also can include:
- A three-volley rifle salute to represent duty, honor, and country
- The U.S. flag draped over the casket
- A final salute at the gravesite
In addition to coordinating honors related to the service itself, we can help you communicate with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to arrange for:
- A Presidential Memorial Certificate: This is a certificate expressing the nation's recognition of the veteran's service. The veteran's name is inscribed, and the certificate bears the signature of the President.
- Headstones or markers: The VA provides headstones and markers for the graves of veterans anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state, or military cemeteries.
- Memorial plots: If an eligible veteran's remains are not available for burial, the VA will provide a plot and headstone or marker in a national cemetery for memorialization. If you wish to place the memorial in a cemetery other than a national cemetery, the VA will provide the headstone or marker but not the plot itself.
- Burial in a VA national cemetery: This includes the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, a grave box, and perpetual care.
- Reimbursement of burial expenses: For information on eligibility and the different levels of potential reimbursement, please review their Guide to VA Burial Allowances.
We offer a variety of headstones and markers to honor our veterans. All headstones and markers are supplied free of charge by the government. However there is a fee for the installation which will be provided by Abbiati Monuments, our local monument dealer.
Standard Government Headstones and Markers
Flat Bronze Marker
This grave marker is 24 inches long, 12 inches wide, with ¾ inch rise. Weight is approximately 18 pounds. Anchor bolts, nuts and washers for fastening to a base are furnished with the marker. The base is not furnished by the Government and must be purchased and installed by your monument dealer.
Flat Light Gray Granite or Marble Marker
This grave marker is 24 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 4 inches thick. Weight is approximately 130 pounds. Variations may occur in the stone color and marble may contain light to moderate veining.
Flat Bronze Niche
This niche marker is 8-1/2 inches long, 5-1/2 inches wide, with 7/16 inch rise. Weight is approximately 3 pounds; mounting bolts and washers are furnished with the marker. For use if entombment is in a columbarium or mausoleum, or to supplement a private monument, for deaths occurring on or after November 1, 1990.
Upright Headstone, white marble or light gray granite
This headstone is 42 inches long, 13 inches wide and 4 inches thick. Weight is approximately 230 pounds. Variations may occur in stone color, and the marble may contain light to moderate veining.
Mandatory items of inscription at Government expense are: Legal Name, Branch of Service, Year of Birth, and Year of Death. Branches of Service are: U.S. Army (USA), U.S. Navy (USN), U.S. Air Force (USAF), U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), U.S. Coast Guard ((USCG), and by exception, U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF), and other parent organizations authorized for certain periods of time and special units such as Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASP), U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Different examples of inscription formats are illustrated above. More than one branch of service is permitted, subject to space availability.
Optional items may be included at Government expense if desired. Optional items include month and day of birth, month and day of death, highest rank attained, awards, war service, and emblem of belief. War service includes active duty service during a recognized period of war and the individual does not have to serve in the actual place of war, i.e. Vietnam may be inscribed if the veteran served during the Vietnam War period, even though the individual never served in Vietnam itself. Supporting documentation must be included with the application if you wish to include the highest rank and /or awards.
Reserved space for future inscriptions at private expense, such as spousal or dependent data, is allowed if requested and if space is available. Only two lines of space may be reserved on flat markers due to space limitations. Reserved space is unnecessary on upright marble or granite headstones as the reverse side is available for future inscriptions.
Memorial Headstones & Markers (Remains are not buried): The words “In Memory Of” are mandatory and precede the authorized inscription data. The words “In Memory Of” are not inscribed when remains are buried.
Additional items may be inscribed at Government expense if they are requested on the initial application and space is available. Examples of acceptable items include terms of endearment, nicknames (in expressions such as “Our Beloved Poppy”), military or civilian credentials or accomplishments such as Doctor, Reverend, etc., and special unit designations such as Women’s Army Corps, Army Air Corps, Army Nurse Corps or Seabees. All requests for additional inscription items are subject to VA approval. No graphics, emblems or pictures are permitted except VA approved emblems of belief, the Medal of Honor, and the Southern Cross of Honor for Civil War Confederate Veterans.
Please visit the following links for detailed information about the options available for honoring service members and other aspects of military funerals:
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Click on Veteran Services and look underneath the Burials & Memorials heading.
- Veterans' Funeral and Burial Benefits. Helpful information from the Funeral Consumers Alliance.