Those who have served our country in the armed forces deserve to be recognized for their service throughout their life and particularly at the close of it. The government, in fact, provides certain benefits to veterans and their families at the time of death. These benefits, however, do not come about automatically. Families need to be aware of what benefits are available and how to apply for them. At Fares J. Radel, we can help.
There are three general areas to be aware of.
1. Traditions Involved in Final Services for a Veteran
The Department of Defense provides for certain traditions to be maintained at the final services for veterans. These services are made available at no cost to the families and include:
- Presentation of a folded the flag. At the request of a family made through the funeral director, a contingent of at least two military representatives will attend final services to fold and present an American flag to the next of kin. At least one member will be from the branch of the service in which the deceased served.
- Playing of Taps. Again, at the request of the family, a moving rendition of taps will be played at final services for a veteran. Because of the lack of actual bugle players, the tribute may include a recorded version played from a device in a bugle, performed by a member of the military.
- Headstone, marker or medallion. Veterans may be eligible for a no-cost headstone, marker or medallion. While there may be no cost for the marker, there may be a cost associated with its placement if done at a private cemetery.
2. Death Benefits for Veterans
Generally speaking, any member of the armed forces who dies while on active duty or any veteran who served and was discharged under any circumstances other than dishonorable is entitled to a burial at a VA national cemetery or state veterans cemetery. Surviving spouses and dependent children may also be eligible for this benefit under certain circumstances. Burial in a VA national cemetery includes:
- A gravesite based on availability
- Grave opening and closing
- Grave liner
- Headstone or marker
- Perpetual care of the gravesite
Cremated remains receive similar benefits as casketed remains. Arrangements for burial space may not be made in advance but only at the time of death.
3. Veterans Cemeteries
Veterans may qualify for burial space at one of 136 national cemeteries in 40 states as well as one of 33 soldier’s lots and monument sites. In addition, there are State Veterans Cemeteries run by individual states that offer similar benefits.
Planning for a Veteran’s Final Services
Preplanning for a veteran’s funeral can be particularly valuable. This is so complete service records necessary to apply for benefits can be gathered and placed in a secure area. It also allows the veteran the opportunity to have as much input in the planning process as they desire.
At Fares J. Radel, we are honored to serve veterans and families in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. Whether you need immediate assistance or are planning ahead, our professionals are knowledgeable and caring. They can help you get the veteran’s benefits you deserve. We invite you to contact us to learn more.