Those who serve in the Military do a great honor to our country—and as such, they deserve to be honored themselves. One way to honor our veterans is to pay proper respects to them as they pass away, something that may look different from one family to the next. Your chosen funeral home is available to work with military families to develop memorial services that truly celebrate the life and service of deceased veterans—whether that means a full military service or an intimate family gathering.
The Benefits of Veteran Services
Military services are not just significant ways to honor our nation’s heroes—there are other benefits, as well:
A flag is provided, at no cost, to drape over the casket or to place alongside the urn.
Headstone markers or medallions can be obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs at no cost.
Families may receive the Presidential Memorial Certificate, signed by the current Commander in Chief.
Military services can be held in either private or military funerals.
The veterans interment process includes the placement of American flags on the casket or alongside the urn, as well as commemorative headstone markers or medallions that are used to denote patriotic service. The burial service itself may include the involvement of current service members or veterans.
Funeral Honors Ceremony
One common way to honor veterans is with the Funeral Honors Ceremony, in which the flag is folded and presented to surviving family members while Taps is played. At least two Funeral Honors detail members—that is, Armed Forces members—are present for this. Different levels of Funeral Honors exist depending on the rank of the veteran.
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Those who honor our country through the selfless sacrifice of military service deserve themselves, to be honored. At Rolling Hills Memorial Park, we believe in paying proper respects to military service members and veterans both as they live and as they pass on from this world. Whether the desire is for a full military service or simply a small family funeral, we are committed to offering burial and memorial services that honor, respect, and provide true meaning to those gathered in mourning.
The Benefits of Military and Veteran Services
There are a number of benefits that come from planning a military service—and the foremost one is simply being able to honor, in some small fashion, those who have given so much for our nation. A military burial service is not just an important way to pay respects to our service veterans, but also their families.
Other Benefits Include:
A United States flag is provided at no cost to drape over the casket or to accompany the urn; it is provided to the next-of-kin following the service.
Headstones, markers, or medallions can be obtained at no cost from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Families may receive the Presidential Memorial Certificate, which is signed by the current president.
Military funerals can take place in private cemeteries or in veteran cemeteries.
Eligibility for Military Funerals.
The Funeral Honors Ceremony
The basic Military Funeral Honors (MFH) ceremony consists of the folding and presentation of the United States flag to the veteran's family and the playing of Taps. The ceremony is performed by a funeral honors detail consisting of at least two members of the Armed Forces.
The Funeral Honors rendered to you or your veteran will be determined by the status of the veteran. The type of Funeral Honors may be Full Military Honors, 7 Person Detail or a Standard Honors Team Detail.
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. Military Funeral Honor Teams may act as Pall Bearers if requested by the veteran/family.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a Government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any deceased eligible veteran in any cemetery around the world, regardless of their date of death. For eligible veterans that died on or after November 1, 1990, VA may also provide a headstone or marker for graves that are already marked with a private headstone or marker. When the grave is already marked, applicants will have the option to apply for either a traditional headstone or marker or a new device.
Flat markers in granite, marble, and bronze and upright headstones in granite and marble are available. The style chosen must be consistent with existing monuments at the place of burial. Niche markers are also available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains.
When burial or memorialization is in a national cemetery, state veterans' cemetery, or military post/base cemetery, a headstone or marker will be ordered by the cemetery officials based on inscription information provided by the next of kin or authorized representative.
Spouses and dependents are not eligible for a Government-furnished headstone or marker unless they are buried in a national cemetery, state veteran's cemetery, or military post/base cemetery.
Note: There is no charge for the headstone or marker itself; however, arrangements for placing it in a private cemetery are the applicant's responsibility and all setting fees are at private expense.
Veterans Burial Flags
A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran who served honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces. It is furnished to honor the memory of a veteran's military service to his or her country.
Who Is Eligible to Receive the Burial Flag?
Generally, the flag is given to the next-of-kin, as a keepsake, after its use during the funeral service. When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend making a request for it. For those VA national cemeteries with an Avenue of Flags, families of veterans buried in these national cemeteries may donate the burial flags of their loved ones to be flown on patriotic holidays.
VA will furnish a burial flag for memorialization for:
A veteran who served during wartime
A veteran who died on active duty after May 27, 1941
A veteran who served after January 31, 1955
A peacetime veteran who was discharged or released before June 27, 1950
Certain persons who served in the organized military forces of the Commonwealth of the Philippines while in service of the U.S. Armed Forces and who died on or after April 25, 1951
Certain former members of the Selected Reserves
How Can You Apply?
You may apply for the flag by completing VA Form 27-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes. You may get a flag at any VA regional office or U.S. Post Office. Generally, the funeral director will help you obtain the flag.
Can a Burial Flag Be Replaced?
The law allows us to issue one flag for a veteran's funeral. We cannot replace it if it is lost, destroyed, or stolen. However, some veterans' organizations or other community groups may be able to help you get another flag.
How Should the Burial Flag Be Displayed?
The proper way to display the flag depends upon whether the casket is open or closed. VA Form 27-2008 provides the correct method for displaying and folding the flag. The burial flag is not suitable for outside display because of its size and fabric. It is made of cotton and can easily be damaged by weather.
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