When a veteran comes into our funeral home, our staff at Davis Greenlawn Funeral Chapels and Cemeteries know we have a special responsibility. Anyone who’s served this country is entitled to special honors, and Rosenberg, TX funeral homes stand ready to work with the federal government to assist the family of soldiers. Here is everything you need to know about planning a veteran’s funeral and what sets this service apart from a civilian one.
Who is Entitled to Military Honors?
Military funeral honors are reserved for those who served this country in peacetime or wartime and completed at least one term of enlistment or duration of conscription. If someone served less than a full term but was discharged due to injury or medical condition, they may be eligible for honors as well. Anyone who died in combat is eligible no matter how long they served. Those who are ineligible include anyone who was dishonorably discharged or convicted of a capital crime after being discharged.
What Do I Need to Prove Eligibility?
The first step in planning a military funeral is getting in touch with the government to request honors. This involves proving your loved one’s military service record, and this can be accomplished easily by producing a discharge record. The most common form to use is a DD 214, which can be downloaded easily off the military’s website. Once this is submitted, the government will arrange the honors.
What Do Standard Military Honors Entail?
A military funeral will include standard military honors, which are performed by a military honor detail composed of at least three members of the Armed Forces. At least one will be from the division that the deceased belonged to, and if the family or the will requested a specific person to be involved this will be honored.
Three traditional honors are included – the military honor guard, a burial flag which will be presented to the family after burial, and a gun salute of at least three guns. Higher-ranking officers or those who died in combat are eligible for higher-level honors.
What Does the Military Provide?
In addition to the burial flag, which comes home with the family of the soldier if they wish, the military provides a choice of headstone or marker. These come in bronze, marble, or granite and will be engraved with details including service history. The veteran is also eligible for burial in a military funeral with openings, but these honors can be provided before burial in a civilian cemetery.
What Role Do I Have in Planning a Veteran’s Funeral?
The military honors are largely pre-set and will be carried out by the honor detail, but the family of the veteran will plan all other details. Most veteran’s funerals we perform include both military honors and a separate memorial that celebrates the fullness of the deceased’s life. If you choose to pre-plan your services with us, you can combine the two as you wish and provide details about what role you want people to play in both parts.
At Rosenberg, TX funeral homes, we want our veteran honorees to get the salute they’ve earned and the personal memorial that speaks to their unique life. To start planning, contact Davis Greenlawn Funeral Chapels and Cemeteries to set up a consultation today.