The rendering of final honors to a departed military member is one of the most profound demonstrations of honor, respect, and gratitude that a soldier can bestow upon a fallen comrade. However, there is a process that must be followed in order to take advantage of this benefit. Here is what to expect when military honors are requested.
In a previous article, eligibility issues were discussed. Once this has been ascertained and military service has been verified, your funeral director can help you with the rest of the process.
Federal law states that every eligible veteran must receive a military funeral honors ceremony, including the folding and presenting of the U.S. flag and the playing of Taps, should the family request it. These ceremonies must be requested in advance. Know that a veteran's family must request an American Flag as part of the presentation. To do this, complete an Application for U.S. Flag for Burial Purposes form and provide a copy along with the veteran's discharge papers. Additionally, a Presidential Memorial Certificate must be requested if it is wanted by the family. This is an engraved paper certificate signed by the current president and honors the memory of the deceased veteran. A family is able to apply for this at any VA regional office or by U.S. mail.
When you attend the service, a flag will be draped over the coffin, and if there is a chapel service, the flag will be pulled away from the head of the coffin so it can be open for viewing. Whether the service entails a gravesite visit or not, the honors will include a choice of service, military rifle salute, folding of the flag, presentation of the flag, and the playing of Taps.
For more information about arranging military funeral honors for your loved one, please contact one of our trusted funeral directors.