Honoring a deceased loved one that was also a veteran can often be a bit confusing, mostly because there are many different methods available for honoring that person's service to his or her country. Honors that can be utilized for a veteran's burial can range from headstones to an honor guard being present at the burial itself. Listed below are just two of the ways at your disposal when honoring a deceased veteran.
One of the best options to honor your loved one's service and to display that service to anyone who visits the gravesite is to request a headstone from the Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA). If your loved one has been proven to be eligible for veteran's status, the VA will be able to provide you with a headstone or marker for the veteran's burial site. However, you should be aware that these headstones or markers will only be provided for veterans if buried in a private cemetery, while spouses and dependents will only be eligible for these headstones if they are buried in a national cemetery.
The types of headstone provided by the VA will vary quite a bit, from traditional upright marble or granite headstones to markers of granite, marble, or bronze. If you have already purchased a headstone from a company like Maurice Moore Memorials for use in a private cemetery for the veteran, the VA can provide you with a medallion that is meant to be affixed to the headstone or marker for free. These medallions will consist of the word "Veteran" across the top of the medallion, the service branch at the bottom, and an engraving of a folded flag in the center.
Another way to honor your loved one's military service is to contact your local military base and veteran's organizations in an attempt to have military honors performed at the service. All military bases will have an honor guard of varying size that is required to attend the funerals of veterans in the area.
At the very least, two active-duty members of the military will be present to present the folded flag to the family of the deceased veteran, with one of those members representing the veteran's branch of service. More members of the honor guard may be available if the base is large enough to have a larger honor guard and there are no other funerals on the day of your loved one's funeral. In addition, local honor guards or veteran's groups can also organize a rifle volley for the service.
Contact your local funeral home today in order to discuss the many ways in which they can help you plan a respectful funeral and service for your loved one that served in the military. Rifle salutes, honor guards, and VA-provided medallions or headstones are just a few of the ways to honor the deceased veteran's service.