Out of respect for the men and women who have served in the United States armed forces, many funeral and death benefits are available. For eligible service members, veterans, and their families, these benefits may include a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, a gravesite in a national or state Veterans cemetery, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate.
A burial with military honors delivers a powerful ceremony for loved ones and is an exceptional way to honor a veteran. To find out what to expect at a military funeral for a veteran or service member, visit va.gov.
Headstones, Markers, and Medallions
Once requested, the Department of Veterans Affairs will provide a government headstone or marker for the grave of any deceased eligible veteran in any cemetery around the world, regardless of their date of death. Different styles of markers are available. Please check with the cemetery where it will be placed for the types of markers permitted there.
A United States flag can be draped over the casket or accompany the urn for the funeral of a veteran. After the funeral service, the flag is often presented to the next of kin as a keepsake.
National and State Veterans Cemeteries
A gravesite in any of the 135 national cemeteries is one of the benefits available to eligible veterans, space allowing. This benefit also includes interment—the opening and closing of the grave—and the everlasting care and maintenance of the cemetery grounds. Cremated remains receive the same care and honors as casketed remains. Spouses and dependents may also be buried in a national cemetery with the veteran. The spouse or dependents' name, date of birth, and death will be inscribed on the veteran’s headstone, at no cost. Eligible spouses and dependents may be buried, even if they predecease the veteran. For a map and listing of national and state cemeteries visit
Some burial benefits are also available for eligible veterans who are buried in a private cemetery at no cost to the family
Presidential Memorial Certificate
A Presidential Memorial Certificate is provided to the next of kin or loved one in honor of a deceased and honorably discharged veteran. The gold-embossed certificate expresses the country’s recognition of the veteran’s service in the Armed Forces and bears the signature of the current President.
A VA Burial Allowance is a flat-rate monetary benefit that is paid at the maximum amount authorized by law for an eligible veteran’s burial and funeral costs. (“NCA Resources Guide - National Cemetery Administration”) Regulations for this benefit were simplified in 2014 to pay eligible survivors automatically upon notification of the veteran’s death, without the need to submit a claim. The VA may grant additional benefits, including an interment and transportation allowance if it receives a claim for these benefits.
To learn more, visit the US Department of Veterans Affairs online.
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