The rendering of military funeral honors is a way to show the nation's deep gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country. This ceremonial paying of respect is the final demonstration a grateful nation can provide to the veterans' families. While these honors have always been provided whenever possible, the law now mandates the rendering of Military Funeral Honors for an eligible veteran if requested by the family.
What happens at a Military Funeral Honors ceremony?
The Department of Defense will provide an honor guard, consisting of at least two members of the Armed Forces, for the ceremony. At least one member of the detail will be a member of the branch in which the veteran served. During the ceremony, the honor guard will fold and present the United States flag to the veteran's family. Taps will be played by a bugler, if available, or by a recording. Depending on the branch of service, additional elements may be added. A local Veterans Service Organization (VSO) may also participate in the ceremony, providing a firing party, for example. Richard Lamb Funeral Service staff can assist you in making arrangements with the Department of Defense and a local VSO, if available.
Who is eligible for Military Funeral Honors?
To demonstrate eligibility, the family must provide a discharge document showing a discharge other than dishonorable service. The preferred method for establishing eligibility is the DD Form 214, known as Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. A DD 214 form can be obtained by completing a Standard Form 180, which is available online at [http://www.nara.gov/publications/forms/sf180.pdf].
For information on eligibility for a burial flag, please see the Department of Veterans Affairs website at. [http://www.cem.va.gov/bflags.htm].
What does the ceremony cost?
There is no cost to families for Military Funeral Honors.
How can a Presidential Memorial Certificate be obtained? Who is eligible?
Any deceased, honorably discharged veteran is eligible for the Certificate. To request a Certificate, please visit your nearest Veterans Affairs regional office or send a request by mail to the following address:
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
National Cemetery Administration
810 Vermont Ave., NW
You can find more information about the Certificate online at [http://www.cem.va.gov/pmc.htm]
Where can I learn more about Military Funeral Honors?
A website is available for further information at http://www.militaryfuneralhonors.osd.mil/