One of the first questions we ask when arranging a funeral or pre-planning services is whether the person being honored has served their country. US veterans are eligible for special honors and benefits courtesy of the US government, and we’ll work with contacts in the military to ensure anyone we lay to rest gets their due. In this article, we’ll look at how New Providence, NJ funeral homes assist the process of getting military honors.
Who Is Eligible for Military Honors?
Standard military honors are available for anyone who has served this country for at least one term of enlistment, whether they enlisted voluntarily or were drafted. Anyone who served in combat or was discharged from the military due to an injury in the line of duty is also eligible, even if they served less than a full term. If you have any questions about your or your loved one’s eligibility, we can reach out to the proper authorities.
What Documents Do I Need to Prove Eligibility?
If you were formally discharged from the US military, you should have discharge papers and these are the best way to prove service. Any discharge other than dishonorable is eligible for military benefits, so you should be able to request these forms from the US military online. The most common documents are DD 214 or NGB 214, but standard discharge certificates are also eligible.
What Do Military Benefits Entail?
When a military veteran is laid to rest, the military sends an honor guard to perform several key duties. This includes the gun salute as the veteran is buried, the playing of taps, and the presentation of a US military flag to the next of kin. These benefits are available to any eligible veteran, but higher-ranking veterans or those who fell in combat are entitled to higher honors that include a 21-gun salute.
In addition to the burial flag, veterans are eligible for certain complimentary benefits that can cut down on the cost of a funeral. This includes a complimentary government headstone or marker that contains information on the veteran’s service history, available in marble, granite, or bronze. The veteran will also be eligible for burial in a veteran’s cemetery, and we’re happy to help arrange transport from our funeral home.
Can I Customize a Veteran’s Funeral?
Yes – if you’re planning a funeral for a veteran family member or pre-planning your own services, you still have a lot of freedom. While the military honors are a fixed part of the service, they can be surrounded with events and ceremonies that reflect the veteran’s life in full. Many of our veteran’s funerals include a full memorial gathering where those close to them both in their military and civilian life pay tribute, ending with the traditional military honors.
Are you looking for New Providence, NJ funeral homes to help arrange a veteran’s funeral? Bradley & Son Funeral Homes, LLC is a great place to start, so set up a consultation by visiting our offices at 345 Main St, Chatham, NJ 07928, or contact us on our website or by phone at (973) 635-2428. We can also be reached at our Summit, Springfield, Union, or Whippany offices.