Funeral Services & Benefits That Honor Veterans
With Memorial Day upon us, it’s a time to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. We serve many military families daily, and we appreciate being able to help them understand veteran funeral benefits and ways to honor their loved one.
Veteran Funeral Benefits:
There are many benefits available to any active duty member who dies while serving, discharged veterans who served during war time and under conditions other than dishonorable, and in some cases, their spouse.
Burial for veterans, their spouses, and unmarried minor or permanently disabled, dependent children is available at no cost in most of the 131 VA National Cemeteries. These benefits are subject to qualification and include:
- Federal burial and funeral expense allowances
- Pennsylvania County funeral and burial expense allowances
- Free death certificates (typically 10) from the state to be received in approximately 2 months
- United States burial flag
- Presidential Memorial Certificate (view a sample Presidential Memorial certificate)
- Military honors rendered at funeral services (Includes the sounding of “Taps” and presentation of the United States burial flag by a military honor guard)
- A headstone, flat bronze or granite marker or bronze niche marker will also be provided, dependent upon the type of burial and location
Many of the military families we service select burial at Washington Crossing National Cemetery in Newtown, PA.
In order to apply for any available military benefits, we first must have a copy of the discharge called a Form DD-214 (view a sample Form DD-214). Older veterans may have a discharge that simply reads “Record of Military Service”. If you don’t have a copy of the discharge, we will try to obtain a copy on your behalf. Visit here for further explanation of veterans’ benefits.
Memorial Service Ideas for Veterans:
Many families we’ve advised create a tribute for their veteran’s memorial service. This could include a video/photo collage presentation showcasing the veteran’s life, devotion to serving, acts of courage, and any medals or awards. This video is often blended with anecdotes and testimonials from family members and from other veterans the deceased served with documenting their life in a military role. These videos can help loved ones connect over shared memories and find comfort in the grieving process together. If you choose, this tribute can be a celebration of the veteran’s civilian and military life combining stories of home with stories of service.
A memory table is a special way to honor your veteran. On the table, you can display photos of the deceased during military service and encourage attendees to bring their own photos or mementos to display there as well. You can also invite attendees to bring small U.S. flags or other patriotic items to place on the table or gravesite.
Creating a Legacy:
A trend we’ve noticed is that families are inspired to honor their veteran by celebrating their life through creating a continuing legacy. Families can endow a charity or scholarship fund in the person’s name and invite friends and family to contribute. The startup fund does not need to be a large amount. For example, a scholarship in the deceased name could be only $500 a year, but this is a simple way to guarantee that your loved one’s name and legacy lives on through charity for subsequent generations. Taking it a step further, you could set up a scholarship fund to assist other veterans returning to society.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding military honors and veteran funeral services, please feel free to contact Goldsteins’ Rosenberg’s Raphael-Sacks via phone at 215-927-5800 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org