Veterans

January 15, 2016
 

Official urges families to learn about veteran burial honors

Terri Moon Cronk
DOD News

Planning funerals for military veterans and retirees can be overwhelming for their families, and the Defense Department’s director of casualty and mortuary affairs wants family members to familiarize themselves in advance when possible to know what to expect with military funeral honors.
Deborah S. Skillman said families should learn about military funeral honors eligibility ahead of time to know what choices are available.  She also recommends that family members should ensure they have access to the veteran’s discharge papers, also called DD Form 214, to prove eligibility.
It’s also critical for family members who want military funeral honors to tell their funeral director, who can make the request for them, she said. The honors are not automatic, and must be requested through the veteran’s branch of service, she noted.
“Families [also] need to know DOD is going to be there when the honors are requested,” Skillman added.
DOD policy is mandated by law to provide a minimum of a two-person uniformed detail to present the core elements of the funeral honors ceremony, and one service member must represent the veteran’s branch of service, she said. The core elements comprise playing Taps, folding the American flag and presenting the flag to the family.
Burials with military funeral honors can be conducted at national, veterans’ or private cemeteries, she said.
 
Options exist if resources permit
“While DOD is required to provide a [two-service-member] detail, policy encourages each service secretary to provide additional elements, such as the firing team and pall bearers, if resources permit. However, full honors are always provided for active duty deaths,” Skillman said.
“Military honors may consist of three rifle volleys by a firing team,” she said, and added that veteran service organizations often participate in burials with military honors to serve as pall bearers and to provide a firing team.
The Veterans Affairs Department also offers other benefits, such as headstones, Skillman said.                   
“We want to honor every eligible service member,” Skillman said, “and make sure [the services] are there to render honors.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines – December 8, 2017

News Air Force shoots down possibility of enlisted combat pilots – Despite an email to airmen that discussed the potential for enlisted members to fly combat aircraft, the Air Force is now insisting that it is focused solely on studying how airmen learn.   An Afghan fight the U.S. is winning – The Special Forces...
 
 

News Briefs – December 11, 2017

U.S. Navy prepares to comb sea bed for crashed plane, sailors The U.S. Navy said it will deploy deep water salvage experts to search for a transport aircraft that crashed in the western Pacific last month, killing three sailors. The C-2A Greyhound aircraft was traveling to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan when it crashed...
 
 
army-modernization2

US Army Futures Command to reform modernization, says secretary of the Army

Army photograph Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark T. Esper speaks before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Dec. 7, 2017. The new U.S. Army Futures Command with its eight cross-functional teams, or CFTs, will provide the unity o...