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 – November 14, 2018

News Why victory isn’t goal in Afghanistan – When Lt. Gen. David Petraeus returned from an inspection tour of Afghanistan in 2005 to brief then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, he began with a simple image.     Business One company wants to help herd U.S. Army robots – A firm out of Boston is...
 
 

News Briefs – November 14, 2018

Navy warplane down in 2nd crash from U.S. carrier in month A U.S. Navy warplane belonging to the aircraft career USS Ronald Reagan has crashed into the sea northeast of the Philippines, but its two aviators were safely rescued. The Navy’s 7th Fleet said in a statement that the F/A-18 Hornet had a mechanical problem...
 
 

Pilot dead, one hurt in crash at Texas AF base

One pilot is dead, and one was transferred to Val Verde Regional Medical Center when an Air Force T-38C Talon assigned to Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, crashed at approximately 7:40 p.m., Nov. 13 on base. Laughlin emergency responders are on scene. The names of the pilots are being withheld for next of kin notification....