Whether a veteran returns home and passes on after a long life, or gives their all on a battlefield to defend their home, they deserve to be remembered for all they gave. When you work with Tacoma, WA funeral homes like Weeks’ Dryer Mortuary, we’ll work with the US military to provide the full honors your loved one has earned as part of our funeral program. Before arranging a military funeral, we’ve provided this guide to everything you need to know about veterans’ services.
Who Is Eligible for Military Honors?
Any military members on active duty or in the Selected Reserve are eligible for military honors, as are former military members who did at least one tour of active duty and did not receive a dishonorable discharge. Any former military members discharged from the Selected Reserve after completing a term or being relieved due to injury in the line of duty are eligible as well. Members of the Commissioned Officer Corps of the Public Health Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are also eligible.
To prove veteran eligibility and be approved for military honors for your loved one, you’ll need a discharge document which can be attained from the National Personnel Records Center.
What Types of Military Honors Are Available?
Funeral homes can facilitate all types of military honors, including full military honors, 7 person detail, and standard honors team detail. We will meet with military liaisons to bring in the personnel needed to provide a proper military funeral, including gun salutes, the folding and presentation of the American flag to the family, and the playing of Taps by military buglers.
At least one member of the military honors guard will be from the branch of the military the deceased belonged to. The others can be from across the four branches of the US military.
What Special Headstones Are Available for Military Funerals?
The Department of Veterans Affairs produces government-made headstones free of charge for any eligible veteran, and can upgrade the headstone of any veteran who died before November 1st, 1990. They offer headstones in granite, marble, and bronze and the inscriptions contain all relevant information including the deceased’s time of service. The inscription can be customized according to the family’s wishes.
How Do I Get a Burial Flag?
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a free-of-charge United States flag for the burial of any veteran who served honorably in the armed forces. Any veteran who served during wartime or any peacetime veteran who was discharged after June 27th, 1950 is eligible. The flag will be draped over the coffin and then presented to the next of kin or a friend of the deceased who requests it. Some family members donate the flag to the Avenue of Flags flying during holidays at military funerals.
If you’re planning a military funeral for your loved ones, funeral homes in Tacoma, WA can help. Visit Weeks’ Dryer Mortuary at our offices at 220 South 134th Street, Tacoma, WA, 98444; or reach us through our website or by phone at (253) 537-0253.