Benefits Help Families of Vets Celebrate Their Service
Families of veterans may not be aware of the many benefits due to them to honor their loved one’s service to the country after they pass away. These benefits can help defray the cost of arrangements as well as give special meaning to their service, even if they served in the military long before their passing. To be eligible, veterans must have been honorably discharged.
According to the Oregon Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs, from burial at a national cemetery (like Oregon’s Willamette National Cemetery, Roseburg National Cemetery or Tahoma National Cemetery in Washington) to a Presidential Memorial Certificate, there are many ways the government supports veterans and their families.
A veteran’s family can also request a free burial flag to drape a casket or accompany an urn and can ask for a headstone, marker or medallion.
Spouses and dependents are also be eligible for some burial benefits even if they pass before the veteran does. You can learn more about federal benefits on the Veterans Affairs website. Benefits for veterans and their families buried in private ceremonies are listed on this webpage.
According to Solace Funeral Director Malisa Riceci, burial benefits include a gravesite at 139 national cemeteries around the country. Even those who are cremated may have their urn placed in a columbarium or buried in a full-sized plot.
Riceci says the family is also entitled to a half-hour ceremony at the national cemetery. Additionally, Riceci says, some rituals, like the playing of taps and a flag presentation, can take place wherever the family plans to hold their ceremony, even a park or private funeral home setting. Sometimes, a group of friends or nonprofit organization may be able to honor special requests like a flyover. Ceremonies and internment need not be in the same location. Families have many choices of where and what to include as they remember their loved one.
Families interested in burial at sea can request help from the Navy or Coast Guard. Bremerton, Wash. is the closest Navy location in the Pacific Northwest.
You can find additional military contacts listed on the MilitaryOneSource website for Oregon and Washington.
You have many options to honor a veteran in your family who has passed away, so be sure to investigate the benefits they earned by their service. Feel free to call our Solace Care Team if you have additional questions and we’ll help you navigate the options available to you.
Photo by: Lucas Sankey
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