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Ascension Funeral Group is proud to do our part in honoring our country’s veterans, and giving back to those whose sacrifice and patriotism define our great nation. Our duty is to provide you and your family with professional and dignified assistance during your time of need, and to support you in honoring your loved one for their dedication and selfless service.
We would be honored to help you make arrangements for any combination of traditional military tributes.
Under application made and approval granted, standard honor military funerals can include:
A military chaplain for family members
The US flag draped over the casket, and given to the next of kin following the service
A ceremonial guard serving as pallbearers
Casket transportation via horse-drawn limbers and caissons for service members with a non-commissioned grade of E=9 and above, or a hearse in all other cases
A flyover by fighter jets in missing man formation
A three-volley salute fired by a rifle party consisting of an odd number of 3-7 service members
The playing of Taps by a lone bugler or an audio recording
A Final Salute at the gravesite
Under application made and approval granted, full honor military funerals include all standard honors in addition to the following:
A riderless horse, symbolic of a fallen leader, follows the limbers and caissons for commanding officers of O-6 (Colonel/Captain) and above
Depending on their rank, general officers and flag officers receive an 11- to 17-gun salute
A military band and an escort platoon participate
In addition to coordinating honors related to the service itself, we can help you communicate with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to arrange for:
A Presidential Memorial Certificate
This is a certificate expressing the nation’s recognition of the veteran’s service. The veteran’s name is inscribed and the certificate bears the signature of the president. Certificates are issued in the name of honorably discharged, deceased veterans. Contact us for assistance in applying for a Presidential Memorial Certificate, and we would be happy to guide you through the process.
Headstones or Markers
The VA provides headstones and markers for the graves of veterans anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state veteran or military cemeteries.
If an eligible veteran’s remains are not available for burial, the VA will provide a plot and headstone or marker in a national cemetery for memorialization. If you wish to place the memorial in a cemetery other than a national cemetery, the VA will provide the headstone or marker but not the plot itself.
Burial in a VA National Cemetery
This includes the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, a grave box, and perpetual care.
Reimbursement of Burial Expenses
For information on eligibility and the different levels of potential reimbursement, please review their Guide to VA Burial Allowances.
Please visit the following links for detailed information about the options available for honoring service members and other aspects of military funerals:
Click on Veteran Services and look underneath the Burials & Memorials heading.
Helpful information from Funeral Consumers Alliance.
An explanation of the various types of honors available for military funerals.
Burial (or the scattering of cremains) at sea is available to all veterans and dependents, and is provided by the Navy or US Coast Guard. A flag is required, and—if supplied by the family— can be returned. If supplied by the Navy, it will not be.
Because sea burials are done at the convenience of the military, the family may not witness sea burial. Bodies waiting for sea burial must be embalmed to a state of preservation that will last for at least 60 days. A special non-sealing metal casket, with nylon bands and drilled holes, must be used.
Why Does VA Provide a Burial Flag?
A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased Veteran who served honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces. It is furnished to honor the memory of a Veteran’s military service to his or her country. VA will furnish a burial flag for memorialization for an other than dishonorably discharged:
Veteran who served during wartime
Veteran who died on active duty after May 27, 1941
Veteran who served after January 31, 1955
peacetime Veteran who was discharged or released before June 27, 1950
certain persons who served in the organized military forces of the Commonwealth of the Philippines while in service of the U.S. Armed Forces and who died on or after April 25, 1951
certain former members of the Selected Reserves
Who Is Eligible to Receive the Burial Flag?
Generally, the flag is given to the next-of-kin, as a keepsake, after its use during the funeral service. When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend making request for it. For those VA national cemeteries with an Avenue of Flags, families of Veterans buried in these national cemeteries may donate the burial flags of their loved ones to be flown on patriotic holidays.
How Can You Apply?
You may apply for the flag by completing VA Form 27-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes. U.S. Post Offices are the primary issuing point for burial flags. Generally, the funeral director can help you obtain a flag. Call and confirm with the post office in advance. Not all local post offices have burial flags on hand but they should be able to direct you to the closest issuing post office. Regional VA Offices can also help identify local issuing points.
Can a Burial Flag Be Replaced?
The law allows us to issue one flag for a Veteran’s funeral. We cannot replace it if it is lost, destroyed, or stolen. However, some Veterans’ organizations or other community groups may be able to help you get another flag.
How Should the Burial Flag Be Displayed?
The proper way to display the flag depends upon whether the casket is open or closed. VA Form 27-2008 provides the correct method for displaying and folding the flag. The burial flag is not suitable for outside display because of its size and fabric. It is made of cotton and can easily be damaged by weather.
Ascension Funeral Home and Forest Lawn Funeral Home will guide you through decision process surrounding veteran memorials.
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