The men and women who have served in the military for this country have often done so at a great cost. Many have suffered physical and psychological trauma as a result of their service, and some have even sacrificed their lives. If you are a veteran, the country can never fully repay you for your service, but there are certain benefits that you are entitled as a result of serving. While some things such as educational and mortgage benefits are available while you are alive, other benefits can only be found within a veteran's funeral package. Here are a few things that you, as a veteran, would be entitled to for free upon death as long as you were honorably discharged.
A Veteran's Cemetery Plot
After death, funeral cost can quickly add up. Depending on where you live and where you want to be buried, the average cost of a grave plot can now average between $1,000 - $4,500. This price does not include an additional cost of opening and closing the grave, which often has to be paid directly to the gravedigger. This cost can average another $800, which is not to be confused with the approximately $800 you will owe for a grave liner or vault. These prices are all on top of the fees that you will be expected to pay the mortician or funeral home for their services.
As a veteran, you, your spouse, and eligible dependents are entitled to be buried in one of the 135 national cemeteries that are located throughout the country. In addition to your burial plot, there is no cost for opening and closing the grave, nor is there a cost for a grave liner or burial vault. In addition to this, you or your family may also be entitled to a cash burial allowance if certain conditions apply.
Military Funeral Honors
No matter which branch of the military you or your loved one has served in, the deceased is entitled to full Military Funeral Honors free of charge. This will consist of an honor detail that includes no less than two members of the Armed Forces, although at least one member will be from the branch of service that the deceased has served in.
At the designated point in the service, the honor detail will fold and present the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of taps. Memorial honors can be requested directly from any funeral home who is in charge of making your arrangements.
Headstone Or Grave Marker
Upon your request or the request of your family in the event of your death, a headstone or grave marker will be provided for the grave. In the event that you choose to privately purchase a headstone, you can request a Military Medallion that can be affixed to that stone. Unfortunately, your spouse or dependents are not eligible for this service unless they are interred in a VA cemetery.
These are just a few of the things that you are entitled to as a part of a Veteran's Funeral Package. There are other benefits, such as being buried at sea, that you may also be interested in. Speak to your funeral director for more information on additional benefits.