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VA burial benefits

Burial in a VA National Cemetery

All veterans with discharges other than dishonorable, their spouses, and dependent children are eligible for burial in a VA National Cemetery.

The National Cemetery System operates 120 cemeteries within the United States and Puerto Rico and 83 have available space.

Those eligible for burial also are eligible for a government provided headstone or marker and Presidential Memorial Certificate.

Veterans and their dependents may apply for all VA benefits by calling 1-800-827-1000.

Burial in a state veterans cemetery

Although not a benefit provided by VA, burial in a state veterans cemetery is an option available in many states for those who die on active duty. Some states have residency requirements and may impose additional limitations.

Military funeral honors

Upon request, the Department of Defense will provide military funeral honors. This arrangement typically is made by the funeral director. At least two uniformed service members fold and present the flag and sound "Taps" by a recording or a bugler. Additional information about funeral honors is available at www.militaryhonors.osd.mil.

Military burial flags

In the case of in-service deaths, the Defense Department provides a U.S. flag to drape the casket or to be presented at a memorial service. After the service, the flag is given to the next of kin.

Presidential Memorial Certificate program

The service member's next of kin receives a Presidential Memorial Certificate. Additional certificates are available for other loved ones upon request to VA. The gold embossed parchment-style paper is inscribed with the service member's name and bears the President's signature. It expresses the nation's gratitude for the deceased person's military service.

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