Saturday, April 11, 2009

Military and Veterans funerals

Pass this info on to your local Funeral Homes, and Veteran Organizations. Give a copy to your loved ones, save..printout

Here are some of the Hardest words to say

"On behalf of the President of the U.S. and the people of a grateful nation, may I present this flag as a token of appreciation for the honorable and faithful service your loved one rendered this nation."

A web site with many links for Military Funeral Honors

Below is what the Military will provide..when resources are available, for Veterans & Military Retirees.

Many local Veteran Organizations throughout the US provide Funeral Honors to area veterans. Many families are grateful to have at least one member of the detail to be in the Military Uniform of the branch of service the deceased served in. In most cases the State Headquarters of the National Guard or Military Dept is a good point of contact, and will work with DOD as needed to obtain a member from Veteran’s military branch of service. Support is also often provided by units from nearby military bases, Armories and Reserve Centers. A google search for nearby military base name, AND Casualty Assistance should provide some contacts.

Also see: Lookup Installations & Directories of Services

Many funeral directors just call the local veteran’s post, they are used to working with, and never attempt to contact the military, nor attempt to obtain a member of the Veteran’s branch of service. This is a disservice to the family and to the deceased veteran. Any assistance provided by the military does not preclude the local veterans community from assisting, providing additional members as needed, bugler, color guards, pall bearers, honor guards, etc.

A Good contact in Illinois: Illinois Military Funeral Honors
Department of Military Affairs
1301 N. MacArthur Blvd.,
Springfield, IL 62702

This will get the area Casualty Assistance Office

Army, 800-350-7746
Navy, 877-478-3988
Air Force, 618-256-4586
Marines, 866-826-3628
Coast Guard, 216-902-6269

The basic Military Funeral Honors (MFH) ceremony consists of the folding and presentation of the United States flag to the veterans’ family and the playing of Taps. The ceremony is performed by a funeral honors detail consisting of at least two members of the Armed Forces.

The Funeral Honors rendered to you or your veteran will be determined by the status of the veteran. The type of Funeral Honors may be Full Military Honors, 7 Person Detail or a Standard Honors Team Detail.

At least one of the funeral honors detail will be from the Armed Force in which the deceased veteran served. Taps may be played by a bugler or, if a bugler is not available, by using a quality recorded version. Military Funeral Honor Teams may act as Pall Bearers if requested by the veteran/family.

To obtain funeral honors as a veteran or a family member of a veteran, you must have a copy of the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, Department of Defense Form 214 ( discharge paperwork). This documentation should be given to the funeral home you have selected. The funeral home will contact the Casualty Area Command (CAC) that handles your respective state. The CAC will then locate a Funeral Honors Team in your area to cover your veteran’s funeral.

All requests for Funeral Honors are on a first come, first serve basis.
The only two exceptions are:

Medal of Honor Recipients

Soldiers Killed in Action

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Full Military Honors Detail

Reserved for:

Service Member Killed in Action (KIA)

Medal of Honor Recipient

General Officers (O7 and Above)

Enlisted Pay Grade E9: Sergeant Major (Army), Master Chief Petty Officer (Navy), Master Gunnery Sergeant/Sergeant Major (Marines), Chief Master Sergeant (Air Force)

Consists of:

Team of 16-21 Soldiers

3 Volleys of Rifle Fire

Playing of Taps

Fold and Present American Flag

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Seven Person Detail

Reserved for:

Retired Service Members (served 20 years of Active Duty in the Armed Forces)

Active Duty, National Guard/Reserve Solder Not KIA

Full Military Honor Detail may be received if Retiree or Soldier's unit is willing to perform Full Military Honors

Consists of:

Team of 7 Soldiers

3 Volleys of Rifle Fire

Playing of Taps

Fold and Present American Flag

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Standard Honors Team Detail

Reserved for:

Veterans with an Honorable Discharge on their Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, Department of Defense Form 214

Consists of:

Team of 2-3 Soldiers

Playing of Taps

Fold and Present American Flag

From an Army document


1. THE SELECTION. You have been selected by your installation commander to perform casualty assistance duties for _______________________________.

2. THE PREPARATION. You have been tasked with one of the most difficult duties you will ever be called upon to perform during your military career. You are charged by the Secretary of the Army to render all reasonable assistance needed to settle the personal affairs of a deceased soldier, active duty or retired. These duties may include assisting the next of kin (NOK) in making all necessary decisions to arrange for handling the remains, funeral arrangements, collecting death gratuity, filing for benefits and entitlements, and clearing post quarters. Your duties as a CAO have priority over all other duties.

IMPORTANT LINKS: Army G-1 | Army Homepage | AKO Homepage | Department of Veterans Affairs - Survivor Benefits | Army Families Online - Survivor Resource Library | Department of Defense - Survivors Guide | Military Services Relief Societies

OTHER CASUALTY WEBSITES: Air Force Casualty | Navy Casualty | Marine Corps Casualty

Website inquires to: CMAOC Webmaster

A Survivor’s Guide to Benefits…primarily for Active Duty

Standard Form 180 - Request Pertaining to Military Records

VA Brochure on Veterans Benefits

Presidential Memorial Certificate

Headstones and Markers Request and Applications

Arlington National Cemetery

Burial Flags

Various Bugle calls can be downloaded at:

No one available to play Taps?

Need Bugler for a funeral or an Event..
Go to

The American Ceremonial Bugle. Nickel silver 17 inch bugle, Insert that plays "Taps" and other calls*. Hard shell carry case.
Price: $525 (48 states)

Below on works for Funeral Directors

Expedited Process to Acquire a DD 214 Military Discharge

To acquire a DD 214 Military Discharge in an expedited manner when the family does not have one, the best method is to call the appropriate service branch Funeral Honors Coordinator. This individual will expedite the process through their liaisons at the Records Management Center in St. Louis. Here is a list of Funeral Honors Coordinators:

Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy)
Mr. Mark L. Ward or Dr. Lynda C. Davis
Office of MWR Policy
4000 Defense Pentagon
Room 5A726
Washington, DC 20301-4000

Ms. Pat Staton – 703-325-5305

Marine Corps
SSgt Jeremiah Elwell – 866-826-3628

LCDR Brian Behlke – 901-874-6672

Air Force
Mortuary Representative – 800-531-5803

Coast Guard
LT Terry Walsh – 202-475-5391

Verifying the Discharge Status of a Veteran

If a family does not have a DD 214 and you only need to verify the discharge status of the veteran, call the VA Regional office in your area. If the deceased veteran does not appear in their system, ask VA to contact the Records Management Center in St. Louis to get the verification (Again, this would just be a verification and would not necessarily involve receiving the actual DD 214 form).

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