Your Funeral Director can make arrangements for burial in a national Cemetery. You should provide the following information to the Funeral Director (or as much as possible) to help with making VA burial arrangements.
Information needed for VA Burial Arrangements
- Full name and military rank;
- Branch of service;
- Social security number;
- Service number;
- VA claim number, if applicable;
- Date and place of birth;
- Date and place of death;
- Date of retirement or last separation from active duty; and,
- Copy of any military separation document, such as the Department of Defense Form 214 (DD-214).
The Veterans Administration provides a web page for Funeral Directors which describes in detail what steps they should take to ensure a timely response for making VA burial arrangements
When you are making VA burial arrangements the discharge documents must specify active military duty and show that release from active duty was under other than dishonorable conditions.
Internments take place Monday through Friday. The funeral services cannot be held at the cemetery, but a committal service can be held away from the the grave site.
Most cemeteries use upright headstones, but some do use flat markers in some areas. You should discuss which type of marker you prefer prior to burial. The marker will be ordered after the inscription is approved by the next of kin. A burial flag will be provided.
The same procedures are followed if the veteran’s eligible spouse or dependent predeceases the veteran and needs VA burial arrangement. In most cases, one gravesite is provided for the burial of all eligible family members and a single headstone or marker is provided. When both spouses are veterans, two gravesites and two headstones or markers may be provided if requested.
The Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for providing Military Funeral Honors. The DOD program, “Honoring Those Who Served,” calls for funeral directors to request military funeral honors on behalf of the veterans’ families. Veterans’ organizations may assist in the provision of military funeral honors. In support of this program, VA national cemetery staff may assist to coordinate military funeral honors.