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Burial in a VA National Cemetery

Definition

Burial in a VA National Cemetery refers to the interment of eligible veterans, their spouses, and dependents in a cemetery operated and maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This benefit includes a gravesite, headstone or marker, opening and closing of the grave, and perpetual care of the burial site. The purpose is to honor the service and sacrifice of United States veterans with a dignified and respectful final resting place.

Key Takeaways

  1. Burial in a VA National Cemetery provides a dignified and respectful final resting place for eligible Veterans, their spouses, and dependents.
  2. Eligibility for burial in a VA National Cemetery is based on the Veteran’s service record, with certain requirements including an honorable discharge or qualifying service-connected disability.
  3. Benefits of burial in a VA National Cemetery include a gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, a burial liner, a headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, all at no cost to the family.

Importance

The term “Burial in a VA National Cemetery” is significant because it refers to a crucial benefit provided to eligible veterans and their families by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This benefit offers a dignified, honorable, and respectful final resting place for veterans who have served and protected the nation, recognizing their dedication and sacrifices.

Furthermore, the burial in a VA National Cemetery includes essential services such as the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, government headstone or marker, and perpetual care, all at no cost to the deceased veteran’s family.

By providing this service, the VA aims to alleviate some financial and emotional burdens associated with the death of a loved one, while commemorating their military service with dignity and honor.

Explanation

The purpose of Burial in a VA National Cemetery is to honor and memorialize the service and sacrifices made by United States Veterans, their spouses, and their dependent family members. As a way of demonstrating the nation’s gratitude to the brave men and women who served in the armed forces, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides designated burial grounds for veterans to receive a final resting place that reflects the unspeakable commitment and dedication exhibited throughout their lifetime.

This benefit not only secures a dignified burial for the deceased but also serves as a way for family members to pay their respects and remember their loved ones who served the nation with great valor. The VA National Cemetery has been established as a symbol of recognition for veterans, ensuring they receive a proper burial without causing undue financial burden on their families.

In these cemeteries, the VA maintains the gravesites, headstones, and markers in a perpetual state of care, signifying an everlasting appreciation for the service rendered by these courageous individuals. With the added provision of military funeral honors, including the folding and presenting of the American flag and the playing of Taps, each VA National Cemetery serves as a space where surviving family members and friends may gather to reflect on the life and accomplishments of their beloved veteran, and take solace in the knowledge that they are surrounded by others who share a deep and lasting gratitude for their service.

Examples of Burial in a VA National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery – Arlington National Cemetery, located in Arlington, Virginia, is one of the most well-known VA National Cemeteries in the United States. It is the final resting place for many veterans, including those who served in the military during various conflicts such as World War I, World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War. Burial at Arlington National Cemetery comes with full military honors, including a 21-gun salute and the folding and presentation of the American flag.

San Francisco National Cemetery – San Francisco National Cemetery is located in the Presidio of San Francisco, overlooking the picturesque Golden Gate Bridge. The cemetery serves as the final resting place for thousands of military veterans and their eligible family members. Burials at this VA National Cemetery, like all the VA National Cemeteries, are handled with dignity and respect that honor the commitment and sacrifices veterans have made.

Fort Logan National Cemetery – Fort Logan National Cemetery is located in Denver, Colorado, and has been in continuous operation since

The cemetery spans over 214 acres and serves as the final resting place for veterans from all branches of the U.S. military. Fort Logan National Cemetery offers services and benefits, such as headstones or markers, Presidential Memorial Certificates, and in some cases, a burial flag and Military Funeral Honors for eligible veterans.

FAQ: Burial in a VA National Cemetery

1. Who is eligible for burial in a VA National Cemetery?

Eligibility for burial in a VA National Cemetery is based on various factors, including the veteran’s military service, their discharge status, and their dependency. Generally, veterans who have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, as well as their spouses, dependents, and unmarried adult children, may be eligible.

2. Are reservists and National Guard members eligible for burial in a VA National Cemetery?

Reservists and National Guard members may be eligible for burial in a VA National Cemetery if they meet certain requirements, such as being called to active duty and serving the full period for which they were called.

3. Can a spouse or dependent be buried in a VA National Cemetery before the veteran?

Yes, a spouse or dependent may be buried in a VA National Cemetery before the veteran if the veteran is also eligible for burial. However, the veteran must be buried in the same cemetery, either in the same grave or in an adjacent grave, after they pass away.

4. What burial benefits are provided at a VA National Cemetery?

At a VA National Cemetery, the following burial benefits may be provided: a gravesite, government-furnished headstone or marker, Presidential Memorial Certificate, and perpetual care of the gravesite. Additionally, the burial flag, if not already provided, will be given to the veteran’s next of kin.

5. Can a veteran choose the VA National Cemetery where they will be buried?

While veterans can express their preference for a specific VA National Cemetery, the cemetery staff makes the final determination of the burial location based on available space and other factors.

6. How can a veteran arrange for their burial in a VA National Cemetery?

Veterans or their family members can contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-800-535-1117 to arrange for burial in a VA National Cemetery. It is essential to provide documentation of the veteran’s military service, such as a DD Form 214 or equivalent, when making the arrangements.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Gravesite preparation
  • Opening and closing of the grave
  • Perpetual care of the gravesite
  • Government headstone or marker
  • Presidential Memorial Certificate

Sources for More Information