Military Funeral Planning and Etiquette at Cemeteries in Hampshire, TN

Military funeral services are one of many benefits to the veterans of a grateful nation. Their service is worthy of appreciation when they pass on, whether in battle or not. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs provides veterans with the respect they deserve in death. Military funerals in cemeteries in Hampshire, TN include a choreography of ceremonial regard, such as veteran’s coffin draping with U.S. flag, color guard, uniformed detail and rifle salute, and military burial. Witnessing the bestowal of military honors on can bring deeper meaning for all who attend a veteran’s funeral.

Before planning a military funeral, there are several things to consider:

Proof of Eligibility

In almost every case, you’ll need to provide proof that a deceased veteran is qualified to receive military funeral care. All U.S. veterans are qualified unless they were dishonorably discharged from service or were charged with capital criminal acts.  An experienced funeral care professional can help you identify the documents that qualify as proof of eligibility.

Qualifying documents are generally the veteran’s formal discharge papers from the branch of service that the veteran served in. Many veteran’s keep a copy in their wallet, file cabinet, or another place of permanent record for safekeeping.

It’s best to have the right paperwork on hand in advance before requesting military funeral preparations at the time of need. However, if you are not able to locate discharge papers, locate what information you do have. Look for information about service dates, military branch, service number, rank, location, etc. Most funeral homes will be able to help you from there. You can also contact a military social organization for additional support and understanding of how to complete the necessary paperwork.

Burial Places

There are many national cemeteries where U.S. veterans can be buried, including Arlington, or other VA national or veteran state cemeteries. Talk with a funeral director for additional information how to obtain a burial plot in one of these locations. They will aid with the arrangements, and associated costs should primarily be paid for by the U.S. government.

If you decide to bury a veteran in a private cemetery, such as Polk Memorial Gardens or other private cemeteries in Hampshire, TN, your preferred funeral care provider can assist with military funeral arrangements. Reimbursement for expenses should still be covered by the government if the veteran is eligible for a military burial.

Military Honors

If honors need to be arranged directly, you can contact the honor guard representative of the military branch in which your loved one served. They will connect you with the appropriate honor guard unit. Local veteran service organizations may also be of assistance in coordinating military honors. These organizations include the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.

Burial Markers, Burial Flags

The process for obtaining veterans burial markers is different, depending on whether the fallen will be buried in a national or private cemetery. If burial occurs in a national cemetery, the cemetery will order the preferred gravesite memorial directly per instructions. If burial occurs in a private cemetery, your funeral director will need to apply for the headstone or another marker to be installed in a private or state veteran’s cemetery. The process is similar for obtaining burial flags for national versus private cemeteries.

Military Funeral Etiquette

A military funeral is a formal service of respect and ceremony. It can be deeply stirring to witness and participate in. The occasion merits proper etiquette by all who attend the service, whether civilian or veteran. For those in attendance who have served in the military, you should dress in uniform. Civilians in attendance should dress formally in a respectful manner. Uniformed attendees should salute, and civilians should place their hand over their heart when:

  • The funeral hearse passes by
  • The casket is moving
  • Rifle salutes are fired
  • Bugling of “Taps”
  • The casket is lowered

During the committal service, all should remain standing for the full ceremony. If seating is provided and the chaplain invites you to sit, you may do so. The family of the deceased loved one should be seated at the front of the audience, closest to the gravesite. The color guard will provide the family with the folded American flag.

In national cemeteries, the military funeral ceremony is commonly held at a committal shelter and not at the gravesite. Flowers are appropriate to bring to the committal shelter for the procession with the coffin to the burial site. It’s respectful to visit the grave after the workday and not after the funeral ceremony.

Veteran Burial in Cemeteries in Hampshire, TN

If your loved one and family prefer a military burial with full honors in a local private cemetery, Polk Memorial Gardens can help. Our team of competent funeral professionals has aided many military families in their time of grief. If you’re interested in veteran burial services at our cemeteries in Hampshire, TN visit us at 6465 Trotwood Ave Columbia, TN 38401. Or call us for a conversation at (931) 388-1803.

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