A Final Salute: Funeral Arrangements to Honor Veterans

By: VGFS
Saturday, November 3, 2018

Our military veterans have made tremendous sacrifices for our country and deserve to be honored, especially during their funeral services. A military service offers an important way to pay respects to these heroic service members, as well as their families.

At Vaughn Greene Funeral Services, we work closely with military families to develop memorial services that truly celebrate the life and service of their loved one, whether that means a full honors ceremony or an intimate family gathering.

What does a military funeral service include? Mandated by law and free of charge, the basic military funeral honors ceremony consists of the folding and presenting of the United States flag to the veteran's family and the playing of “Taps”. The ceremony is performed by a funeral honors detail consisting of two or more members of the Armed Forces, at least one of which is from the military branch in which the deceased veteran served. Military funeral honor teams may also act as pall bearers upon request of the veteran’s family. Various levels of funeral honors exist, depending on the rank of the veteran. These include: Full Military Honors, Seven Person Detail, or a Standard Honors Team Detail. Our experienced funeral directors assist with making these arrangements on behalf of the veteran’s family.

Who’s eligible for military funeral honors? Veterans from all military branches qualify, regardless of rank, and regardless of whether they served in active duty, Reserve duty, or National Guard duty. This includes:

  • Military members on active duty or in the Selected Reserve
  • Former military members who served on active duty and departed under conditions other than dishonorable
  • Former military members who completed at least one term of enlistment or period of initial obligated service in the Selected Reserve and departed under conditions other than dishonorable
  • Former military members discharged from the Selected Reserve due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty

In addition to military funeral honors, deceased U.S. Veterans are entitled to a number of other benefits:

  • A flag is provided, at no cost, to drape over the casket or to place alongside the urn. The flag is given to the next of kin following the service.
  • Headstone markers or medallions can be obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs at no cost. 
  • Families may request the Presidential Memorial Certificate, signed by the current Commander in Chief. 
  • Military services can take place in private locations, such as cemeteries and churches, or in veteran cemeteries.

While additional military funeral honors exist, they cannot be guaranteed due to limitations on available personnel and resources. These additional honors may include:

  • A rifle detail
  • A flag-bearing color guard
  • Service-connected pallbearers
  • A caisson (horse-drawn wagon) to carry the deceased
  • A flyover by military aircraft

It’s important to note that these additional military funeral honors are subject to the availability of personnel and resources. While families may request these services for the committal of their loved ones, there’s no guarantee that the funeral provider, cemetery or federal government can provide them.

The brave men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms deserve the thanks of a grateful nation. We're proud to do our part in honoring our nation’s veterans, and in giving back to those who have sacrificed so much to serve our country. We are dedicated to providing you and your family with professional, dignified assistance during your time of need, and to support you in honoring your loved one. It would be our privilege to help you with the arrangements for your loved one’s traditional military tribute. Please reach out to us anytime.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

 

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