To arrange burial in a national veterans cemetery, a veteran's family must submit eligibility documentation to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and select a funeral home. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides the grave site for free, a government headstone or marker, a burial flag and a presidential memorial certificate.Continue Reading
For most burials in national cemeteries, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Scheduling Office requires a veteran's family to fax a copy of military discharge papers that bear an official seal or other supporting documentation that shows a veteran received an honorable discharge. The Department waives this requirement when a veteran or eligible dependent is already buried at a national cemetery. The scheduling office works with families who cannot provide eligibility documentation to determine verification, which can take more than 48 hours to complete.
After submitting documentation, the veteran's family must call the office and provide supplementary information, including the cemetery where they want to bury their loved one, if there is already a veteran or dependent buried in that cemetery and the funeral home they want to handle the burial. A veteran's family must provide personal information, such as where the veteran lived, if he was married and if he had a religious preference.
Some eligible veterans also receive burial allowances, which their families can use to offset items or services that a funeral home or cremation office provides. A veteran's family usually works directly with a funeral home or cremation office to prepare the body in advance of the burial.Learn more about Holidays & Celebrations