VA Headstones & Markers
Burial in National Cemeteries
Presidential Memorial Certificates
The Reimbursement of Burial Expenses
VETERANS . . . KNOW YOUR BENEFITS !
Besides funeral and burial benefits, did you know that there are benefit programs and allowances in place with the VA dealing with: former Prisoners of War, agent orange and other herbicides? Along with veteranís exposed to radiation, Gulf War veterans, National Guardsmen, allowances for dependents, incarcerated veterans, grants for specially adapted homes, automobile assistance, clothing allowances, training and education, government pensions (including possible caregiver aid benefits), home loan guaranties, vocational rehabilitation & employment, special care and allowances for the children of Vietnam veterans afflicted with spina bifida --- and the assistance programs for our veteranís continues to go on and on.
You owe it to yourself, your family and those who care for you; to understand and take advantage of the assistance that is in place by our government to help you --for your service to a grateful nation !
Local & National VA Contacts:
VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS / AMERICAN LEGION / U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Director, Office of Memorial Programs (403 A)
National Cemetery System
Department of Veteranís Affairs
Washington, DC 20420
1-800-697-6947 (8:00 AM until 4:30 PM EST)
Government Life Insurance Information VA Center
1-800-669-8477 (8:00 AM until 6:30 PM EST)
County of Venango, Office of Veteranís Affairs
(Located in the former Grandview Nursing Care Facility on Dale Avenue in Franklin)
Butler VA Medical Center
Butler, Butler County, Pennsylvania
Erie VA Medical Center
Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania
Soldierís and Sailorís Home
Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania
Department of Veteranís Affairs Regional Office
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
The Veteranís Education Assistance Program
The Veteranís Outreach Center
1-800-932-0930 - or - 814-453-5719
The Veteranís Administration
Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania
© Copyright 2013 Timothy E. Hartle Funeral Home All rights reserved.
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The Veteranís Administration provides the Flag of The United States of America to drape the casket of a veteran and a person entitled to retired military pay. After the funeral service the Flag may be given to the surviving spouse of the veteran, or in lieu there of, the closest next of kin of the deceased veteran. The VA will also issue the Flag on behalf of a service member who was deemed missing in action and later to be presumed dead. Flags are issued from VA regional offices, VA medical centers, VA convalescent care facilities, national cemeteries and any U.S. Post Office.
The Veteranís Administration provides headstones
and markers for the unmarked graves of United States veteranís anywhere
in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national,
state veteran or military cemeteries.
Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, upright
granite and upright marble types are available to mark the grave in a
style consistent with the place of burial. Bronze niche markers are also
available to mark columbaria used for the inurnment of the deceased
veteranís cremated remains.
Headstones and markers are inscribed with the name of the deceased veteran, the years of birth and death, and branch of service. Optional items that also may be inscribed at the expense of the VA are: military grade, rank or rate, war service such as World War II or the name of the deceased veteran's spouse.
Months and days of dates of birth and death, an
emblem reflecting oneís religious belief, awards of valor and The Purple
Heart. Additional items may be inscribed at private expense with the
approval of the VA.
When burial is in a national, state veteran or
military cemetery, the headstone or marker is ordered through the
cemetery, inscription, shipping and placement can be obtained by the
cemetery or by a private source.
When burial occurs in a cemetery other than a
national, military post or state veteranís cemetery, the headstone or
marker must be applied for from the VA. It is shipped at the
governmentís expense. The VA however does not pay for the cost of
placing the headstone or marker on the grave (Please note: most
counties situated within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provide an
allowance for the headstone or markerís placement).
The VA cannot issue a headstone or marker for a
spouse or child buried in a private cemetery. Twenty year reservists
without active duty service are eligible for a headstone or marker, if
they are entitled to military retired pay at the time of their death.
To memorialize an eligible veteran whose remains are not available for burial, the VA will provide a plot and memorial marker in a national cemetery. The memorial marker is the same as that used to identify a grave except that the mandatory phrase ďIN MEMORY OFĒ precedes the authorized inscription. The memorial marker is available to memorialize eligible veterans or deceased active duty members whose remains were not recovered or identified, were buried at sea, donated to science, or cremated and scattered. This memorial marker may be provided as well for placement in a cemetery other than a national cemetery. In such a case, the VA supplies the marker and pays the cost of shipping, but does not pay for the plot or placement of the marker. Only a relative recognized as the next of kin may apply for this benefit directly from the VA.
Burial benefits in a VA national cemetery include the
gravesite, opening and closing of the grave and perpetual care. Many
national cemeteries have columbaria for the inurnment of cremated remains
or special gravesites for the burial of cremated remains. Headstones or
markers and their placement are provided at the expense of the United
Veterans and armed forces members who die while on active duty are eligible for burial in one of the VAís 114 national cemeteries around the nation. An eligible veteran must have been discharged or separated from active duty under honorable or general conditions and have completed the required period of service. Persons entitled to retired pay as a result of 20 years creditable service with a reserve component are eligible. A United States citizen who has served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in a war also may be eligible.
Spouses and minor children of eligible veterans and
of armed forces members also may be buried in a national cemetery. A
surviving spouse of an eligible veteran who married a non-veteran, and
whose remarriage was terminated by death or legal divorce of the
non-veteran, is eligible for burial in a national cemetery with the
Gravesites in national cemeteries may not be reserved. Funeral directors or others making burial arrangements must apply at the time of death. Reservations made under previous programs shall be honored. The National Cemetery System normally does not conduct burials on weekends. A weekend caller, however, will be directed to one of three strategically located VA cemetery offices that remain open during weekends to schedule burial at the cemetery of the callerís choice during the following week.
The Veteranís Administration will pay a burial
allowance up to $2,000 if the veteranís death is service connected. The
VA will also pay the cost of transporting the remains of a
service-disabled veteran to the national cemetery nearest the home of that
veteran that has available grave space. In such cases, the person who bore
the veteranís burial expenses may claim reimbursement from the VA. The
VA will pay a $300 burial and funeral expense allowance for the veteran
who, at the time of death, who was entitled to receive pension or
compensation or would have been entitled to compensation but for receipt
of military retirement pay. Eligibility also is established when death
occurs in a VA facility or a nursing home with which VA has contracted.
The additional costs of transportation of the deceased veteran may also be
reimbursed. There is NO TIME LIMIT for filing reimbursement claims of
service-connected deaths. In other type causes of death, claims must be
filed within two years after permanent burial or cremation.
The VA will pay a $300 plot allowance when the
deceased veteran is not buried in a cemetery that is under U.S. Government
jurisdiction if the veteran is discharged from active duty because of
disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty. If the deceased
veteran was in receipt of compensation or pension or would have been in
receipt of compensation but for receipt of military retired pay, or if the
veteran died while being hospitalized by the VA. The plot allowance is not
payable solely on wartime service.
If the veteran is buried without charge for the cost of a plot or interment in a state-owned cemetery reserved solely for veteranís burials, the $300 plot allowance may be paid to the state. Burial expenses paid by the deceased veteranís employer or a state agency, will not be reimbursed.