Veterans have earned the right to be buried in a national cemetery and have a grave marker and flag. Those who have been dishonorably discharged or convicted of subversive activity are ineligible. Spouses and dependent children of eligible veterans are also entitled to burial in a national cemetery. Depending upon the circumstances of a veteran’s death, some or all of the costs may be paid by the government. If the death occurs during active duty, all the funeral costs will be covered, whereas when a veteran dies while no longer in service the burial benefits will vary with the circumstances.
A monetary allowance may be available for cremation. Burial benefits are also extended to those who have served their country in other ways, such as the National Guard or the Reserves and some Public Health Service capacities. The U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard will perform sea burials or scattering of cremains for veterans if preferred over burial. To find out more, go to the Veterans’ Affairs website, at www.cem.va.gov. Or you can phone 1-800-827-1000 to locate the Veterans Affairs office nearest you.