"Let us go forth to lead the land we love,
asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work
must truly be our own."
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Benefits are available to veterans discharged or separated from active duty under conditions
other than dishonorable who have completed the required period of service, or U.S. Armed Forces members
who die on active duty. Spouses and dependent children of eligible living and deceased veterans,
and of current and deceased armed forces members, may also be eligible.
Note: The surviving spouse of an eligible veteran who remarried a non-veteran prior
to October 31, 1990, and whose remarriage was terminated by death or divorce prior to or on that date is
eligible for burial in a national cemetery. A surviving spouse of an eligible veteran who remarried a
non-veteran prior to October 31, 1990, and whose remarriage was intact on or after that date, however,
is not eligible for burial in a national cemetery. A surviving spouse who remarries a non-veteran after
October 31, 1990, is not eligible for burial in a national cemetery.
Burial Grave in a National Cemetery
The United States Government provides free burial in a National Cemetery to all those eligible. This includes the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, and perpetual care. Many national cemeteries have columbaria niches for the
internment of cremated remains or special sections for burial of cremated remains.
Headstones and Markers
The United States Government provides headstones and markers for the graves of veterans and eligible dependents anywhere in the world which are not already marked. Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble and upright marble types are available to mark the grave of a veteran or dependent in the style consistent with exiting monuments at the place of burial. Bronze niche markers are also available to mark columbaria in national cemeteries used for
internment of cremated remains. (Some cemeteries charge for marker installation.)
Burial at Sea
Burial at sea is not just a tradition that was practiced by the Navy of old. It is a means of final disposition of cremains
and intact remains that is offered to and still utilized by active duty,
retired, and honorable veterans of all branches of the United States
military. Burial at sea services are performed while the vessel is on
official maneuvers. Therefore, it is impossible for the family to be
present. The family will be notified by the commanding officer of that
vessel of the date time, longitude, and latitude of the committal
Eligibility: Deceased individuals eligible for this
program are members of the uniformed services, veterans discharged under
honorable conditions, United States civilian marine personnel of the
Military Sealift Command, and dependents of members, retirees, and
veterans of the uniformed services.