When a veteran passes on, their families are often brought comfort by seeing how the military values their loved one’s service. A full military funeral is an inspiring thing, and when you work with funeral homes in Mercer Island, WA, we’ll work with the military to deliver an intimate but impressive memorial. At Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory, no detail is left unfinished when setting up a military funeral with honors.
What Is Included in a Military Funeral?
Every military funeral consists of the playing of Taps and the presentation of a folded United States Flag. This will be done by a military detail of at least two members of the Armed Forces, assigned as a funeral honors detail. At least one member of the detail will be from the branch that the deceased represented, and the level of honors will be determined by the veteran’s status. We can accomodate full military honors, a 7-person detail, and standard honors.
Who Is Eligible for a Military Funeral?
Every United States military veteran who served in combat or in peacetime is eligible for a military funeral if they were discharged in a way other than dishonorable. This includes former military members who completed a term of enlistment or required service, including those who were discharged due to injury or medical condition.
To establish veteran eligibility, we recommend obtaining a DD Form 214, which shows the date and status of the veteran’s discharge from the military. This form can be obtained from the National Records Center. Members of the Commissioned Officer Corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are also eligible.
What Does the Government Provide?
The government will provide a burial flag and a headstone free of charge for everyone eligible for a military funeral. Headstones will come inscribed with the name, lifespan, and details of service and come in granite and marble. Flat markers are also available in granite, marble, and bronze. The headstone or marker can be placed in a military cemetery free of charge or in a private cemetery by arrangement with the owners.
The burial flag provided by the government can be draped over the casket or accompany the urn for those who choose cremation. It will be presented to the next of kin or the person designated by the veteran.
Can I Personalize a Military Funeral?
Yes, and this is one of the big advantages of working with funeral homes rather than directly with the government. We can fuse the ceremony and respect of a military funeral with the personal touch you’re looking for. The wake and ceremony can include a customized tribute to the life you loved one lived before and after their time in the military, and conclude with the military honors that celebrate their contributions to the Armed Forces.
If you’re looking to plan a military funeral for a loved one or pre-plan your own honors, Mercer Island, WA funeral homes can help. Visit us at Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory at our offices at 4567 Rainier Avenue S, Seattle, WA, 98118, only a 15-minute drive from Mercer Island, or reach us on our website or by phone at (206) 722-1100.