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VA Memorial Benefits

VA takes special care to pay lasting tribute to the memory of Veterans who served and sacrificed and that of their families. VA meticulously maintains 131 VA national cemeteries in 39 states and is adding new sites to accommodate Veterans and loved ones in their time of need. In a few years, 95 percent of Veterans will have a burial option located within about an hour’s drive of their home.

Veterans with a qualifying discharge are automatically entitled to VA burial services. Spouses and dependent children are eligible, too.

The following burial services may be provided to Veterans and their loved ones:

  • Burial in a VA national cemetery
  • Opening and closing of the grave, burial of cremated remains, or placement in an above-ground vault, also called a columbarium
  • Perpetual care of the gravesite
  • Ordering and inscription of a headstone or marker with an inscription
  • Provision of a burial flag
  • Award of a Presidential Memorial Certificate
  • Performance of a committal service with military honors
  • Transportation of flower arrangements from committal service to gravesite

Eligible Veterans may receive headstones, markers, or medallions to place in private cemeteries worldwide. Some Veterans may also be eligible for VA burial allowances or use benefits for private cemetery burials that also include a headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate.

Please note that VA gravesites cannot be reserved in advance.

VA Requirements

  • Discharge papers to establish your eligibility for burial services
  • Burials must take place during the week and cannot be conducted on a federal holiday

VA Application Process

It takes about 10 minutes to establish eligibility for burial in a VA national cemetery.

  • At the time of need, families simply fax the DD-214 form or other discharge papers to 1-866-900-6417 and follow up with a phone call to 1-800-535-1117.
  • Then, make arrangements with a funeral home or directly with a VA national cemetery.
  • Although burial plots cannot be reserved, you can plan ahead by safeguarding military discharge papers.
photo: Mike

It’s a benefit that very few people realize is out there.

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