Our loved ones who have decided to serve the country by being military personnel or veterans have made incredible sacrifices. As they take on the front lines of defending and protecting a nation, they rightfully deserve all the honor, respect, and recognition possible. Their job description requires them to be brave and strong every working day, and it only fits that they are sent to their final resting place honorably. 

No matter where your decorated loved one has served for the military, every service member of any rank should be given the due commemoration and tribute they deserve. If you have lost a loved one in the line of duty or are sending off someone who dedicated their life in uniform, this is the article for you. We have prepared this complete guide to help you in honoring departed military personnel.

Why should we pay tribute to departed military personnel?

We may never fully understand what military personnel goes through. However, we can understand the hardships and sacrifices they made when they decided to serve the country. By giving them a good farewell and paying tribute to them, we are, in return, giving them the respect they deserve as well as shedding light on the loyalty and courage they displayed. 

Apart from the military personnel themselves, their families and loved ones deserve to see their departed military man or woman paid tribute to. The loved ones have been with the departed and have supported them throughout their whole job. It only fits that they are given a proper final tribute as well. By honoring military personnel, we can pay attention to their contributions to the nation and recognize the cause that they have supported.

Will you receive a flag or headstone to commemorate the departed?

Most military countries, like the United States Army, will provide a burial flag. This burial flag comes at no cost and is meant to be draped over the deceased’s casket during the funeral service. If the family has opted for cremation, it can also accompany the cremation urn for ashes of the military personnel.

The funeral flag is usually entrusted to the next-of-kin as a form of keepsake after the funeral. Any veteran who qualifies for military honors will be given a burial flag. However, it should be noted that only one will be given. Thus, it would be best to look after the flag well. This is because it will not be replaced should it be destroyed, lost, or stolen.

These can also be given a government headstone or marker without having to pay for it for unmarked graves. These are given to eligible veterans whose loved ones will copy an official military discharge document with the official seal. 

Can you bury your loved one in a military cemetery?

Generally, the military personnel who died while on active duty are eligible to be buried in military cemeteries. Thus, a veteran should have been discharged or separated from duty for any other reason that isn’t dishonorable discharge. It is also necessary that they have completed at least one year of service.

What happens during a military service funeral?

A military service funeral is characterized by being held at a national cemetery. It happens with an honor guard and a minimum of 2 members of the Armed Forces. There are the traditional folding and handing over of the flag to the next-of-kin. There can also be gun salutes and casket bearers, depending on the level of service attained by the departed.

We recommend that you get in touch with the former employer of the departed. There may be benefits you can claim and rites that can be performed.