Honoring Our Veterans

"Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid.  They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices."        ~ President Harry S. Truman                    

Military Honors

The rendering of Military Funeral Honors is a way to show the nation's deep gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country. This ceremonial paying of respect is the final demonstration a grateful nation can provide to the veteran's family. 

Upon a family’s request, an eligible veteran will receive military funeral honors including folding and presenting of the United States burial flag. Full military burial honors are provided only to those on active duty or retired military personnel and at the sole discretion of the military. 

What can the family of an eligible veteran expect? 

The core elements of the military funeral honors ceremony, which will be conducted, are: 

•Flag folding     •Flag presentation       •Playing of Taps 

What additional Funeral Honors elements could be provided if personnel and resources are available? 
By law, military units are required to provide, at a minimum, a two-person uniformed detail to present the core elements of the Funeral Honors ceremony. Additional elements that could be provided as part of the Funeral Honors ceremony include: 

•Rifle detail     •Color guard     •Pallbearers     •Caisson     •Military flyover 

Burial Flag 

Burial flags are provided at no cost. After the burial, the flag will be presented to the veteran's next of kin. If no claim is made for the flag by the next of kin, it may be given, upon request, to a close friend or associate of the deceased veteran.


Veterans Burial Entitlements

Cochran Family of Funeral Service advocates for veterans. Military service runs deep within our family and we are thankful for the sacrifices made by each veteran. We are blessed to have the Georgia National Cemetery(located in Canton, Georgia) right in the heart of our beautiful mountains and feel it's our duty that you are informed of this.

Burial benefits available include a gravesite in any of the 131 national cemeteries with available space, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some Veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.

Burial benefits available for spouses and dependents buried in a national cemetery include burial with the Veteran, perpetual care, and the spouse or dependents name and date of birth and death will be inscribed on the Veteran's headstone, at no cost to the family. Eligible spouses and dependents may be buried, even if they predecease the Veteran.


Veterans Headstones & Medallions

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) furnishes upon request, at no charge, a Government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any deceased eligible Veteran in any cemetery around the world, regardless of their date of death.

For eligible veterans that died on or after Nov. 1, 1990 and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone, VA may also furnish a headstone or marker to supplement the graves or a Medallion to be affixed to a privately purchased headstone.

Flat markers in granite, marble, and bronze and upright headstones in granite and marble are available. Bronze niche markers are also available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains. The style chosen must be permitted by the officials in charge of the private cemetery where it will be placed.

Spouses and dependents are not eligible for a Government-furnished headstone or marker unless they are buried in a national cemetery, state Veteran's cemetery, or military post/base cemetery.


Replacement DD214

Beyond medical records, beyond medals and beyond pay stubs, the most important document a veteran can have is a DD 214. The DD 214, or the Department of Defense Form 214, shows how long a military veteran served, what type of discharge he/she had, and what benefits he/she is entitled to. It isn't a large complicated form but it possesses key information needed to obtain death benefits from the Veterans Administration. 

If you are planning ahead you can request a copy of a DD214 from the National Archives using the link below.       

http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/ 

If your request is urgent (e.g. upcoming funeral) and there is a deadline associated with your request, please provide this information in the "Purpose" section of the SF-180 and fax it to Customer Service at (314) 801-0764 and then contact customer service at (314) 801-0800 if you have questions or require same day service. The staff of Cochran Family of Funeral Service would also be glad to assist you. 

SF-180; Request for Military Records  

How Do I Request Military Awards and Decorations?

For the Veteran: in general, the military services will work replacement medal requests for the veteran at no cost. This includes family members with the signed authorization of the veteran.

For the Next-of-Kin: the process (and cost) for replacement medals requests differs among the service branches and is dependent upon who is requesting the medal, particularly if the request involves an archival record.

http://www.archives.gov/veterans/replace-medals.html