For families of veterans, to help you think ahead.
Have you thought about what kind of ceremony you would want?
Military honors may be available at no cost to the family.
- Locate the veteran’s DD214 discharge form.
- Consider whether you want burial or cremation.
- Decide where the burial will take place, and if the spouse will someday be buried there.
- If considering a national or state cemetery, begin the process with an inquiry.
Other forms to consider using:
- A form to recover lost military medals (if that is a need).
- Flag request form (check with your funeral home or the Post Office).
For a Military Honors Ceremony:
- Begin with a discussion with your funeral director
- The funeral director will communicate with the American Legion Post Commander. They will contact the veteran’s military branch to see if they will be participating, If no active duty personnel will be involved, the American Legion members will perform the ceremony.
Some personal details to consider:
- What music will we want to use?
- Who will we want to involve as pall bearers? Any honorary pall bearers to be listed?
- Will we want to display any photos? If any need to be enlarged, begin the process early.
- Will we want to display any military items or memorabilia? If so, who will be responsible?
- What do we want to include in the newspaper announcement? And what picture to use? (Some families of veterans include a picture of the veteran in their early, active duty days, and a more recent picture).
Consider the military benefits which may help you with this process:
- VBA National Call Center: 1.800.827.1000.
- Ask if any financial assistance will be available from the VA or other government source for burial or cremations. What about assistance with or payment for the grave marker?
- Will there be any spousal benefits available? Financial benefits and/or emotional support?
- Possible contacts regarding benefits for veterans and their families in Amarillo include:
- Amarillo VA: 806.355.9703
What other benefits or services might be accessed for the family? Consider church, friends, other family members, social workers, chaplain, volunteers…
There are resources available for Veterans – in the Texas panhandle and nationally!
- The Amarillo Vet Center (counseling)
- The Amarillo VA Hospital
- National Resource Directory for Veterans
- From NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness)
- US Veterans Resource
- Veterans’ Benefit Resources
- American Job Center (for veterans)
- Video stories to support caregivers of veterans