Gallant-Riverview Funeral Home can assist in applying for Veteran's Benefits. Some benefits are available to all veterans who have been discharged or separated from active duty under honorable or general conditions; such as a burial flag and VA issued headstones or markers. Eligibility for certain other Veteran's benefits are based on each individual veteran's status. You may contact us and we will help you fill out any necessary paperwork and applications as well as making any necessary phone calls for you.
We offer a variety of specialized merchandise to help customize a military funeral or memorial service. We will also assist in securing military honors for veterans who are eligible. Most veterans' benefits require that applicants provide a copy of their Form DD-214 or discharge record, which is evidence of their veteran status. If you do not already have those papers, you may request them from the National Archives via this link: DD-214 Request.
VA provides an American flag to drape the casket of a veteran and to a person entitled to retired military pay. After the funeral service, the flag will be given to the next of kin. VA also will issue a flag on behalf of a service member who was missing in action and later presumed dead. Gallant-Riverview Funeral Home will complete the flag application forms and procure the flag for you.
HEADSTONES OR MARKERS
VA provides headstones and markers for the graves of veterans anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state veteran or military cemeteries.
Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, upright granite and upright marble types are available to mark the grave in a style consistent with the place of burial. Niche markers also are available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains.
Headstones and markers are inscribed with the name of the deceased, the years of birth and death, and branch of service. Optional items that also may be inscribed at VA expense are: military grade, rank or rate; war service such as World War II; months and days of birth and death; an emblem reflecting one's beliefs; valor awards; and the Purple Heart. Additional items may be inscribed at private expense. When burial is in a national, state veteran or military cemetery, the headstone or marker is ordered through the cemetery, which will place it on the grave. Information regarding style, inscription, shipping and placement can be obtained from the cemetery.
When burial occurs in a cemetery other than a national cemetery or a state veterans cemetery, the headstone or marker must be applied for from VA. Gallant-Riverview Funeral Home will assist the family in completing the necessary paperwork and sending the application to the VA. We will use the information on the DD-214 and other supporting documents to help you fill out the application as completely as possible. It is shipped at government expense to the funeral home. VA, however, does not pay the cost of placing the headstone or marker on the grave.
VA cannot issue a headstone or marker for a spouse or child buried in a private cemetery. Twenty year reservists without active duty service are eligible for a headstone or marker, if they are entitled to military retired pay at the time of death.
BURIAL IN VA NATIONAL CEMETERIES
Burial benefits in a VA national cemetery include the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, and perpetual care. Many national cemeteries have columbaria for the inurnment of cremated remains or special gravesites for the burial of cremated remains. Headstones and markers and their placement are provided at the government's expense.
Veterans and armed forces members who die on active duty are eligible for burial in one of VA's 114 national cemeteries. An eligible veteran must have been discharged or separated from active duty under honorable or general conditions and have completed the required period of service. Persons entitled to retired pay as a result of 20 years creditable service with a reserve component are eligible. A U.S. citizen who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in a war also may be eligible.
Spouses and minor children of eligible veterans and of armed forces members also may be buried in a national cemetery, even if they predecease the veteran. A surviving spouse of an eligible veteran who married a nonveteran, and whose remarriage was teminated by death or divorce, is eligible for burial in a national cemetery.
Gravesites in national cemeteries cannot be reserved. Funeral directors or others making burial arrangements must apply at the time of death. Reservations made under previous programs are honored. The National Cemetery System normally does not conduct burials on weekends. A weekend caller, however, will be directed to on of three strategically located VA cemetery offices that remain open during weekends to schedule burials at the cemetery of the caller's choice during the following week.
Department of Veterans Affairs Web Site
Request for Discharge Certificates (DD-214)