My family member was a decorated veteran who just passed away. He/She requested a military funeral, can you assist me?
A law governing military funeral honors went into effect on January 1, 2000. The law provides: 1) a basic military funeral honors ceremony, including the folding and presentation of the flag and the playing of Taps for every eligible veteran; 2) a funeral honors detail to perform the ceremony, consisting of two or more uniformed members of the US Armed Forces, with at least one member from the service branch in which the veteran served.
All licensed funeral directors should receive a kit containing information on how to obtain funeral honors. The kit includes a military service directory with telephone numbers for every state and county to arrange for funeral honors; a brochure highlighting the basic elements of a funeral honors ceremony; a list of frequently asked questions and answers about military funeral honors; an instructional brochure on how to fold the flag; and a compact disc of Taps. A toll-free line and web site also have been established.
The toll-free line (1-877-MIL-HONR) is for use exclusively by funeral directors to request honors. By calling this number, funeral directors can be connected to regional military offices to arrange for funeral honors ceremonies. The web site, located at www.militaryfuneralhonors.osd.mil, contains information for both funeral directors and the general public about funeral honors, including a step-by-step procedure to request honors.
If the funeral director in your area has not received the kit, he should contact the toll-free number and request the information. In addition, the funeral director may have information from area veterans groups that may be able to assist you.