Vietnam Veterans of America VVA



Veterans Administration Benefits (V.A.)

Vietnam Veterans Burial and Funeral Guide

The VA does not make funeral arrangements or perform cremations. Families should make these arrangements with a funeral provider or cremation office. Any item or service obtained from a funeral home or cremation office will be at the families expense.

Burial in a National Cemetery

Burial benefits available include a gravesite in any of our 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 Veteranís headstone, at no cost to the family. Eligible spouses and dependents may be buried, even if they predecease the Veteran.

Burial in a Private Cemetery

Burial benefits available for Veterans buried in a private cemetery include 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. There are not any benefits available to spouses and dependents buried in a private cemetery.

Burial Flags

A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased Veteran who served honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces. It is furnished to honor the memory of a Veteranís military service to his or her country. VA will furnish a burial flag for memorialization for each other than dishonorable discharged.

  • Veteran who served during wartime
  • Veteran who died on active duty after May 27, 1941
  • Veteran who served after January 31, 1955
  • peacetime Veteran who was discharged or released before June 27, 1950
  • certain persons who served in the organized military forces of the Commonwealth of the Philippines while in service of the U.S. Armed Forces and who died on or after April 25, 1951
  • certain former members of the Selected Reserves
  • Are You Eligible to Receive the Burial Flag?

    Generally, the flag is given to the next-of-kin, as a keepsake, after its use during the funeral service. When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend making request for it. For those VA national cemeteries with an Avenue of Flags, families of Veterans buried in these national cemeteries may donate the burial flags of their loved ones to be flown on patriotic holidays.

    How Can You Apply?

    You may apply for the flag by completing VA Form 21-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes. You may get a flag at any VA regional office or U.S. Post Office. Generally, the funeral director will help you obtain the flag.

    Veterans Burial Insurance

    VA takes special care to pay lasting tribute to the memory of Veterans who served and sacrificed and that of their families. VA meticulously maintains 135 VA national cemeteries in 40 states and Puerto Rico and is working to increase access to accommodate Veterans and eligible family members close to home. In a few years, 95 percent of Veterans will have a burial option in an open VA, state or tribal veterans cemetery located within 75 miles of their home. Some benefits are also available for Veterans who choose burial in a private cemetery.

    Veterans with a qualifying discharge are entitled to VA burial benefits. Spouses and dependent children are eligible too, even if they predecease the Veteran.

    Burial in a VA National Cemetery

    The following burial benefits may be provided:

  • Opening and closing of the grave or burial of cremated remains or placement in an above-ground vault, also called a columbarium
  • A government furnished grave liner
  • Perpetual care of the gravesite
  • A headstone or marker with an inscription
  • A burial flag
  • A Presidential Memorial Certificate
  • Transportation of flower arrangements from the committal service shelter to the gravesite
  • Burial in a Private Cemetery

  • A government headstone, marker, or medallion
  • A burial flag
  • A Presidential Memorial Certificate
  • Some survivors may also be entitled to VA burial allowances as partial reimbursement for the costs of funerals and burials for eligible Veterans.
  • VVA's Founding Principle

    "Never again shall one generation of veterans abandon another."


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