The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Columns

May 3, 2014

Rob Loose: Military rites honor heroes among us

The loss of a loved one is something we all must face at some time. Military funerals can be some of the most emotional.

The hallowed tones of "Taps" stir up emotions deep inside of us and the 21-gun salute can take your breath away. But these and all parts of a military service are to pay honor to heroes who have served their country faithfully and deserve a special good-bye.

Honoring our veterans through military funerals demands detailed information, and specific steps must be taken, the first being to confirm eligibility for benefits.

Eligible veterans are entitled to a flag, granite or bronze grave marker and a military ceremony. If the eligible veteran desires to be placed in a national cemetery, they will also be given a grave and a burial vault.

Families of eligible veterans may request a veteran ceremony through their funeral director. The funeral director will contact the appropriate military service to arrange for the funeral honors detail.

At a minimum, a military ceremony includes the folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps.

But, in our community, we are blessed to have several members of the local VFWs and American Legions who will, upon a moment’s notice, arrange for an honor guard, the folding of the American flag, a Twenty-one Gun Salute and the playing of Taps for their fallen comrade.

Burial at sea, or the scattering of ashes, is also available to all veterans and dependents, and is provided by the Navy or U.S. Coast Guard, but the family may not witness this type of burial.

In Indiana, a veteran also receives a one-time $100 death benefit through the county where the veteran lived. With a copy of the veteran’s Honorable Discharge, your funeral director will be able to arrange the services at a national cemetery, a military honors ceremony, order the flag, file for the death benefit, and order a military marker or any portion desired by the veteran or their family.

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