Benefits Updates for Veterans

  • October 4th, 2013
  • Posted in

To all Maine Legionaries, Auxiliary and families,

Those of us who help provide military funeral honors want to remind you about what you can expect at YOUR funeral or the funeral of your loved one. We too often see that families do not get the beautiful memory of this moving and profound recognition of their loved one’s service.

  1. Active Duty and Retired personnel are entitled to Full Military Funeral Honors, consisting of a 9-member team (6 pallbearers and/or firing party, a chaplain, and officer and/or NCO in charge, and a bugler (if available). The team serves as pallbearers and the firing party, folds and presents the American flag to the next of kin, and plays “Taps”. A member of the decedent’s parent military Service will present the flag.  Military Funeral Honors for retirees is the same as for active duty service members (resources permitting).  Medal of Honor recipients will receive full military honors regardless of status.
  1. Veterans: All veterans are entitled to a service detail consisting of at least 2 uniformed military members, at least 1 of whom will be from the parent service of the veteran.  The team will fold the United States Flag and the parent service representative will present it to the next of kin. Also, every effort will be made to obtain a live bugler to play “Taps”.

Otherwise, the team will play “Taps” using an electronic recording.  will provide volunteer live buglers for any veteran’s service.

  1. The National Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2000 provides for the rendering of Military Funeral Honors. Military Funeral Honors are a statutory entitlement to all veterans…….

reference: AR 600-24, September 2004

  1. You should receive the burial Flag from the Funeral Director or the Direct Cremation Director. IF NOT, contact the Legion Service Officer for assistance. Most Military Honor Guards also have Flags available for the service if one has not been provided.


  1. Grave Stone and Markers. The veteran is entitled to a government marker furnished at NO COST. The Funeral Director usually orders the stone. There are several to choose from – ask! If there is no Funeral Director, contact the Legion Service Officer who will help you order a stone. Bronze Tablets take up to a month to receive and  come via UPS. Marble or granite stones take longer and come by truck. The cost of erecting the stone in your cemetery is not paid by the government. If there is a hardship, contact the Legion Service Officer for assistance.
  1. Grave Flags and holders are usually provided by the town or veterans group responsible for Memorial Day grave Flags. Contact your Legion Service Officer.

NOW, the important reminder:  All funeral directors do not always promote your benefit. IF YOU ASK, they must provide.  Make your wishes known.  Make a “FINAL WISHES PLAN” and leave it in an easy to find location with a copy of your DD 214 or Report of Separation.  If you are opting for cremation, there are several cremation services that will not automatically assist with the internment or committal service so be prepared to have your family make plans for your Military Funeral Honors. Call Maine Funeral Honor Program at 626-7822 for help with Army Honors, Maine State Honor Guard for Air Corps or Air Force honors at 404-7263 and 921-2959 at Bangor Naval Station for Navy and Marine Honors.