The brave men and women that served our country through the armed forces deserve to be honored and remembered for their generous and remarkable sacrifice. One way our country shows thanks to its veterans is through funeral services. Many funeral homes in Columbia, TN offer special veteran’s services to help honor these men and women. There are also a large number of low cost or free veteran funeral services provided by the United States federal government.
Military funeral service honors are given to eligible members of the United States Armed Forces that consist of the Marines, Army, National Guard, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard. The individual must also meet one or more the following requirements to be eligible:
- Completed at least one term of enlistment or initial obligated service in the Selective Reserve, and were not dishonorably discharged
- Died in active duty or Selective Reserve
- Served on active duty, or in the Selected Reserve, and were not dishonorably discharged
Eligible veterans of the United States armed forces can access low cost or no cost funeral service honors such as:
- “Taps”- “Taps” is a bugle song long associated with military and patriotic funerals. Though live bugle performances are rarely seen these days, military funeral honors require that a high-quality recording of the song be played at any eligible funeral services if no live bugle is available.
- Flag Folding and Presentation: All eligible veterans will have at least 2 Armed Forces members serving as an honor guard during the funeral service. At least one of these guards will be from the deceased’s service branch, and this guard will present a traditionally folded American flag to the next of kin or designated person.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can also furnish a headstone at no cost. These veteran’s headstones are available for any veteran regardless of date of death. The headstones are available in bronze, marble and granite in various styles to match existing headstones in the place of burial. This same service is available for cremated remains in the form of niche markers for columbarium. While the VA does provide the headstone, the family is responsible for grave and burial fees and markers.
A flag is provided at no cost to the family to drape the casket or accompany the deceased’s urn if the body was cremated. The flag will be folded and presented to eligible family members including the next of kin or requested friends. Family members may donate their flags to national cemeteries with Avenue of Flags so the flag can be flown on patriotic holidays to honor the deceased.
If you have more questions about veteran’s funeral services or Columbia, TN funeral homes in general, Williams Funeral Home & Crematory can help. We have years of experience in the funeral industry and are happy to offer our assistance in your time of loss. Please stop by and visit us at 2517 Trotwood Ave, Columbia, TN 38401, or give us a call at (931) 388-2135.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do veterans get free funerals?
Yes, almost all veterans can receive military funeral honors at no cost. Veterans are usually eligible for free memorial items.
How do I plan a veteran’s funeral?
You have to choose a funeral director to help you plan the veterans burial. Then either you or the funeral director can call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office for a burial schedule.
Who qualifies for VA burial benefits?
A Veteran who didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge or a service member who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty for training, or the spouse or minor child of a Veteran are qualified for the benefits.