Veterans

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VA National Suicide Hotline

An astounding and sad statistic shows that an average of 20 veterans take their own life every single day.  


If you are contemplating this, please know that there are people who care about you. 


Help is just a phone call away –


VA National Suicide Hotline Veterans, service members, and their loved ones can call 

1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, send a text message to 838255, or chat online to receive free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, even if they are not registered with the VA or enrolled in VA health care.  

The counselors at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances — from those coping with mental health issues that were never addressed to recent Veterans dealing with relationships or the transition back to civilian life.   

Death Benefits

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 The Veterans Administration provides death benefits for a veteran’s family. Their website is easy to navigate and offers a plethora of helpful information. www.va.gov
To get death benefits, you must provide a copy of discharge papers (form DD-214) that indicate a discharge other than dishonorable. 

These benefits include the following:

  • burial in a national veterans cemetery
  • a flag
  • a burial vault, 
  • a grave marker, 
  • military honors at the graveside, and 
  • a Presidential Merit Certificate
  • if the  burial is in a veterans’ cemetery, a grave can also be reserved for a surviving spouse. 

 If you can’t locate the veteran’s discharge papers, your funeral director can help you get a new copy. This website will tell you what you need to send with your request. – www.archives.gov/veterans/index.html


 There are additional federal monetary allowances toward burial expenses in some circumstances, such as if the veteran’s death occurs in a federal VA hospital or if the veteran was receiving a VA pension at the time of death. Because federal and state guidelines vary depending on the circumstances, your funeral director will be glad to offer information on an individual basis. The Veterans Administration also has a lot of very helpful information. www.cem.va.gov   

  

If a soldier dies during wartime, the benefits are very different and more inclusive. For details on this, ask your funeral director or visit the website mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Cemeteries

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There is a national veterans’ cemetery in almost every state. Some states have more than one and sometimes a veterans cemetery is full and is not accepting any new burials. The veterans website will tell you that. This link will give you a lot of really good information about the cemeteries.  https://www.cem.va.gov/cems/listcem.asp There are some states that also have a state veterans’ cemetery.
 

Aside from veterans’ cemetery, most local cemeteries have a section for veterans. The graves and the cost for burial are sometimes priced less in this area out of respect for the veteran’s service to our country. Ask your local cemetery for details if you’re interested in this.
 

Burial is also permitted in any national veterans cemetery in the United States, depending on the availability of graves. The most well-known veterans cemetery in the United States, is Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, DC. For eligibility for burial in Arlington National Cemetery, your funeral director will be able to help you. There is also information at http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/funeral_information/index.html. 

Your funeral director will be able to help you with availability in other cemeteries in your area. Some may have residency requirements.

Other information

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If you need help with other veterans issues, there is a local veterans center in various cities in every state. Do a search for “veterans center in ____ (enter your city)” and the address and phone number will show up in your search results.
 

If you need further assistance, your funeral director can help you with any concerns.
 

Some older veterans were given the choice during their service to get additional life insurance coverage with Government National Life Insurance. If your veteran had this, your funeral director can help you file the claim for the death benefits. If you have additional questions, their office number is 

1-800-669-8477.