Veteran's Services

We truly believe that the men and women who answered our Nation’s call embody the ideals Americans hold so dear. Because they have proven their devotion to their fellow citizens and to a grateful nation, we all owe them the same respect and devotion in return.

                                             "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived."

                                                 - General George Smith Patton, III - United States Army (WWII) Commander

Why Do More Families Trust Us to Care for their Veteran?

We are known for our compassionate, caring and thoroughly professional staff, and have years of experience in planning military services. Whether your family chooses cremation or burial, we will be proud to take care of all the details involved.

We're proud to do our part in honoring our Nation's Veterans for their dedication and selfless service by giving back to those whose sacrifice and patriotism define our great nation. We would be honored to help you make arrangements for any combination of traditional military tributes, because we believe it is our duty to provide you and your family with professional and dignified assistance during your time of need.

Other Veteran Benefits

In addition to coordinating honors related to the service itself, we can help you communicate with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to arrange for:

  • A Presidential Memorial Certificate. This is a certificate expressing the nation's recognition of the veteran's service. The veteran's name is inscribed and the certificate bears the signature of the president. Certificates are issued in the name of honorably discharged, deceased veterans. Contact us for assistance in applying for a Presidential Memorial Certificate, and we would be happy to guide you through the process.
  • Headstones or Markers. The VA provides headstones and markers for the graves of veterans anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state veteran or military cemeteries.
  • Memorial Plots. If an eligible veteran's remains are not available for burial, the VA will provide a plot and headstone or marker in a national cemetery for memorialization. If you wish to place the memorial in a cemetery other than a national cemetery, the VA will provide the headstone or marker but not the plot itself.
  • Burial in a VA National Cemetery. This includes the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, A grave box, and perpetual care.
  • Reimbursement of Burial Expenses. For information on eligibility and the different levels of potential reimbursement, please review their Guide to VA Burial Allowances.

Additional Resources

Please visit the following links for detailed information about the options available for honoring service members and other aspects of military funerals:

 
We are Proud to Honor Those Who Served

Without a doubt, our professional staff feels pride when we are able to care for a veteran and their family. It is our way of expressing gratitude for their service to the country.

We are committed to taking care of all the details involved in providing the veteran in your life with deeply meaningful and honoring ceremonies. 

To learn more about how we can serve you, give us a call. We will be honored to speak with you.

Who is Eligible?

In short, the veteran must have been honorably discharged. A more detailed list of those service men and women who may apply for, and receive veterans' burial benefits, with full military honors if they choose would include:

  • Military members on active duty or in the Selected Reserve
  • Former military members who served on active duty and departed under conditions other than dishonorable
  • Former military members who completed at least one term of enlistment or period of initial obligated service in the Selected Reserve and departed under conditions other than dishonorable
  • Former military members discharged from the Selected Reserve due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.

If you have any questions about your eligibility, or that of a family member, call us at (760) 522-3356/Se Habla Español. If you have any questions about your eligibility or that of a family member, contact the staff of one of our locations or send us an email using our contact form.

Who is not eligible for Military Funeral Honors?

  • Any person separated from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions or whose character of service results in a bar to veteran's benefits. 
  • Any person who was ordered to report to an induction station, but was not actually inducted into military service. 
  • Any person discharged from the Selected Reserve prior to completing one term of enlistment or period of initial obligated service for reasons other than a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
  • Any person convicted of a Federal or State capital crime sentenced to death or life imprisonment.

How do I establish veteran eligibility?

The preferred method is the DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.  If the DD Form 214 is not available, any discharge document showing other than dishonorable service can be used.  The DD Form 214 may be obtained by filling out a Standard Form 180 and sending it to:

National Personnel Records Center(NPRC)
9700 Page Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63132

The Standard Form 180 may be obtained from the National Records Center or via the following web site: http://www.archives.gov/research/order/standard-form-180.pdf

Is anyone else eligible to receive funeral honors?

Yes. Members of the Commissioned Officer Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as members of a Uniformed Service, are also eligible to receive funeral honors.

For NOAA personnel, eligibility is established using NOAA Form 56-16, Report of Transfer or Discharge. If the family does not have a copy of the NOAA Form 56-16, it may by obtained by contacting the Chief, Officer Services Division, NOAA Commissioned Personnel Center at (301) 713-7715. or by writing:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
Commissioned Personnel Center 
Chief, Officer Services Division (CPC1) 
1315 East-West Highway, Room 12100 
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910

For PHS personnel, funeral honors eligibility is established using PHS Form 1867, Statement of Service (equivalent to the DD Form 214).  If the family does not have a copy of the Statement of Service, it may be obtained by contacting the Privacy Coordinator for the Commissioned Corps at (240) 453-6041 or writing:

Division of Commissioned Personnel/HRS/PSC 
Attention: Privacy Act Coordinator 
5600 Fishers Lane 
4-36 
Rockville, Maryland 20857

Although merchant mariners have supported the Armed Forces in every war fought by the United States, they generally are not considered veterans for the purpose of eligibility for federal benefits. Pursuant to legislation enacted in 1977 (P.L. 95-202) and 1988 (P.L. 105-368) and to decisions made by the Secretary of the Air Force in 1985 and 1988, the following groups of World War II-era merchant mariners are the only merchant mariners eligible for veterans' benefits.

Eligible for all veterans' benefits:

  • United States merchant seamen who served on blockships in support of Operation Mulberry.
  • American merchant marine in oceangoing service during the period of armed conflict, December 7, 1941, to August 15, 1945, and who meet the following qualifications:
  • employed by the War Shipping Administration or Office of Defense Transportation (or their agents) as a merchant seaman documented by the U.S. Coast Guard or the Department of Commerce (Merchant Mariner's Document/Certificate of Service) or as a civil servant employed by the U.S. Army Transport Service (later redesignated U.S. Army Transportation Corps, Water Division) or the Naval Transportation Service; and
  • served satisfactorily as a crew member during the period of armed conflict, December 7, 1941, to August 15, 1945, aboard
  • merchant vessels in oceangoing—that is, foreign, intercoastal, or coastwise—service (per 46 U.S.C. §§10301 and 10501) and further to include near foreign voyages between the United States and Canada, Mexico, or the West Indies via ocean routes, or
  • public vessels in oceangoing service or foreign waters.

Eligible for burial benefit and national cemetery interment only:

  • Served between August 16, 1945, and December 31, 1946, as a member of the United States merchant marine (including the Army Transport Service and the Naval Transport Service), serving as a crewmember of a vessel that was
  • operated by the War Shipping Administration or the Office of Defense Transportation (or an agent of either);
  • operated in waters other than inland waters, the Great Lakes, and other lakes, bays, and harbors of the United States;
  • under contract or charter to, or property of, the government of the United States; and
  • serving the Armed Forces; and
  • while so serving, was licensed or otherwise documented for service as a crewmember of such a vessel by an officer or employee of the United States authorized to license or document the person for such service.

H.R. 154, the Honoring Our WWII Merchant Mariners Act of 2017, would provide one-time compensation of $25,000 to World War-II merchant mariners to account for benefits they were not able to access before being granted veterans' benefit eligibility.