Military Memorial and Burial Benefits Explained

Soldiers prepare to fold the national flag during a full honors funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.
Soldiers from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) prepare to fold the national flag during a full honors funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, Sept. 14, 2022. (Sun Vega/Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency photo)

As a servicemember or military family member you should be aware of your memorial benefits before you need them. The following information is presented to assist you in dealing with the loss of a servicemember or veteran.

The VA provides memorial and burial services for eligible active duty, reserve, and veteran members.

Burial benefits available include a grave site in any of the 155 national cemeteries with available space, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family.

Reimbursement payments are also available for transport of remains, as well as a burial allowance. Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains. In addition veterans and military retirees are entitled to military funeral honors.


Generally, servicemembers who die while on active duty and veterans discharged under conditions other than dishonorable are eligible for burial in a VA national cemetery. Their dependents may also be eligible.

Reservists and National Guard members are eligible if they were entitled to retired pay at the time of death, or would have been entitled had they not been under the age of 60.

Read more details about National Cemetery burial eligibility or Arlington National Cemetery burial eligibility.

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