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Havre de Grace, MD

THE A M E R I C A N     L E G I O N

Havre de Grace, MD  21078


Serving Those Who Serve Our Country


What are Military Funeral Honors?


Military Funeral Honors is a way to show the nation's deep gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country. This ceremonial paying of respect is the final demonstration a grateful nation can provide to the veteran's family. By law, an honor guard detail for the burial of an eligible veteran shall consist of not less than two members of the Armed Forces. One member of the detail shall be a representative of the parent Service of the deceased veteran. The honor detail will, at a minimum, perform a ceremony that includes the playing of Taps and the folding and presentation of the American Flag to the next of kin. Taps will be played by a bugler, if available, or by Ceremonial Bugle, or electronic recording (CD or tape).

What can the family of an eligible veteran expect?


By law, military units are required to provide, at a minimum, a two-person uniformed detail to present the core elements of the Funeral Honors ceremony. The core elements of the funeral honors ceremony, which will be conducted are:

Playing of Taps
Flag folding
Flag presentation

The veteran's parent Service representative will present the flag.

What additional Funeral Honors elements could be provided if personnel and resources are available?

Additional elements that could be provided as part of the Funeral Honors ceremony include:

Rifle detail
Color guard
Pallbearers
Caisson
Military flyover

How much does a Military Funeral Honors detail cost?

Military Funeral Honors are provided by the Department of Defense at no cost to the family.

How many Funeral Honors ceremonies can a veteran receive?


Veterans are entitled to one Funeral Honors ceremony only.

How does a family request Funeral Honors?

Families of eligible veterans should request Funeral Honors through their funeral director. The funeral director will contact the appropriate Military Service to arrange for the Funeral Honors detail. Families in possession of their veteran loved ones' cremains, who now desire to have a burial ceremony, may contact the appropriate Military Funeral Honors coordinator by accessing the database on the Funeral Directors' Information page of this website. Indicate the Service of the deceased and the state where burial will take place then call the number provided. Service Funeral Honors personnel will assist you in arranging for Honors.


The Maryland National Guard Honor Guard (MDNGHG) offers Military Funeral Honors to veterans who served in the Armed Forces of the United States.  Who do you want to receive your flag?  To speak with someone regarding Military Funeral Honors contact the Maryland Army National Guard Honor Guard at 410-576-6133. 

How much notice should be provided for the Funeral Honors request?

The Services request at least 48-hours in order to organize the Funeral Honors detail.

Where can I write to obtain copies of my military records to verify my entitlement for Funeral Honors?


If you wish to obtain copies of your military records, you may submit a request following the guidance on the VETRECS website: http://vetrecs.archives.gov (Note: VA website identifies NOK for this purpose as Surviving Spouse that has not remarried, Father, Mother, Son, Daughter, Sister, Brother).  When you were discharged from the Service, did you file a copy at the Court House?  When you joined the American Legion, did you give the Legion one for safe keeping?

Burial Flag

Who is eligible for a burial flag?The Veterans Administration verifies eligibility in accordance with Title 38 USC 2301. Your funeral director will assist you in obtaining a flag. More information is available at:

http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/bbene/bflags.asp

The VA authorizes only one flag and the order of precedence is:

surviving spouse, children according to age, parents (including adoptive, stepparents, and foster parents), brothers or sisters (including brothers or sisters of half-blood), uncles or aunts, nephews or nieces, and others such as cousins or grandparents.

When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend making a request for it. If there is no living relative or one cannot be located, and no friend requests the flag, it must be returned to the nearest VA facility. The VA is not able to provide replacement burial flags even for lost or damaged flags.

In the case of in-service deaths (active duty), the Defense Department provides a U.S. flag to drape the casket or to be presented at a memorial service. After the service, the flag is given to the next of kin.


After Taps is played, the flag is carefully folded into the symbolic tri-cornered shape. A properly proportioned flag will fold 13 times on the triangles, representing the 13 original colonies. The folded flag is emblematic of the tri-cornered hat worn by the Patriots of the American Revolution. When folded, no red or white stripe is to be evident, leaving only the blue field with stars.


The Flag Presentation Protocol is as follows:  Stand facing the flag recipient and hold the folded flag waist high with the straight edge facing the recipient.  Lean toward the flag recipient and solemnly present the flag to the recipient.
Effective April 17, 2012, the Department of Defense standardized the flag presentation verbiage for military funeral honors ceremonies. The following verbiage will be used when presenting the American flag during the funeral service:

'On behalf of the President of the United States, (the United States Army; the United States Marine Corps; the United States Navy; or the United States Air Force), and a grateful Nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one's honorable and faithful service.'


The United States Coast Guard is invited to use the same verbiage.


What is a Presidential Memorial Certificate


Who is eligible to receive this certificate? How does the family obtain this certificate?  This is a parchment certificate with a calligraphic inscription expressing the nation's grateful recognition of an honorably discharged, deceased veteran's service in the Armed Forces. The veteran's name is inscribed and the certificate bears the signature of the President.

Next of kin, other relatives and friends may request the certificate in person at any VA regional office or by mail. For information about requesting a Presidential Memorial Certificate, please visit http://www.cem.va.gov/pmc.asp


How do I request a grave headstone or marker


Your funeral director will assist you if you have questions about grave markers. Family members can also write to the VA at:

Memorial Programs Service (41B)
Department of Veterans Affairs
5109 Russell Road
Quantico, VA 22134-3909


For additional assistance you may contact the: Applicant Assistance Unit- Toll Free number: 1-800-697-6947, or via e-mail at mps.headstones@va.gov.

More information is available at: http://www.cem.va.gov/hmm/
Military Funeral Honors


The Joseph L. Davis American Legion Post 47


Your American Legion Post is always available to help you and your family.    Your family can request a Memorial Service be conducted at the Legion at no cost.  However, if food is to be served at the conclusion of the Memorial Service, there will be a food cost.  Please let us know if we can help in any way.


You're invited to look at our other tab to check on National Cemetery Eligibility.


When you don't prepare, those left behind are in chaos


At a minimum, make sure your loved ones know your preferences.  Make sure they know where a copy of your DD 214 can be found.  If you have life insurance policies, where to find them, who to call, and the phone number.  If you are receiving social security, can this be passed on and what is necessary.    Do you have a preference in funeral homes?  Have you purchased a final resting place?  If so, where are the documents?  Or do you want to be buried at a military cemetery?  Or do you prefer to be cremated?