To schedule a burial: Fax all discharge documentation to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-866-900-6417 and follow-up with a phone call to 1-800-535-1117.
From the flag assembly area looking southward, Mt. Rainier is ever present. A magnificent setting for the final resting place of our nation's heroes, our veterans.
The Public Information Center is manned totally by volunteers. These volunteers help the visitors that come to Tahoma National Cemetery with many questions and concerns. They also coordinate with cemetery personnel on the funeral corteges and getting the family to the correct shelter for the committal service.
Military Funeral Honors
Tahoma National Cemetery has a Veterans Service Organization Honor Guard Association. These veterans provide honors to 90 percent of the veterans interred here. The Association is made up of The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Elks Club, and other organizations.
back to top
Tahoma National Cemetery was established Nov. 11, 1993, and opened for interments on Oct. 1, 1997. The cemetery was dedicated on Sept. 26, 1997. Phase II was completed in March 2006. The $6 million project includes over 12,000 new columbarium niches, more than 5,000 pre-placed crypts, road improvements, new signage, a third committal shelter and a third funeral cortege lane at the Public Information Center.
Monument and Memorials
Tahoma has a Memorial walkway containing 28 memorials that commemorate soldiers of various 20th century wars, donated by various service organizations. At the northeast corner of the walkway is the POW-MIA flag.
A Blue Star Memorial is located north of the Public Information Center. The marker was originally part of a banner that families displayed in their homes during the 1940s to signify that they had a loved one fighting in World War II. Today, the marker honors all veterans.
back to top
Medal of Honor Recipients
Second Lieutenant Jesse T. Barrick (Civil War), 57th Regiment of the U.S. Colored Infantry. Near Duck River, Tenn., May 26 - June 2, 1863 (Section 8, Grave 108).
Private First Class Dexter J. Kerstetter (World War II), Company C, 130th Infantry, 33rd Infantry Division. Near Galiano, Luzon, Philippine Island, April 13, 1945 (Section 9B, Grave 12).
Sergeant First Class Nathan Ross Chapman -- first American serviceman to die from hostile fire in the war in Afghanistan in 2002. Sergeant Chapman was a communications specialist with the 1st Special Forces Group at Fort Lewis, Wash. (Section 6, Grave 33).
Francis Agnes -- former POW (1941 to 1945), survivor of the Bataan Death March, founder of the Tahoma National Cemetery Support Group (Section 24, Grave 717).
back to top
Cemetery policies are conspicuously posted and readily visible to the public.
The cemetery staff will place three floral arrangements, which accompanied the casket or urn at the time of burial, on the completed grave. Natural cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time of the year. They will be removed when they become unsightly or when it becomes necessary to facilitate cemetery operations such as mowing.
Artificial flowers will be permitted on graves during periods when their presence will not interfere with grounds maintenance. As a general rule, artificial flowers will be allowed on graves for a period extending 10 days before through 10 days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day.
Christmas wreaths, grave blankets and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves from Dec. 1 through Jan. 20. They may not be secured to headstones or markers.
Permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights, breakable objects and similar items are not permitted on the graves. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not permit adornments that are considered offensive, inconsistent with the dignity of the cemetery or considered hazardous to cemetery personnel. For example, items incorporating beads or wires may become entangled in mowers or other equipment and cause injury.
Permanent items removed from graves will be placed in an inconspicuous holding area for one month prior to disposal. Decorative items removed from graves remain the property of the donor but are under the custodianship of the cemetery. If not retrieved by the donor, they are then governed by the rules for disposal of federal property.
back to top