Congratulations to the 11 members of the Cemetery Director Intern Class of 2015 who graduated at VA Central Office in Washington DC Aug. 21. These leaders completed a year of classroom and hands-on training at NCA’s National Training Center in St. Louis where they gained mastery of cemetery operations and management skills. From here they will fan out across the country as administrators of VA national cemeteries.
(Back row, left to right) Anthony Sessions; Albert Maxwell Jr.; Darrell Ryan Sr.; Eldon Woodie; Lance Pridemore (Front row, left to right) Thomas Kulich; Celethia Reed; Mary Bilyeu-Thompson; Natalie Hubble; James Mitchum; and Susan Parks.
A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased Veteran who served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is furnished to honor the memory of a Veteran's military service to his or her country. VA will furnish a burial flag for memorialization for each other than dishonorably discharged:
- Veteran who served during wartime
- Veteran who died on active duty after May 27, 1941
- Veteran who served after January 31, 1955
- peacetime Veteran who was discharged or released before June 27, 1950
- certain persons who served in the organized military forces of the Commonwealth of the
- Philippines while in service of the U.S Armed forces and who died on or after April 25, 1951
- certain former members of the Selected Reserves
Generally, the flag is given to the next-of-kin, as a keepsake, after its use during the funeral service. When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend making request for it. For those VA national cemeteries with an Avenue of Flags, families of Veterans buried in these national cemeteries may donate the burial flags of their loved ones to be flown on patriotic holidays.
You may apply for the flag by completing VA Form 27-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes. You may get a flag at any VA regional office or most U.S. Post Offices. Generally, the funeral director will help you obtain the flag.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) works with Veteran service groups, funeral industry partners, public administrators and other concerned citizens to ensure the dignified burial of unclaimed Veterans. "Unclaimed Veterans" are defined as those who die with no next of kin to claim their remains and insufficient funds to cover burial expenses. In addition to burial benefits already provided for deceased, "Unclaimed Veterans," VA will reimburse for the purchase of a casket or urn used to inter these Veterans in a VA national cemetery. VA will also process retroactive reimbursements in accordance with applicable regulations.
VA offers an application form specific to the medallion. The form is labeled 40-1330M and can be downloaded from the following link: http://www.va.gov/vaforms/va/pdf/VA40-1330M.pdf.
The medallion is furnished in lieu of a traditional government headstone or grave marker to those Veterans whose death occurred on or after Nov. 1, 1990, and whose grave in a private cemetery is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker. The medallion is available in three sizes: Large (6-3/8"W x 4-3/4"H x 1/2"D), Medium (3-3/4"W x 2-7/8"H x 1/4"D) and Small (2"W x 1-1/2"H x 1/3"D). Each medallion is inscribed with the word "VETERAN" across the top and the branch of service at the bottom. Once a claim for a medallion is received and approved, VA will mail the medallion along with a kit that will allow the family or the staff of a private cemetery to affix the device to a headstone, grave marker, mausoleum or columbarium niche cover.