Military Funeral Planning

Persons Not Eligible For a Military Burial

Veterans national cemetery directors have the primary responsibility for verifying eligibility for burial in VA national cemeteries. A determination of eligibility is usually made in response to a request for burial in a VA national cemetery. VA Regional Offices will also assist in determining eligibility for burial in a VA national cemetery. The toll-free number for the nearest VA Regional Office is 1-800-827-1000.

a.  Former Spouses

A former spouse of an eligible individual whose marriage to that individual has been terminated by annulment or divorce, if not otherwise

b.  Other Family Members

Family members of an eligible person except those defined as eligible in Section III, paragraph g.

c.  Disqualifying Characters of Discharge

A person whose only separation from the Armed Forces was under dishonorable conditions or whose character of service results in a bar to Veterans benefits.

d.  Discharge from Draft

A person who was ordered to report to an induction station, but was not actually inducted into military service.

e.  Person Found Guilty of a Capital Crime

Under 38 U.S.C. § 2411, interment or memorialization in a VA national cemetery or in Arlington National Cemetery is prohibited if a person is convicted of a Federal or State capital crime, for which a sentence of imprisonment for life or the death penalty may be imposed and the conviction is final. Federal officials may not inter in veterans cemeteries persons who are shown by clear and convincing evidence to have committed a Federal or State capital crime but were unavailable for trial due to death or flight to avoid prosecution. Federally funded State veterans cemeteries must also adhere to this law. This prohibition is also extended to furnishing a Presidential Memorial Certificate, a burial flag, and a headstone or marker.

f.  Subversive Activities

Any person convicted of subversive activities after September 1, 1959, shall have no right to burial in a national cemetery from and after the date of commission of such offense, based on periods of active military service commencing before the date of the commission of such offense, nor shall another person be entitled to burial on account of such an individual. Eligibility will be reinstated if the President of the United States grants a pardon.

g.  Active or Inactive Duty for Training

A person whose only service is active duty for training or inactive duty training in the National Guard or Reserve Component, unless the individual meets the eligibility criteria listed in Section III.1.b. of this information sheet.

h.  Other Groups

Members of groups whose service has been determined by the Secretary of the Air Force under the provisions of Public Law 95-202 as not warranting entitlement to benefits administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

*Courtesy of the VA

Learn More About:

Persons Eligible for Burial in a VA National Cemetery

Military Cemeteries

Monuments for Military Burials

Military Burial at Sea

Military Funeral Etiquette

Elements of a Military Funeral and Military Burial

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