Veterans Tributes & Military Funerals for Troy, Royal Oak & Shelby Township MI Area Vets

Veterans Photo

The staff of Gramer Funeral Home is proud to assist families in the planning of a military funeral or veteran’s tribute. We assist in explaining the governmental processes for recovering any veteran’s benefits and guide the family every step of the way.

You will find additional information at the Veterans Administration website, but a summary of benefits is listed below.

Reimbursement of Burial Expenses

The Veterans Administration (VA) will pay a burial allowance up to $2,000 if the veteran’s death is service connected. The VA also will pay the cost of transporting the remains of a service-disabled veteran to the national cemetery nearest the home of a deceased that has available gravesites. In such cases, the person who bore the veteran’s burial expenses may claim reimbursement from VA.

The VA will pay a $300 burial and funeral expense allowance for veterans who, at the time of death, were entitled to receive pension or compensation or would have been entitled to compensation but for receipt of military retirement pay. Eligibility also is established when death occurs in a VA facility or a nursing home with which VA contracted. Additional costs of transportation of the remains may be reimbursed. There is no time limit for filing reimbursement claims of service-connected deaths. In other deaths, claims must be filed within two years after permanent burial or cremation.

The VA will pay a $300 plot allowance when the veteran is not buried in a cemetery that is under U.S. government jurisdiction if the veteran is discharged from active duty because of disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, if the veteran was in receipt of compensation or pension or would have been in receipt of compensation but for receipt of military retired pay or if the veteran died while hospitalized by VA. The plot allowance is not payable solely on wartime service.

If the veteran is buried without charge for the cost of a plot or interment in a state-owned cemetery reserved solely for veteran burials, the $300 plot allowance may be paid to the state. Burial expenses paid by the deceased’s employer or a state agency will not be reimbursed.

Burial Flags

The VA provides an American flag to drape the casket of a veteran and to a person entitled to retired military pay. After the service, the flag may be given to the next of kin or a close associate. VA also will issue a flag on behalf of a service member who was missing in action and later presumed dead. Flags are issued at VA regional offices, national cemeteries, and post offices.

Burial in National VA Cemeteries

Burial benefits in a VA national cemetery include the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, and perpetual care. Many national cemeteries have columbaria for the inurnment of cremated remains or special gravesites for the burial of cremated remains. Headstones and markers and their placement are provided at the government’s expense.

Veterans and armed forces members who die on active duty are eligible for burial in one of the VA’s 114 national cemeteries. An eligible veteran must have been discharged or separated from active duty under honorable or general conditions and have completed the required period of service. Persons entitled to retired pay as a result of 20 years of creditable service with a reserve component are eligible. A U.S. citizen who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in a war also may be eligible.

Spouses and minor children of eligible veterans and of armed forces members also may be buried in a national cemetery. A surviving spouse of an eligible veteran who married a nonveteran, and whose remarriage was terminated by death or divorce, is eligible for burial in a national cemetery.

Gravesites in national cemeteries cannot be reserved. Funeral directors or others making burial arrangements must apply at the time of death. Reservations made under previous programs are honored. The National Cemetery System normally does not conduct burials on weekends.

Headstones and Markers

The VA provides headstones and markers for the unmarked graves of veterans anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state veteran, or military cemeteries.

Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, upright granite, and upright marble types are available to mark the grave in a style consistent with the place of burial. Niche markers also are available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains.

Headstones and markers are inscribed with the name of the deceased, the years of birth and death, and branch of service. Optional items that also may be inscribed at VA expense are: military grade, rank, or rate; war service, such as World War II; months and days of birth and death; an emblem reflecting one’s beliefs; valor awards; and the Purple Heart. Additional items may be inscribed at private expense.

When burial is in a national, state veteran, or military cemetery, the headstone or marker is ordered through the cemetery, which will place it on the grave. Information regarding style, inscription, shipping, and placement can be obtained from the cemetery.

When burial occurs in a cemetery other than a national cemetery or a state veterans cemetery, the headstone or marker must be applied for from the VA. It is shipped at government expense to the consignee designated on the application. The VA, however, does not pay the cost of placing the headstone or marker on the grave.

To apply, you must complete VA form 40-1330. Be sure to include telephone numbers and signatures. Use the information on the DD-214 and other supporting documents to help you fill out the application as completely as possible. Forms and assistance are available at VA regional offices.

To apply, mail your application to the Quantico, Virginia, mailing address. You may use either the U.S. Postal Service or one of the mail delivery services commercially available.

The address is:

Memorial Programs Service (41A1)
Department of Veterans Affairs
5109 Russell Road
Quantico, VA 22134-3903

For information regarding the status of an application, you may call the Director, Office of Memorial Programs (403B3), at 1-800-697-6947.

The VA cannot issue a headstone or marker for a spouse or child buried in a private cemetery. Twenty-year reservists without active duty service are eligible for a headstone or marker, if they are entitled to military retired pay at the time of death.

Headstones or Markers for Memorial Plots

To memorialize an eligible veteran whose remains are not available for burial, the VA will provide a plot and headstone or marker in a national cemetery. The headstone or marker is the same as that used to identify a grave except that the mandatory phrase “In Memory of” precedes the authorized inscription. The headstone or marker is available to memorialize eligible veterans or deceased active-duty members whose remains were not recovered or identified, were buried at sea, donated to science, or cremated and scattered. The memorial marker may be provided for placement in a cemetery other than a national cemetery. In such a case, the VA supplies the marker and pays the cost of shipping, but does not pay for the plot or the placement of the marker. Only a relative recognized as the next of kin may apply for the benefit.

Presidential Memorial Certificates

The Presidential Memorial Certificate is a parchment certificate with a calligraphic inscription expressing the nation’s recognition of the veteran’s service. The veteran’s name is inscribed and the certificate bears the signature of the president. Certificates are issued in the name of honorably discharged, deceased veterans. Eligible recipients include next of kin, other relatives, and friends. The award of a certificate to one eligible recipient does not preclude certificates to other eligible recipients. The veteran may have died at any time in the past. The local VA regional office generally originates the application for a Presidential Memorial Certificate. The next of kin also may request a certificate. A copy of a document such as a discharge to establish honorable service should accompany requests. The VA regional offices can assist in applying for certificates.

Learn more about veteran death pension and survivor benefits at the VA website.

Green Burial Council Proud Member of the Green Burial Council

Thanks to all the Gramer staff for the beautiful job you did for our family. We are so happy we chose you as the funeral home. You were all so nice and comforting during our time of grief.