Frequently Asked Questions
1) Q: Can a Funeral Home assist me to request Final Honors for my veteran?
A: Yes, most, if not all, funeral homes have the means to contact and request Final Honors.
2) Q: My family member was a veteran and is already buried, but never received Final Honors. Can this still be performed?
A: Yes, if a qualifying military member has never had Final Honors rendered. They are still entitled to Final Honors.
3) Q: Can I request a Veteran Service Organization (VSO) to provide Final Honors?
A: Yes, you can provide the organizations name to the Funeral Home to be contacted for such a request. The Funeral Home will inform the branch of service of the request to ensure other entitlements remain available.
4) Q: Our family is taking care of our veteran’s service privately. Can I request Final Honors myself?
A: Yes, you will need to contact the Casualty Affairs Office for the branch of service or contact a Veteran Service Organization that provides Final Honors to aid you in starting the request.
5) Q: What paperwork will I need ready to request Final Honors?
A: A copy of the veteran’s DD214 and a Death Certificate. In some cases, if the DD214 is not available, a copy of an Honorable Discharge Certificate will help.
6) Q: Do Veteran Service Organizations charge for their service?
A: Most do not. If there is a fee, it is usually minimal fee to aid with their expenses. Please note that all VSO’s are non-profit organizations. So, a donation should always be an available option, if elected.
7) Q: How do I request a Flag for my veteran that has passed?
A: Depending on your circumstances a Flag request maybe made several ways:
a. You can contact the branch of service Casualty Affairs Office or your local funeral home
b. Provide a DD214 & Death Certificate to your local US Post Office and request a Flag
c. Contact a local VSO (Veterans Service Organization) to request a flag through their resources if your loved one has passed, but has not yet been buried or has been cremated.
8) Q: Who within the family can make the request for Final Honors?
A: The nearest relative by means of relations to the veteran is recommended. The only advocate permitted is a Funeral Home representative on behalf of a family.
9) Q: Who receives the folded flag, and can more than one flag be requested?
A: A single flag is normal protocol and is generally given to the veterans surviving spouse, child or immediate family member. However, in qualifying situations two flags can be rendered if the veteran is survived by both a spouse and a parent. Discuss this with a Casualty Affairs representative, Funeral Home representative, or your VSO representative at the time of requesting Final Honors.
10) Q: What is a Dignified Transfer?
A: Dignified Transfer is most commonly performed for service members that are KIA and returning home. You have most likely seen Honor Guard Details perform Dignified Transfers from an airplane to a destination. A Dignified Transfer can be requested to a VSO if a veteran is being transferred from out of state, or at the time of death, to the funeral home. Any other rendering of a Dignified Transfers is performed by the military for qualifying situations or veterans.
11) Q: Is the Final Honors procedure the only service that can be requested?
A: The only services that can be requested and performed by the military is Final Honors at this time. Usually VSO’s that provide Final Honors can be requested to provide additional military style services at the family’s request.
12) Q: What is most commonly overlooked entitlement most families aren’t aware of?
A: Letter of Condolences from The President of The United States. This can be requested by the family upon the passing of a veteran.