Planning a Funeral Service for a Veteran: Step by Step Guide

Posted on August 21, 2023 by Mitchell-Jerdan Funeral Home Ltd. under funeral home
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funeral homes Mattoon, IL

Bidding farewell to a loved one is never easy, and the task can seem particularly daunting when planning a veteran’s funeral. The funeral homes Mattoon, IL, have the expertise to guide you through this challenging process. This article offers a step-by-step guide on how to plan a respectful and dignified service to honor the life and service of a veteran.


Understanding Veteran Funeral Benefits

The first step in planning a veteran’s funeral service is understanding the benefits and services that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides. The VA provides certain benefits, such as a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate, and Military Funeral Honors. Knowing about these benefits helps to ensure that the veteran is honored appropriately for their service to the country.


Contacting a Funeral Home

Once you have a basic understanding of the available benefits, the next step is to contact a reliable funeral home. Look for a funeral home experienced in planning and conducting military funerals. They can guide you through the process, from applying for VA benefits to arranging Military Funeral Honors. They will also assist with paperwork, which can significantly ease the burden during this difficult time.


Preparing a Personalized Memorial Service

Planning a memorial service that reflects the personality and preferences of the deceased is an important part of honoring their life. Personalization could include incorporating their favorite music or readings and displaying personal items or photographs. You may also consider inviting attendees to share their memories of the veteran. This personalized service not only pays tribute to the veteran but also offers comfort to grieving loved ones.


Arranging Military Funeral Honors

The Military Funeral Honors ceremony is a special way to pay respect to veterans. It involves two or more uniformed military personnel performing the ceremony, which includes the folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps. Coordinating with the local VA or Veterans Service Organization (VSO) will ensure this ceremony is conducted according to protocol.


Organizing Burial in a National Cemetery

Veterans are entitled to a burial in a National Cemetery. This includes the opening and closing of the grave, a grave liner, a headstone or marker, and perpetual care. A funeral director can assist in coordinating with the National Cemetery, ensuring all paperwork is correctly filed and that all available benefits are utilized.


funeral homes Mattoon, IL Hosting a Reception

After the service, hosting a reception allows friends and family to come together to share memories and comfort each other. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the life of the veteran and offer support to those mourning their loss. The reception can be as formal or casual as desired, but it should provide a warm and inviting environment for attendees.


Accessing Bereavement Support

The grieving process does not end with the funeral service. Accessing bereavement support, whether through counseling, support groups, or other resources, can help those left behind navigate their grief. Many VSOs offer such services, and funeral homes can typically recommend local resources as well.


Planning a funeral service for a veteran is a profound responsibility, and funeral homes Mattoon, IL, are prepared to assist you through every step. To learn more about how we can guide you through this process, we invite you to explore our services at Mitchell-Jerdan Funeral Home Ltd.

Mitchell-Jerdan Funeral Home Ltd.

Since 1985, Gregory and Sylvia Jerdan have operated the family business with a commitment to serve their community and surrounding area with dignity and respect. They plan to continue into the future as the "people you can rely on, both today and tomorrow".