NPRC Funeral Home Director Information Page
This is a reminder of the current procedures when dealing with the burial of a military veteran or retiree. Additionally, direct links to burial information on the Department of Veterans Affairs web site are provided.
MOST IMPORTANT – TO SCHEDULE A BURIAL IN A FEDERAL CEMETERY:
If the veteran/retiree will be buried in a Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery (Federal Cemetery), make contact with the above first, they will obtain missing documentation from NPRC, if needed. Do NOT submit a request to both the national Cemetery Scheduling Office and NPRC – that will slow things down since the record(s) cannot be in two places at once.
If the veteran/retiree will NOT be buried in a Federal Cemetery and the family needs documentation for proof of military service (Separation Document) (DD Form 214 or its earlier versions or equivalent), then submit Standard Form 180, with proof of death, to NPRC. Only request the Separation Document – requesting any other documents or services may slow down the response. The following are acceptable forms of proof of death:
- Death certificate
- Newspaper article (obituary) or death notice
- Coroner's report of death
- Funeral director's signed statement of death
- Verdict of coroner's jury
MILITARY FUNERAL HONORS:
Military funeral honors -- As of Jan. 1, 2000, all eligible veterans, including military retirees, are entitled to military funeral honors. The funeral honors ceremony will include the folding and presentation of the U.S. flag and the playing of Taps. At least two uniformed military personnel, in addition to a bugler, if available, shall perform the ceremony. If a bugler is not available, a high-quality recording may be used. The Department of Defense (DoD) has contracted for a ceremonial bugle that does not require a trained bugler. For information, visit www.ceremonialbugle.com . One of the uniformed military personnel will be from the deceased veteran’s parent military service and will present the flag to the next of kin. The military services may provide additional elements of honors and may use additional uniformed military personnel or other authorized providers, such as members of a veterans organization, to augment the funeral honors detail. The appropriate individual must request the funeral honors.
DoD policy calls for funeral directors, rather than next-of-kin, to contact the military. This toll-free number, (877) 645-4667, has been set up for funeral directors. See https://mfh.dmdc.osd.mil/mfh/ for details.
"Emergency" Requests and Deadlines
If your request is urgent (e.g. funeral) and there is a deadline associated with your request, please provide this information in the "Purpose" section of the Standard Form 180 and fax it to our Customer Service Team at (314) 801-0764.
Our goal is to complete all urgent requests within two working days. Please contact our customer service staff at (314) 801-0800 if you have questions. Due to the large number of calls we receive at this number, hold times are often long. However, once you reach a technician they will be happy to assist you with emergency service.
Department of Veterans Affairs Web sites which explain Burial Benefits:
http://www.cem.va.gov/ (Main Page)
http://www.cem.va.gov/burial_benefits/index.asp (Burial Benefits)
http://www.cem.va.gov/hmm/index.asp (Headstones & Markers)
http://www.cem.va.gov/pmc.asp (Presidential Memorial Certificates)
(Burial Flag – eligibility and link to form for flag application)
We hope this information is useful and will assist you with the final care of military veterans and retirees.
Download the most current version of Standard Form 180
(We do not recommend printing hundreds of copies since the form is periodically updated.)