Who is Eligible for Burial in a National Cemetery?
What About the State Veterans Cemetery?
This cemetery is located near Camp Ripley, north of Little Falls, and is open to all members of the armed forces and veterans discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, a spouse, an unremarried widow or widower, minor children, and unmarried adult children (under certain circumstances). Gravesites may be reserved in the state veterans cemetery. For more information, visit the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery website.
General Information About the National Cemeteries
One gravesite is normally authorized for the burial of all eligible family members. Except for a married couple with two eligible veterans, gravesites may not be reserved. Space is assigned at the time of death based on availability. In the case of a married couple where both people are eligible veterans, the surviving spouse must notify the cemetery director prior to interment of the deceased veteran that two adjacent spaces will be required. The cemetery director will assign two spaces side by side for the married veterans to be buried next to each other.
Provision of burial site, opening and closing of grave, perpetual care and a government headstone marker are included at no cost. Private expenses are incurred for authorized additional inscriptions on the headstone/marker. Services provided by funeral directors and other related costs are a private expense incurred by the next-of-kin.
Burial arrangements may be made by the next-of-kin and/or funeral director of choice at the time or area. The funeral director or next-of-kin should provide the cemetery director with a copy of the veteran's properly signed discharge papers or the veteran's service, social security, or VA claim number. Cemetery staff will verify eligibility. Eligibility must be established before interment can take place.
For safety reasons, committal services are commonly held in shelters located away from the gravesite. Viewing facilities are not available. Interment takes place following committal services.
National cemeteries do not usually conduct burials on weekends or federal holidays. A weekend caller will be directed to one of three offices that remain open to schedule burials for the upcoming week. Burial space in some national cemeteries is limited or unavailable. Cemetery directors should be contacted for information regarding availability of space.
Military honors are not provided by the national cemetery. Honors must be arranged for by the family or their representative. The national cemetery can provide a list of military contacts.
One headstone/marker is normally provided for all family members buried within one grave. Upright marble headstones are standard in most national cemeteries. Separate markers will be provided in the case of two married veterans buried in adjacent graves. The cemetery director may be contacted to determine what type of headstone or marker is furnished.
Special ceremonies are held at national cemeteries on holidays such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Publicly sponsored ceremonies require prior approval of the cemetery director.
Burial Location Assistance
The national Cemetery System (NCS), Department of Veterans Affairs, provides
limited burial location assistance to the next-of-kin, relative or close
friends of decedents thought to be interred in a Department of Veterans
Affairs national Cemetery.
NCS personnel can research records to determine if a decedent is interred in one of the VA national cemeteries. All requests must relate to a specific individual since research cannot be conducted on groups on the basis of surname, military unit, war period or place of residence. We do not have information on persons interred in cemeteries that are not under the jurisdiction of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
To request a burial search on a specific individual, it is requested that the following information be provided:
Other Related Benefits
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