You may know that most veterans can be buried in state and national veterans cemeteries for little or no money, but what about their spouses and other dependents?
Your spouse may be eligible to be buried with you in a veterans cemetery at little or no cost. However, if you and your spouse have divorced and they have remarried, they probably aren't eligible. Dependent children may also be eligible. Some parents of those killed on active duty may also be eligible.
As always, only veterans with an other-than-dishonorable discharge (and their dependents) qualify for this burial benefit. There are also other restrictions against those found guilty of certain crimes.
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery is run by the Department of the Army. As such, it has rules that are a bit different than National Veterans Cemeteries, which are run by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The cemetery is also running out of space for new burials.
Therefore, burials and inurnments, the placing of cremated remains in a large wall, are limited to specific groups. Currently, burial at Arlington National Cemetery is open to:
- Members who died on active duty and their immediate family
- Retirees and their immediate family
- Recipients of the Purple Heart or Silver Star and above, as well as their immediate family
- Any honorably discharged prisoner of war who died after Nov. 30, 1993, and their immediate family
Veterans and their dependents as well as some retired reservists are eligible for inurnment in the cemetery.
The cemetery will furnish a headstone/marker for both the veteran and dependents.
National Veterans Cemeteries
These cemeteries are run by the VA. There are currently 136 national cemeteries in 40 states and Puerto Rico. Locate a VA cemetery near you.
Burial is available to any veteran with an other-than-dishonorable discharge, as well as their dependents. The VA will furnish a headstone/marker for the veteran and dependent.
State Veterans Cemeteries
Many states have their own veterans cemeteries. Eligibility is similar to VA national cemeteries, but may include residency requirements.
Most states provide free burial and a headstone for the veteran; many charge a fee less than $1,000 for eligible dependents.
Dependents aren't eligible for this benefit; however, some states may provide a headstone to dependents.
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