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Burial in a National Cemetery
Burial in a national cemetery is open to all members of the Armed Forces as well as veterans who have met minimum active duty service requirements and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Burial benefits available include a gravesite in any of the national cemeteries with available space, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a government headstone or marker, a burial flag and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances.
Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.
Burial benefits available for spouses and dependents buried in a national cemetery include burial with the veteran, perpetual care and the spouse or dependent's name and date of birth and death inscribed on the veteran's headstone, at no cost to the family. Eligible spouses and dependents may be buried, even if they predecease the veteran.
There are two national cemeteries in Michigan still accepting remains:
To coordinate burial in a national cemetery, contact:
National Cemetery Scheduling Office
Laying Unclaimed Veteran Remains to Rest
Resources exist for funeral directors and medical examiners to provide unclaimed veteran remains with a respectful burial or cremation and internment.?
If a veteran's unclaimed remains are delivered first to the medical examiner's office and the ME is not able to locate a next of kin or if an identified next of kin refuses to accept responsibility for the remains, the ME considers the remains to be unclaimed. Remains can be transferred to a funeral home for burial preparations.?
A licensed funeral director in receipt of unclaimed veteran remains is guided by Michigan statute to make a diligent search for any next of kin. After a six-month holding period and a 30-day waiting period, the funeral director is immune from any civil liability and is allowed to arrange the disposition of the unclaimed remains.
Michigan statute allows a licensed funeral director to release the list of names of cremated remains that have been in his/her possession for six months or more to any?federally chartered?veterans service organization, such as the VA or?Missing in America Project.?
DETERMINING VETERAN STATUS
A ME or funeral director needing to determine the veteran status of any remains can contact MVAA at 800-MICH-VET (800-642-4838) or the local?county veterans service office.?To assist with expedient identification, it is helpful to provide any or all of the following information about the deceased:
Correct spelling of his or her full name
Date of birth
Social Security Number
Approximate dates of service
Branch of service
If the deceased is determined to be a veteran through the Michigan archives, MVAA can provide a copy of his or her discharge papers verifying service.?If there is no military record of the deceased in the Michigan archives, a form?SF 180?can be completed and faxed to the National Archives Customer Service Team at 314-801-0764 to determine veteran status. Mark on the cover page "Immediate burial for unclaimed remains."?
ASSISTANCE WITH CEREMONIES, SERVICES AND COORDINATION OF BURIAL
If the deceased is eligible for burial benefits as an unclaimed veteran, the National Cemetery Administration will coordinate burial in any of the national cemeteries with available space.?An unclaimed spouse of a veteran may be eligible for burial in a national cemetery.
To coordinate burial in a national cemetery for unclaimed remains, contact:
Missing in America Project?
Mary Compeau at?Mary_Comp@sbcglobal.net
Stephen Fletcher at?Stephen.Fletcher@wowway.com?