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Honoring Veterans

Honoring Veterans

We're proud to do our part in honoring our country's veterans. Our duty is to provide you and your family with professional and dignified assistance during your time of need, and we promise to support you in honoring your loved one for their dedication and selfless service.

Eligibility

Military funeral honors are free of charge and mandated by law for eligible veterans. Eligibility will be verified by the veteran’s DD-214, or discharge papers. Eligible members include:

  • Military members on active duty or in the Selected Reserve.
  • Former military members who served on active duty and departed under honorable conditions.
  • Former military members who completed at least one term of enlistment or period of initial obligated service in the Selected Reserve and departed under honorable conditions.
  • Former military members discharged from the Selected Reserve due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.



Traditional Honors

At minimum, eligible veterans are entitled to the folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps by a bugler or recording. These honors are performed by an honor guard detail that consists of at least two members of the Armed Forces. One member must be a representative from the branch in which the veteran served, and this member will be the individual who presents the flag.

Honors also can include:

  • A three-volley rifle salute to represent duty, honor, and country
  • The U.S. flag draped over the casket
  • A final salute at the gravesite

Quite often, a military service organization, such as the local American Legion or VFW will be asked to participate in the service, as well. Although their services are free of charge, we do recommend a donation to their organization.



Veteran Benefits

In addition to coordinating honors related to the service itself, we can help you communicate with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to arrange for:

  • A Presidential Memorial Certificate: This is a certificate expressing the nation's recognition of the veteran's service. The veteran's name is inscribed, and the certificate bears the signature of the President.
  • Headstones or markers: The VA provides headstones and markers for the graves of veterans anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state, or military cemeteries.
  • Memorial plots: If an eligible veteran's remains are not available for burial, the VA will provide a plot and headstone or marker in a national cemetery for memorialization. If you wish to place the memorial in a cemetery other than a national cemetery, the VA will provide the headstone or marker but not the plot itself.
  • Burial in a VA national cemetery: This includes the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, a grave box, and perpetual care.
  • Reimbursement of burial expenses: For information on eligibility and the different levels of potential reimbursement, please review their Guide to VA Burial Allowances.



Local Veterans Benefits

The State of Pennsylvania, as well as Westmoreland County, offer a few options for veterans benefits that our funeral home will assist in applying for on behalf of your family.

  • Ten free death certificates: All veterans and their spouses are entitled to ten free death certificates from the State of Pennsylvania
  • County Burial Allowance: All veterans who served in a period of active wartime are eligible for a $75 reimbursement from Westmoreland County for funeral expenses. Widows of veterans who served in a period of active wartime are also eligible for the same amount.
  • County Allowance for a Headstone: Westmoreland County will also provide a small stipend to go towards the purchase of a headstone, or lettering on an existing headstone.



Additional Resources

Please visit the following links for detailed information about the options available for honoring service members and other aspects of military funerals:



Lopatich-Brinker Funeral Home, LLC
Phone: (724) 537-2001
601 Weldon Street, Latrobe, PA 15650


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