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After reading about xcopterdoc's loss and not wanting to take that thread off topic I thought I would start a new one for the veterans out there.

Should you want to be buried in one of the military cemeteries around the country, the way it worked was once the veteran passes, then you can go down to the cemetery with the DD214 and start the process. Of course that may mean a loved one trying to do this process and if they have never been in the military the probably have no idea what a DD214 is or where the veteran kept their copies.

This has changed in recent years where you can go down to the cemetery with your DD214 and get the verification done ahead of time.

I just thought I would mention it in the event that it might help someone out there.
 

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Good information sennister. Keep all 214's and related documents in a safe place and make sure your family knows where they are and how to access them. Also not a bad idea to inform the funeral home that you plan to use of your intentions and where you want to be buried plus the ceremony that you want. If you want to be buried in your uniform, take a picture of it for the funeral director, in the event not all ribbons and badges are on it when you die.

I hate thinking about it, but I also realize that I'm not getting younger either.
 

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This is good info!

My Dad passed back in March at the age of 84. He was USAF for 20 years. Before he died, I passed responsibility for taking care of the finances and final arrangements to my sister while I took care of the day to day stuff for my folks. Fortunately she took care of all that with the VA before he died. Although he was buried in the church cemetery, we did get a two person Honor Guard from the base to present the flag to my brother (6 years USN) and the local Legion Hall sent an Honor Guard to fire three volleys in his honor. The pastor had just retired about a year ago, but he came back and did the service. He's a retired USA Full Colonel Chaplain and honored Dad by performing the service in his uniform (at my request). It was all very nice.

Sweetie's Dad was USN during WWII. I'd like to get a VA marker for his grave, but Sweetie's sister has all of that paperwork and has no idea where the DD214 is. I don't know if I can get a marker without it - or can the VA issue a certified copy of it?


Question - I remember talking to Dad years ago about being buried in a VA cemetery. He told me that each Vet is entitled to one spot and that if a spouse was to be buried in the cemetery that the first one to go was buried deeper than usual and that the second to pass was buried on top of the other. Is that (still) true? Or was he pulling my leg?

God bless all you Vets!! :bigthumb: To me, there is nothing more moving than to see a military cemetery. Even our local city cemetery has opened a Veteran's area now. I try to give a quick, silent "thank you" every time I drive past.
 

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Duplicate/copies of a DD Form 214 are available through the "National Personnel Records Center". I went through the process 10 years ago and it may have changed. Search on-line.

Also, I believe with a copy of the DD 214 and a Death Certificate, the VA will supply a "burial allowance". If I remember right, $290 20 years ago! Contact the VA for info.

Hope this helps someone, Bob
 

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...Although he was buried in the church cemetery, we did get a two person Honor Guard from the base to present the flag to my brother (6 years USN) and the local Legion Hall sent an Honor Guard to fire three volleys in his honor.
Many high schools also have honor guards now as well (although I don't know if they can fire volleys). If you want someone to play taps, try asking the local band director. I was sent to support a funeral when I played trumpet in high school.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is good info!

My Dad passed back in March at the age of 84. He was USAF for 20 years. Before he died, I passed responsibility for taking care of the finances and final arrangements to my sister while I took care of the day to day stuff for my folks. Fortunately she took care of all that with the VA before he died. Although he was buried in the church cemetery, we did get a two person Honor Guard from the base to present the flag to my brother (6 years USN) and the local Legion Hall sent an Honor Guard to fire three volleys in his honor. The pastor had just retired about a year ago, but he came back and did the service. He's a retired USA Full Colonel Chaplain and honored Dad by performing the service in his uniform (at my request). It was all very nice.

Sweetie's Dad was USN during WWII. I'd like to get a VA marker for his grave, but Sweetie's sister has all of that paperwork and has no idea where the DD214 is. I don't know if I can get a marker without it - or can the VA issue a certified copy of it?


Question - I remember talking to Dad years ago about being buried in a VA cemetery. He told me that each Vet is entitled to one spot and that if a spouse was to be buried in the cemetery that the first one to go was buried deeper than usual and that the second to pass was buried on top of the other. Is that (still) true? Or was he pulling my leg?

God bless all you Vets!! :bigthumb: To me, there is nothing more moving than to see a military cemetery. Even our local city cemetery has opened a Veteran's area now. I try to give a quick, silent "thank you" every time I drive past.
As mentioned the National Records Center can have it. The issue is that back in the 70s (I think) there was a big fire and lot of records were lost.

What I would do is reach out to your local county or parish. I think they all have a Veteran's Service Office. At least up in my neck of the woods they do. They may not be able to get you a DD214 but they do this for people all the time and know the numbers to call to start the ball rolling. You are better off sorting these things out before you need them.

As for spouse. Yes they do allow a spouse to be buried at the cemetery as well as the vet. If they stack them or what I couldn't tell you. There isn't a ton of room. Now with cremation being more common it is probably less of an issue. When they bury a spouse they will but the spouse's information on the back of the marker and the vet on the front. Wonder what they do if both were veterans??? :dunno: Maybe they do a hold on the next spot.


Here is some more information from the VA.

Burial Benefits - Compensation

As a disabled vet and a member of the DAV I hear quite a bit about this stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Duplicate/copies of a DD Form 214 are available through the "National Personnel Records Center". I went through the process 10 years ago and it may have changed. Search on-line.

Also, I believe with a copy of the DD 214 and a Death Certificate, the VA will supply a "burial allowance". If I remember right, $290 20 years ago! Contact the VA for info.

Hope this helps someone, Bob
It is up to $300 now... :yahoo:

I posted a link to the website with more details but $300 is for any vet. If the veteran passed away from something that can be attributed to a service connected disability then the amount goes up. I think $2000 is the most they will pay in the case of a service connected death.
 

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I'm in the process of getting a replacement DD214 from my deployment to Kosovo in 2002. Notice I said "in the process".

The address for Army veterans is:
Department of the Army
U.S. Army Human Resources Command
1600 Spearhead Division Avenue, Department 420
Fort Knox, KY 40122-5402
Website: HRC Homepage

The address for other branches is:
National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, Missouri 63138-1002
Website: Request Your Military Service Records | National Archives

The form required is SF180, which is available on the internet.

The problem with mine is that is illegible. Apparently the printer that printed it was low on ink or else someone mistook me for someone important and printed in disappearing ink.

I was told to create an account, which I already had to obtain my 214. I can find everything about myself except where to go for DD214. I have my 214 from when I was released after two years of my initial "enlistment", but I want a legible copy of my latest one also.
 

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VA Aid & Attendance

I'm sure that most Vets are aware of this, but I'll put this out there for anyone that might read this thread that has a family member that's a Vet.

The VA offers something called "Aid and Attendance" benefits. In a nutshell, it's a program that allows Vets and their spouse to receive benefits to offset the cost of medical care and care due to disability. It's a pretty generous benefit - could be up to a few thousand a month. To qualify, the Vet had to be in the military during a time of conflict. They didn't have to serve in combat to qualify. For example, Dad was in from '54 to '74, so the US was involved in Viet Nam during that time. Dad didn't serve in theater, but was active duty, so he qualified. A surviving spouse also qualifies. A divorced spouse generally does not unless the divorce was due to some sort of abuse.

The qualification parameters are pretty broad. If you have home health care, those expenses can be paid for with this allowance. If the vet is living in assisted living or a nursing home, the allowance can be awarded to offset those costs as well.

The paperwork is pretty onerous and time consuming. The approval process also takes a long time - could be over a year. The good thing is that you can get a retroactive payment going back to your paperwork submission date once you are approved. My sister had to jump through some hoops to get this done. Part of the problem is that she lives in MI, but my folks are/were in OH so she was getting conflicting answers on which office to deal with.

Here's a link to the Google results for the program....
va aid and attendance - Google Search
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm in the process of getting a replacement DD214 from my deployment to Kosovo in 2002. Notice I said "in the process".

The address for Army veterans is:
Department of the Army
U.S. Army Human Resources Command
1600 Spearhead Division Avenue, Department 420
Fort Knox, KY 40122-5402
Website: HRC Homepage

The address for other branches is:
National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, Missouri 63138-1002
Website: Request Your Military Service Records | National Archives

The form required is SF180, which is available on the internet.

The problem with mine is that is illegible. Apparently the printer that printed it was low on ink or else someone mistook me for someone important and printed in disappearing ink.

I was told to create an account, which I already had to obtain my 214. I can find everything about myself except where to go for DD214. I have my 214 from when I was released after two years of my initial "enlistment", but I want a legible copy of my latest one also.
Dang from Vietnam to Kosovo? That is a lot of years in the military. My body was too broken up to keep going after 10.5 years in the Infantry and I am now rated at 100% P&T. Well actually 160% as I am on the SMC scale Category S. That is for people bedridden or with one disability rated at 100% and a second unrelated disability rated at 60% or greater. The latter is how I qualified. Gotta love playing with things that go boom in a big way.

I think I have 4 or 5 different DD214s to cover all the time of service. Also while DD214 is the normal form, I want to say I have a different form that covered my last couple years in the Guard. I don't remember the name of it but it was basically their version of a DD214 with the same information but in a different format. I just normally use my ones from AD.

As far as burial benefits, it shouldn't matter which one you have if the person had been given multiple versions to cover their entire service history. Where it might be an issue is if you wanted the marker to include the proper rank and awards. They might go by what was on the DD214 that they are given. For people unfamiliar with the DD214 and what is on it, think of it like a mini single page version of the veteran's service to include rank as well as awards and decorations as well as discharge status such as Honorable or otherwise. It is a short summary of their service record. The full record would be needed to go into any real details but that is harder to keep track of than keeping a 1 page DD214 in a safe or with other important documents.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm sure that most Vets are aware of this, but I'll put this out there for anyone that might read this thread that has a family member that's a Vet.

The VA offers something called "Aid and Attendance" benefits. In a nutshell, it's a program that allows Vets and their spouse to receive benefits to offset the cost of medical care and care due to disability. It's a pretty generous benefit - could be up to a few thousand a month. To qualify, the Vet had to be in the military during a time of conflict. They didn't have to serve in combat to qualify. For example, Dad was in from '54 to '74, so the US was involved in Viet Nam during that time. Dad didn't serve in theater, but was active duty, so he qualified. A surviving spouse also qualifies. A divorced spouse generally does not unless the divorce was due to some sort of abuse.

The qualification parameters are pretty broad. If you have home health care, those expenses can be paid for with this allowance. If the vet is living in assisted living or a nursing home, the allowance can be awarded to offset those costs as well.

The paperwork is pretty onerous and time consuming. The approval process also takes a long time - could be over a year. The good thing is that you can get a retroactive payment going back to your paperwork submission date once you are approved. My sister had to jump through some hoops to get this done. Part of the problem is that she lives in MI, but my folks are/were in OH so she was getting conflicting answers on which office to deal with.

Here's a link to the Google results for the program....
va aid and attendance - Google Search
Also I think the benefit can be awarded to a veteran and spouse if one is staying at home to care for the other. So if the vet is unable to care for themselves and the spouse is at home providing that care. I hear about that more with younger veterans that have a spouse that is also young but is a stay at home spouse to care for the vet when the spouse could be in the work force. I don't know if that still applies when the vet and spouse are older for instance collecting Social Security. Maybe they can still collect it. I know they can if an outside agency is stopping in to check on them or provide in house nursing type assistance but I don't know if you can claim that a 90 year old spouse is providing all those services to a housebound vet. Maybe they can, I am just not sure. I guess you could argue that the following are the needs of the vet and clearly someone is providing for those needs and if there is no outside service it must be the 90 year old spouse.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Now I am far from an expert on this stuff but I have been going through the VA wringer for may years. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask. PM or otherwise and I will see what I can do to help.
 

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As for spouse. Yes they do allow a spouse to be buried at the cemetery as well as the vet. If they stack them or what I couldn't tell you. There isn't a ton of room. Now with cremation being more common it is probably less of an issue. When they bury a spouse they will but the spouse's information on the back of the marker and the vet on the front. Wonder what they do if both were veterans??? :dunno: Maybe they do a hold on the next spot.
Can't speak for all National cemeteries or their policies, but both of my parents were laid to rest at Quantico. Mom was a Navy vet and was buried in 2004, her info was inscribed on the front of the head stone. When my dad, a Marine vet, passed in 2008, he was buried on top with his information going on the back of the headstone.
 

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Can't speak for all National cemeteries or their policies, but both of my parents were laid to rest at Quantico. Mom was a Navy vet and was buried in 2004, her info was inscribed on the front of the head stone. When my dad, a Marine vet, passed in 2008, he was buried on top with his information going on the back of the headstone.
Ok. I kind of thought that they still did the front back thing like they do when only one person was a vet but I wasn't sure what happens when they are both vets.
 

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Sennister:

My total time is just under 30 years. I did two years active from being drafted, then four in the inactive reserve. I was honorably discharged in 1971 after release from inactive reserve. In July 1982, I enlisted in the Army Reserve and stayed until I turned 60 in 2005. I would have stayed longer, but 60 was mandatory retirement at the time. My last two units were in Wilmington, DE and Fort Belvoir, VA. They were long drives for weekend drills, but I still loved what I did.

Like rtgt and Pat said, I would do it over in a heartbeat, if I could.
 

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Sennister:

My total time is just under 30 years. I did two years active from being drafted, then four in the inactive reserve. I was honorably discharged in 1971 after release from inactive reserve. In July 1982, I enlisted in the Army Reserve and stayed until I turned 60 in 2005. I would have stayed longer, but 60 was mandatory retirement at the time. My last two units were in Wilmington, DE and Fort Belvoir, VA. They were long drives for weekend drills, but I still loved what I did.

Like rtgt and Pat said, I would do it over in a heartbeat, if I could.
Yeah I agree, even with the injuries I would do it again in a heartbeat. I joined at 17, did basic between my Jr and Sr years of High School. Then went back to Ft Benning for Infantry School after graduating High School. I was in the reserve at that point in time and went AD shortly after graduating and spent most my time overseas.
 

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I've tried to make it as simple as possible for my other half. Our funerals are prearranged (and paid for) and the funeral home has copies of all the necessary paperwork for everything (military, Social Security, insurance, etc..) They handle all of the arrangements for all of that here. As of right now we'd be buried in the National Cemetery here in MA but we may change that and opt for Arlington. (I did 21 years in the USAF, she did 8 years in the Army.)

I've never been able to wrap my head around why all of this is so complicated. Why the DD214 isn't sent to the VA automatically when someone is discharged is beyond me. If you are no longer in the military, you are a veteran. Everyone being discharged should automatically be setup for everything with the VA. I really don't understand why I got handed a copy of my DD214 but then have to turn around and take it to the VA to prove my eligibility. Same thing with people's medical records.
 
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