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Funeral Honors

Benefit Category: Federal

Provide professional Military Funeral Honors to eligible veterans when requested by an authorized family member.

The Rendering of Military Funeral Honors is a way to show the nation's deep gratitude to those who have faithfully defended our country in time of war and peace. The ceremonial paying of respect is the final demonstration that a grateful nation can provide to a veteran's family.

What are Military Funeral Honors?

Military Funeral Honors have always been provided whenever possible. However, the law now mandates the rendering of Military Funeral Honors for an eligible veteran if requested by the family. As provided by law, an honor guard detail for the burial of an eligible veteran shall consist of not less than two members of the Armed Forces. One member of the detail shall be a representative of the parent Service of the deceased veteran. The honor detail will, at a minimum, perform a ceremony that includes the folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps. Taps will be played by a ceremony that includes the folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps. Taps will be played by a bugler, if available, or by electronic recording.

Who is Eligible for Military Funeral Honors

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

How do I Coordinate Military Funeral Honors?

Family members of the deceased veteran should first notify their funeral director of their desire to have Military Funeral Honors rendered. Funeral Directors or family members can contact the resources provided request funeral honors for their loved one. There is no cost to the veteran's family to have Military Funeral Honors. 

The family should provide the funeral director with the following information, if available:

  • Name of deceased
  • date of birth
  • social security number
  • Form DD 214 discharge (Request copy of discharge)
  • or any other proof of veteran status or eligibility for burial.

Discharge Requests

Most Veteran’s benefits require that applicants provide a copy of their Form DD 214 or discharge record, which is evidence of their veteran status. This is an important document and must be safeguarded. In the State of North Dakota separation documents are considered confidential and privileged NDCC 37-18-11 (13). National Guard members may receive a NGB22 and /or NGB23 upon obtaining 20 years of satisfactory service (20 year letter).