Our Services for Veterans in Wakefield, RI
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.
Eligible veterans receive 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 has 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 presents the flag.
Honors also can include:
- The U.S. flag draped over the casket
- A three-volley rifle salute to represent duty, honor, and country
- A final salute
In addition to honoring your veteran during the service, we can help contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for:
- Headstones: 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.
- A Presidential Memorial Certificate: This certificate shows the nation's recognition of the veteran's service. It includes the veteran's name and the signature of the President.
- Memorial plots: If an eligible veteran's remains are not available for burial, the VA can provide a plot and headstone or marker in a national cemetery for memorialization. If you want to place the memorial in a cemetery other than a national cemetery, the VA will provide the headstone or marker but not the plot.
- Burial in a national cemetery: This includes the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, a grave box, and perpetual care.
- Reimbursement of burial: For information on eligibility and the different levels of potential reimbursement, please review the Guide to VA Burial Allowances.
Military funeral honors are free and mandated by law for eligible veterans. Eligibility is verified by the veteran’s DD-214, or discharge papers. Eligible members are:
- Military members on active duty or in the Selected Reserve.
- Former military members discharged from the Selected Reserve due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
- Former military members who served on active duty and departed with 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.
Check out these resources for more information about honoring veterans and military funerals:
Etiquette for a Military Funeral
Attending a veteran's funeral involves showing the same respect that we must show at the funeral service of a civilian. We must address the family respectfully and always understand that we are saying goodbye to a loved one. However, during a military funeral service, there is usually a protocol that adds some steps that we must consider. Read on to learn about them.
What to expect at a military funeral?
The protocol of a military funeral service includes the traditional honors of a guard and the presentation of our beloved flag. Whether it is a burial or a cremation, there may be a headstone, a memorial medallion, or a military honors certificate provided by the government to honor the veteran we are saying goodbye to.
In either case, the presentation of the flag is fundamental, and we must honor it. It is necessary to remain silent and respectful while the flag is presented and folded.
The military present raises arms, and the person in charge of the ceremony may be a military, civilian or religious representative. A few words of honor are dedicated, and prayers, too, if desired. If there is one, the casket is lifted to the funeral carriage or the grave.
All of these details are planned by the family and the funeral director.
What is the dress code when attending a funeral?
Depending on the wishes of the family and the deceased, the dress code may range from absolute black, as in traditional services. It can also be white, as in a celebration of life. A specific color decision can be allowed, too, as long as the family permits it. However, to be safe, the color to choose is black.
We usually suggest our visitors pay respects through clothing. Presenting ourselves neatly and in clean clothes is a symbol of care as well. It does not have to be anything fancy but appropriate for the occasion: no ripped or dirty clothes, bright colors or flashy patterns, and distracting accessories. It is a moment for the family and the person we are saying goodbye to. We can reserve specific details and colors for other occasions.
What are empathy gifts for the family?
Some of the most meaningful details we have seen during our veteran's funeral services are sympathy cards with beautiful messages. Also, floral arrangements in the colors of our flag and memorial-related gifts, such as lovely photos of the deceased in beautiful frames decorated with American symbols. A book is also a good idea. It does not have to be necessarily about grief and loss. It could be a light-themed book that they would like.
The gift does not have to be expensive. You can do it if you have the financial means to give a gift. If not, simply paying honor and respect is more than appropriate.
What to say at the funeral?
Traditionally, the one leading the military/religious ceremony will say a few words appreciating the service the deceased person gave to our nation and the immense value of that. Regardless, if the family allows it, a more personal speech can be given. If you intend to say a few words, please check with the family first to see if you can do so. You may ask our funeral directors if you need advice in giving a speech. They have a lot of experience and will be happy to help.
If you prefer to be discreet, you may respectfully approach the family and offer your condolences, showing appreciation for the military services done by the deceased.
Can children go to a burial or cremation service?
Unless the family asks for it, bringing children to a funeral service is not recommended because they may be overwhelmed by the situation. It is a challenging time that must be handled with care; a lifeless body is present in many cases, or an urn with human remains. On top, everyone in the room may be upset, crying, or in a sensitive mood.
Explaining these issues to children and teenagers can be complex. If you cannot attend the service without them, explaining concepts such as death and burial to the little ones will be necessary. You also may need to mention that at all times, it is essential to remain silent and show respect to the deceased military member and the family.
Attending a military funeral with love and compassion
These are just some of the most vital details when attending a military funeral service. Each case is different, and although there is a general protocol, each funeral may have other wishes. This is totally valid. If you prefer to show respect and honor in another way, ask our funeral directors. They will be able to guide you and give you the best advice. Click below to talk to us.