Quick Reference To Veterans Cemetery Operation Instructions/Requirements
Veteran And Eligibility Dependent Requirements;
- Member of the U.S. armed forces who died on active duty, who retired from military service or who was honorably discharged and eligible for burial in one of Virginia’s three state veteran cemeteries.
- Veteran’s legal spouse [widow or widower] and unmarried minor children under the age of 21 may be eligible in a Virginia veteran’s cemetery. Additionally unmarried adult children who become permanently incapable of self-support because of physical or mental disability before the age of 21 may also be interred. Other U.S. military service members and civilians may be eligible.
National Guard/Reserve Basic Eligibility Requirements;
- Reservists and National Guard members who served military active duty [active duty for training only does not meet eligibility requirements] or at the time of death were entitled to retired pay, or would have been entitled but for being under age sixty, or who received ‘’veterans status’’ as a result of being called to active duty by Executive Order who was honorable discharged may be eligible for burial in Virginia’s State Veteran Cemeteries.
Basic Burial Benefit Costs Exclusively For Veterans, Guard, Reserve, and Eligible Spouse/Dependents
- No cost: Veteran and eligible family members are entitled to one grave/cremation site. The site cannot be reserved. The morning of the burial the Burial Caretaker Manager selects the next available grave/cremation site, in the order they are used.
- No cost: Opening and closing of the grave site.
- No cost: Memorial headstone [granite/marble] per burial garden section or columbarium to be used.
- No cost: Double depth concrete standard crypt.
- No cost: All funeral services are conducted at the committal shelter/chapel, no funeral services are scheduled/conducted at the grave sites.
- No cost: Perpetual grave site care.
Basic Military Honors
- No cost; One United States Flag is provided by National VA to drape the casket or accompany the urn, this generally is obtained by the funeral home for the funeral service.
- The Department of Defense through the ‘’Honoring Those Who Have Served’’ program provides military funeral service Honors teams to include the folding and presentation of the United States burial flag and playing of taps, these are generally scheduled for the veteran by the funeral home on behalf of the veterans family. Honors are performed at Virginia three state veterans cemeteries at the committal shelter/chapel, no funeral services are conducted at the assigned grave site.
Casket Outer Burial Receptacle/Crypts
- Outer burial receptacles are required for in-ground casketed burials at the three state veteran cemeteries. An outer burial receptacle is an enclosure made of reinforced concrete, steel, or polyurethane.
- No Cost: USDVA-provided outer burial receptacles are provided at no cost to the veteran/eligible dependents. These are the same units used at Arlington/Quantico National Cemeteries.
- Families not wishing to use the outer burial receptacle provided by the cemetery at no cost should contact the cemetery to discuss other options.
Placement of Flowers and other Graveside Decorations
The following procedures shall be used for the placement of flowers at grave and cremation sites:
- Artificial flowers are not permitted on grave sites at any time. They will be immediately removed by cemetery staff.
- Fresh cut flowers may be placed on grave/cremation sites at anytime. Glass containers are not allowed.
- Holiday wreaths are permitted from December 1 through January 5; from four days before Easter, through four days after Easter; Mother’s Day; Memorial Day; Father’s Day and Veterans Day. This excludes artificial flowers of any kind.
- Decorations such as permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights, upright metal grave markers, flag holders, breakable objects of any kind and similar commemorative items are not permitted at grave/cremation sites. Unauthorized items will be removed and disposed of by cemetery staff.
- At the expiration of periods approved for placement of flowers and other decoration, or when flowers or decorations become withered, faded or otherwise unsightly, cemetery staff shall remove and dispose of such items and their containers.
Memorials/Headstones are property of the United States Government, please do not attach anything to or alter your loved ones memorial/headstone in any way.
Please read our cemetery filming and photography policy here.