Military Funeral Honors Provided or Coordinated
The Military Funeral Honors Program (MFHP) in Wisconsin provides a final tribute to the men and women who served our state and nation honorably as members of the U.S. armed forces. It allows a grateful nation to pay its last respects in a dignified and solemn ceremony.
The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) administers the program with assistance from veterans' service organizations, County Veterans Service Officers (CVSOs), funeral directors and the active and reserve components of the U.S. armed forces. Depending on availability, the following honors may be rendered for a deceased veteran: Rifle Volleys, Sounding of Taps, Folding and Presentation of the U.S. Flag.
- The minimum number of personnel who will respond to a request for honors will be two uniformed service representatives. At least one of these representatives will be from the branch of service of the deceased. These two representatives will sound Taps, fold and present the flag to the next of kin.
- If requested and available, the MFHP will arrange for a firing detail consisting of a minimum of three individuals. This rifle detail may consist of MFHP team members, VSOs or other military organizations.
- If requested and available, the MFHP will arrange for a bugler. Due to a shortage of buglers, Taps is normally sounded with the aid of an audio device provided by the military service. Funeral directors are asked to insure the family is aware prior to the service how Taps will be sounded.
- Funeral directors are requested to ask the question to the family if they would like military representation and/or local VSO support for honors to be provided. If a family does request military representation and/or a VSO cannot provide the support requested, then the honors should be coordinated through the MFHP.
The Department Of Veterans Affairs (VA) furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a government headstone or marker for the grave of any deceased eligible veteran in any cemetery around the world. Flat markers in granite, marble, and bronze and upright headstones in granite and marble are available. The style chosen must be consistent with existing monuments at the place of burial. Niche markers are also available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains.
Who is eligible?
Veterans are eligible for military honors at their funeral if they meet one of the following requirements:
- Currently serving on active duty or in the Selected Reserve (drilling with a unit).
- Discharged from active duty under conditions "other than dishonorable."
- Completed at least one term of enlistment or period of initial obligated service in the Selected Reserve under conditions "other than dishonorable."
- Discharged from the Selected Reserve due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
Whom should I contact?
Family members of the deceased veteran should first notify their funeral director of their desire to have military funeral honors rendered. (There is no cost to the veteran's family to have military funeral honors provided.) 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), or any other proof of veteran status or eligibility for burial honors.
- Branch of service and type of service (active, reserve, National Guard, retired).
For more information on federal burial benefits, visit the Federal website.
For more information on state burial benefits, visit the State website.