Options for Veterans
A wide range of options are available to Veterans for their service to our country. All we need is a copy of the discharge to determine eligibility.
If burial of the body or cremated remains occurs at a local cemetery, the eligible Veteran will receive a flag for the ceremony and a grave marker if the grave is unmarked.
The Kent County Veterans Honor Guard is available to perform graveside services for eligible Veterans from April 15 to November 15.
If the Veteran is eligible, there may be a plot and internment allowance from the department of Veterans Affairs to help pay for the cemetery costs. The allowance may be up to $890 and is typically payable if the veteran was receiving a pension or disability. This allowance is not payable if burial at a National Cemetery is chosen because the VA. pays for those cemetery costs.
Fort Custer National Cemetery
Fort Custer National Cemetery is located on 770 acres, six miles west of Battle Creek, at 15501 Dickman Road, Augusta, MI. It is Michigan's only National Cemetery and is the second largest, only exceeded by Arlington National Cemetery.
Any eligible veteran, their spouse, and dependent children can be buried at Fort Custer. Fort Custer provides the grave space, opening and closing of the grave, grave marker, base for the marker, and concrete grave liner for full burial or burial of cremains (ashes).
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, DC is the Nations most respected and known National Cemetery. There are two options for the eligible veteran at Arlington.
Any eligible veteran and their spouse can have their cremains (ashes) placed in the columbarium at Arlington National Cemetery.
- Full Burial
Full burial at Arlington is very restricted. Generally, only those who hold the Nation's highest awards or are killed while on active duty are eligible for burial.
Burial at Sea
Burial at sea, a Naval custom as old as going to sea itself, is the right of all eligible U.S. Military Veterans who request it, whether they went to sea or not.
Burial at sea takes place only in water deeper than 600 feet and no closer than three miles from the coast. In most cases, the remains are cremated first and the ashes are poured reverently into the sea. But the dispatch of casketed remains, while rare, is permitted within some specific and strict guidelines. Family members are not allowed to witness burials at sea, because the ceremonies are held while ships engage in regularly scheduled maneuvers. After the ship returns to port, family members receive a Department of Veterans Affairs burial flag and a letter from the commanding officer of the ship that performed the ceremony. Some captains also have crew members take photographs and perhaps videotape of the ceremony for family members, but they are not required to do so. The five ports available for burial at sea are: Norfolk VA, Mayport FL, San Diego CA, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard WA, and Pearl Harbor HA.