Military funeral honors are free of charge and mandated by law for eligible veterans. Eligibility will be verified by the veteran’s DD-214, or discharge papers. Eligible members include:
- Military members on active duty or in the Selected Reserve.
- 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 with honorable conditions.
- Former military members discharged from the Selected Reserve due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
At minimum, eligible veterans are entitled to the folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps. These honors are performed by an honor guard detail that consists of 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 will be the individual who presents the flag.
Honors also can include:
- A three-volley rifle salute to represent duty, honor, and country—typically performed by the local VFW/Legion
- The U.S. flag draped over the casket or folded beside the urn
To process Veterans Benefits you will need to provide a copy of the decedent's DD-214 discharge document.
For each honorably discharged veteran, all Montana counties provide for their residents:
- Death benefits of up to $500
- Military honors
- An American flag
- A headstone if buried in a cemetery
- A free plot for decedent and spouse if buried in a state or national* veterans cemetery
NOTE: The closest state cemetery is Fort Harrison in Helena, MT. Vault and a portion of the headstone setting fee will apply at a state cemetery. The closest national cemetery is located in Laurel, MT. No additional charges are applied at a national cemetery.
Your loved one may also be eligible for Federal VA benefits.
Veterans Affairs Division
350 Airport Road
Belgrade, MT 59714-8568
Please visit the following links for detailed information about the options available for honoring service members and other aspects of military funerals:
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Click on Veteran Services and look underneath the Burials & Memorials heading.
- Veterans' Funeral and Burial Benefits. Helpful information from the Funeral Consumers Alliance.