Burial & Cemetery Benefits
Veterans, spouses, and dependent children may be eligible for burial and cemetery benefits by the State of Missouri and the Federal Government.
Families should make these VA and State burial benefits arrangements through their funeral provider as neither the VA nor the State of Missouri make funeral arrangements or perform cremations.
Any item or service not listed below that is obtained from a funeral home will be at the families expense. Please contact a Missouri State Veterans Cemetery for a full listing of state and federal burial benefits that are provided at no cost.
Missouri State Veterans Cemeteries
The Missouri Veterans Commission created a network of Veterans cemeteries so that every Missouri Veteran will have reasonable access to a Veterans cemetery. Five cemeteries are in operation at this time; Springfield, Higginsville, Bloomfield, Jacksonville and Fort Leonard Wood. A sixth Veterans cemetery is located at the St. James Veterans Home, but is not open for interment.
There is no charge for any of the services provided. These services include opening and closing of the grave, provision of a concrete grave liner, upright granite headstones, full military honors for the Veteran, and perpetual care. Those who choose cremation have the choice of in-ground burial or placement within a columbarium niche. Pre-registration for future planning purposes is also available for Veterans and their eligible family members.
To be eligible for burial in a National or State Veterans Cemetery, the Veteran must have been:
• Discharged from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable.
• Have completed the required period of service as required by law.
• Members of the Reserve or National Guard also qualify for interment if they are eligible for retirement pay as a result of 20 years creditable service.
• There is no residency requirement for interment in a Missouri Veterans Cemetery.
• U.S. Citizens who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States during wartime may also be eligible.
• Other criteria may apply. For more information on eligibility go to http://www.cem.va.gov/bbene/eligible.asp
Missouri State Veterans CemeteriesBloomfield
17357 Stars & Stripes Way
Bloomfield, MO 63825
573-568-3871 Fort Leonard Wood
25350 Highway H
Waynesville, MO 65583
Phone: 573-774-3496 Higginsville
20109 Business Highway 13
Higginsville, MO 64037
1479 County Road 1675
Jacksonville, MO 65260
660-295-4237 St. James (closed to interment)
620 N. Jefferson
St. James, MO 65559
5201 South Southwood Road
Springfield, MO 65804
National Cemeteries in MissouriJefferson Barracks
2900 Sheridan Road
St. Louis, MO 63125
314-845-8320 Jefferson City
1024 East McCarty Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101
(closed to new interments) Springfield
1702 East Seminole Street
Springfield, MO 65804
(call for interment availability)
Federal Burial Benefits
Burial in a National or Missouri State Veterans Cemetery
Burial benefits available include a gravesite in a national or state cemetery with available space, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national and state cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.
Burial benefits available for spouses and dependents buried in a national or state cemetery include burial with the Veteran, perpetual care, and the spouse or dependents name and date of birth and death will be inscribed on the Veteran’s headstone, at no cost to the family. Eligible spouses and dependents may be buried, even if they predecease the Veteran.
For Burial in a Private Cemetery
Burial benefits available for Veterans buried in a private cemetery include a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some Veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. There are no federal benefits available to spouses and dependents buried in a private cemetery.
In certain circumstances, a Burial Allowance is available from the Veterans Benefits Administration. VA burial allowances are partial reimbursements of an eligible Veteran’s burial and funeral costs. Please contact your funeral service provider or a Veterans Service Officer for more information.
Military Funeral Honors
What are Military Funeral Honors?
The ceremonial paying of respect and the final demonstration of the country’s gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our Nation. The military funeral honors ceremony consists of, at a minimum, the folding and presentation of the American flag and the sounding of Taps by a detail of two uniformed members of the Military Services. Missouri Veterans normally receive a Three-Volley Rifle Salute, sounding of Taps, Flag Folding and Presentation. Active duty members and military retirees are entitled to additional honors.
Who can receive Military Funeral Honors?
Deceased Active Duty, Guard and Reserve Members, Military Retirees, and Veterans who served at least one term of enlistment and separated under honorable conditions are eligible for Military Funeral Honors.
Military Funeral Honors will be denied to any person discharged under other than honorable conditions, convicted of a state or federal capital crime, or when circumstances surrounding the person’s death are such that to provide honors at the funeral or burial of the person would bring discredit upon the military services.
How do I request Military Funeral Honors and how much will it cost me?
Request Military Funeral Honors through your Funeral Director.
Military Funeral Honors are provided at no cost to you or the Funeral Home.
How do I get a flag for the casket and how much will it cost me?
Request a flag through your Funeral Director.
Flags are provided at no cost to you or the Funeral Home.
What if we do not want Taps?
The family decides whether or not taps are provided.
Who provides Military Funeral Honors?
The family determines who presents the flag and can choose between Uniformed Service Members or a Veterans Service Organization. The Military Funeral Honors Program or Active Component determines who will provide the rest of the team based on availability of teams. Honors may be provided by any combination of Missouri Army and Air National Guard members, Active Duty Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard, Retired Military Members, or Veterans Service Organizations.
Flying Flags at Half-Staff
The United States flag and the Missouri state flag are flown at half-staff for the full day of all interment ceremonies for Veterans held in a Missouri State Veterans Cemetery and National Cemeteries.
Unclaimed Veterans Remains
The unclaimed cremated remains of a Veteran may be collected by a Veterans' Service Organization for the purpose of interment if the remains have been in possession of a funeral establishment for at least one year and the funeral establishment has given written notice to the person who is entitled to the remains and that person has not claimed the remains within the specified time frame.
If the address of the person entitled to the remains cannot be reasonably ascertained, notice must be given in a newspaper of general circulation in the county of the Veteran's residence. If the Veteran's residence is unknown, notice must be given in the county where the Veteran died or, if the death location is unknown, in the county in which the funeral establishment is located. If the remains are not claimed within 30 days of the mailing of the written notice or within four months of the date of the first newspaper publication, the remains may be given to a Veterans' Service Organization for interment.
The statute is RSMO 194.360.