Last updated 6/24/2016 at 11:17am | View PDF
Let's continue our discussion on burial benefits from the last issue. Sometimes a veteran's surviving family members ask us if there is any way to mark the grave of a deceased veteran for whom a headstone or marker is already in place in a private cemetery. You may be pleased to learn that there certainly is.
A few years ago, the Department of Veterans Affairs introduced the Bronze Medallion, which can be ordered and then attached to such markers or headstones to signify that the deceased was a veteran. The medallion can be ordered in three different sizes: five, three or one-and-a-half inches. It comes inscribed with the word Veteran across the top and with the veteran's particular branch of service across the bottom.
The bronze medallion is available for placement on the private gravestones, located in private cemeteries, of any veterans who died after November 1, 1990, unless they were dishonorably discharged. The VA provides the medallion to the veteran's next of kin, or an authorized representative, at no cost. The VA also provides the appropriate adhesives, hardware and instructions for mounting the medallion. Note, however, that the VA does not pay any costs that may be incurred to have the medallion installed.
If you are interested in obtaining a bronze medallion for installation, you may contact my office and we will assist you in completing the order form that is required by the VA.
Another benefit that can be available is the Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC). This is an engraved parchment document that has been signed by the current President. This certificate honors the memory and sacrifice of an honorably discharged deceased veteran. The certificate can be applied for by the next of kin, other loved ones or their legal representative. You may contact our office for further assistance regarding this benefit as well.
Ken Cruickshank, retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer, is the Veterans Services Officer for Tulare County. Send your questions to the Veterans Service Office, 205 North L St., Tulare, call (559) 684-4960 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.