Military service carries a number of benefits for veterans during and after their time in the service. As a nation we strive to take care of veterans, from education to medical care. As veterans, it is important to recognize and take advantage of the benefits that exist, such as VA Aid & Attendance Non-Service Connected Disability benefits. This benefit is available to most wartime veterans to help cover the cost of long-term care, skilled nursing, or in home care. By planning ahead with a QVap trust, veterans can ensure their eligibility when they need it.
Taking advantage of military benefits does not end during the veteran’s life. Veterans are entitled to certain honors during their funerals as well. Veterans may wish to leave instructions to their heirs regarding which honors, if any, they would like during their funerals including a flag folding and presentation and the playing of “Taps.” Family members may also request a headstone or grave marker. Unlike private burial plots, which may be purchased and reserved in advance, burial in a national cemetery may not be arranged in advance. As a result, if a veteran wishes to be buried in a national cemetery, instructions regarding the preference ought to be left for loved ones. These services are provided at no cost.
Veterans may also be buried at sea from a deployed Navy ship, if they desire. Family members may not attend at-sea burials, but will receive the flag that accompanied the remains at sea. Veterans buried at sea are eligible for a memorial marker. Finally, surviving family members may be eligible for limited reimbursement of burial costs. Because funeral and burial arrangements typically must be made very shortly after death, any arrangements you have made or would like made ought to be communicated to your loved ones prior to death or with your easily accessible estate planning documents.
For a creative way to celebrate this Memorial Day and create a lasting memory with your loved veteran, StoryCorps is offering recording sessions on the USS Midway beginning June 3. StoryCorps is a program that creates an oral history archive of ordinary people interviewing each other about their lives or a loved one. The interviews are recorded onto a CD for the interviewers to keep and also kept in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for posterity. Interested people may reserve a 40 minute spot on the USS Midway for recording their story for a time between June 3 and June 22.
Finally, this Memorial Day, active-duty military members and their families may celebrate with free entry to certain museums in the area, including the San Diego Botanic Garden located in Encinitas. The program begins May 27 and extends through Labor Day on September 2. Here’s a full list of participating museums. No matter how you decide to remember our troops and celebrate this Memorial Day, I hope you have a happy and safe holiday weekend!
VA Aid & Attendance–How Can I Correctly Choose Help for my Application Process? FREE REPORT: This complimentary report focuses on the various kinds of people one can consult when applying for the Veterans Aid & Attendance benefit. Who one chooses can mean the difference between success and failure. Remember, if you are denied, you may not be able to reapply for up to a year or longer. Download our complimentary report for a behind the scenes look at the different types of people you can consult and the dirty underbelly of the Veterans Aid & Attendance industry.