VA Now Allows Veterans To Select Burial Site

Everyone is aware of news about the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and, yes, most of it has been bad. However, good news, although rare, does get reported. Case in point: the VA recently announced that veterans are now able to select their burial site in national cemeteries in advance of their passing.

All veterans need to do is fill out VA Form 40-10007 entitled, “APPLICATION FOR PRE-NEED DETERMINATION OF ELIGIBILITY FOR BURIAL IN A VA NATIONAL CEMETERY”. Then submit their application and supporting documentation to VA by one of the following:

Email to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at: 

Mail to National Cemetery Scheduling Office, P.O. Box 510543, St. Louis, MO 63151;

or

Fax to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at (855) 840-8299

The form notes importantly:

Pre-Need means before death. Only complete this form if you are applying for a Pre-Need determination of eligibility for burial in a VA national cemetery. Time of Need means time of death. DO NOT complete this form if the individual is already deceased; instead, contact a local funeral home or the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-800-535-1117 to expedite processing.

The form makes burials available in “135 cemeteries and 33 soldiers’ lots operated by the VA nationwide”.

Not included for consideration is Arlington National Cemetery, which is overseen by the U.S. Army. Although many servicemembers and veterans are eligible for burial at Arlington, they may not be aware of the latest news: it is running out of space:

A General Accounting Office report estimates that at the current rate of  about 20 coffin and urn burials a day, the cemetery will be full by 2025. Of the 115 national military cemeteries, 60 have closed because they have no more room.

Those who wish to be interred at Arlington should review the specific criteria and, if they qualify, submit their VA Form 40-10007 sooner rather than later.

One Vietnam veteran has made his choice:

I for one, will be buried in the Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Many military are buried here, including my Dad, a WW II, Korea, and Vietnam vet of 26 years. I consider it an honor to be buried next to him.”

So it might be a good idea for every servicemember and veteran to choose their final resting place too.

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Chuck Yarling has had many titles in his career thus far: veteran, engineer, math teacher, consultant, technical writer, book author and publisher, and triathlete. He was a member the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Bugles Across America, which plays Taps at military funerals and special events. Spec. 5 Chuck Yarling served with the 26th Combat Engineering Battalion in Vietnam as an awards clerk. His service with the U.S. Army resulted in being awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Army Commendation Medal. You may reach Chuck at [email protected]

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