How to Honor a Veteran at a Funeral May 20, 2022

how to honor a veteran at a funeral, how to honor a deceased veteran at his funeral

One of the most important tasks we have is to help families understand how to honor a veteran at a funeral. We have been serving veterans’ families in and around the Brookhaven area for more than 70 years. We consider it a true honor and believe in doing all we can to ensure that veterans are laid to rest in a respectful, honorable way. It’s the least we can do to show how much we respect and appreciate those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to serve and protect us and our country through military service.

It can be overwhelming when a family member passes. It can be especially overwhelming to know what services and benefits are available for a veteran who has passed on. We have several resources on our website to help you learn more about the options available to you and what is required to leverage them.

In this post, we’re going to focus on ways you can honor your veteran, both during a service and after. Please remember that the best way to honor your loved one is to do it in a way that resonates best with you. These are simply ideas and suggestions to provoke thought, should you need some ideas to get you started. Please also remember that helping you think through these things is something we take seriously You are always welcome to reach out with questions.

how to honor a veteran at a funeral, how to honor a deceased veteran at his funeral

How to Honor a Veteran at a Funeral: A Few Ideas

One of the ways you can honor a veteran at a funeral is to share stories about their service. These might be factual accounts, like listing where and when they served. But it also might be recounting stories they shared about their favorite moments of service, or when they were in particularly trying circumstances. If possible, you can share why their service was important to you or why they joined the military. Understanding each other’s motivations and what mattered most can help those who are grieving.

Another way to honor a deceased veteran at his funeral is to invite other veterans to attend and participate in a special way. You might ask them to share memories of their service time together, or to talk about what the military means to them and to our country as a whole. It might be nice to have another veteran read a scripture passage or other writing, if appropriate to your service. No matter how you choose to do it, having other veterans at your loved one’s funeral can help impart the importance this part of their life had on them.

You might also include patriotic elements into the service, if it seems fitting. Playing The Star Spangled Banner, for instance, as one of the songs might be a touching tribute to your deceased veteran. Other patriotic songs to consider include God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood, Some Gave All by Billy Ray Cyrus, Just a Dream by Carrie Underwood, and If You’re Reading This by Tim McGraw.

If you gather outside of a funeral service, you might consider watching a movie about the military or visiting a national or military cemetery. Extending your services past the traditional funeral setting can open up options that might help you celebrate your veteran in ways that a church service wouldn’t. By watching a film together and then discussing the importance of military service, you can open up dialogue that might help younger members of your family better understand why your loved one chose to serve. Similarly, visiting a national or military cemetery can help everyone understand the sacrifice those who choose to defend our country make. You could also visit a military museum as a way of remembering the life of your loved one.

Honor A Veteran By Preserving Their Legacy

Another way to honor your deceased veteran at or after the funeral is to make a donation in their name to an organization that serves veterans and their families. There are non-profit organizations that help wounded veterans, families of veterans who died in the line of duty, and children of veterans who want to go to college. These are just a few examples; there are countless organizations that need help.

It’s always wise to research a charity before making a donation, to make sure that your money will be used in the way you intend it to be. Asking friends and family for recommendations is a good first step; so is online research.

Another way to honor the  memory of your loved one is to write thank-you notes to active service members. You can contact your local VFW to learn of opportunities to send thank-you notes and volunteer in other ways. There are also several online organizations that organize letters from schools and individuals. Again, be sure to research whichever organization you choose to ensure that your letters make it to their intended readers.

You might also decide to create a living memorial in some way for your veteran. Perhaps you plant a garden of red, white, and blue flowers in a corner of your yard. Or maybe you learn the correct way to fly a flag and display it proudly at your home.

Finally, you might choose to volunteer as a way to honor your loved one. Serve meals at a homeless shelter or visit a veterans hospital. You could also volunteer to read and record books for those who cannot read on their own.

When considering volunteer opportunities, it’s good to start with options for veterans, but think also about the other interests your loved one had. Doing good for the community in their name is an incredible way to preserve their legacy.

No matter how you decide to honor your loved one, acknowledging and honoring their time serving in our armed forces can be an important and touching part of a funeral, celebration of life, or burial service. We’d be honored to help you as you navigate your options. Please call us at any time.