Veterans Services

Veterans Services

Honor and Respect. Two words we live by here at A.J. Desmond & Sons. To each family we serve, to every person we care for, we give the utmost honor and respect. For veterans and their families, we are especially humbled to care for those have who have protected us.

A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors is considered by many veterans to be the best in the area. Why? We value traditions. We understand the power of rituals and ceremony. We know the importance of detail. We know that you served proudly. Know that we are always proud to serve you.

Military Honors

Upon the family's request, we will arrange for military honors for every eligible veteran. Military funeral honors includes holding the United States flag over the casket, folding and presenting the flag and the playing of Taps by a funeral honors detail. If there is a burial, funeral honors traditionally happens at the cemetery. If there is not a burial, military honors may be done at the end of a service at the church or funeral home.

Burial Flag

The Veterans Administration provides an American flag, acquired by A.J. Desmond & Sons, to drape the casket or be displayed during a memorial service of an eligible veteran. After the service, the flag will be presented to the next of kin. Many families treasure this flag. Some families choose to donate the burial flag to a national cemetery.

Burial Allowance

For eligible veterans, Veterans Administration will pay up to $700 toward burial and funeral expense allowance. Oakland County residents may be eligible for an additional $300, depending on assets at the time of death. Veterans Administration will pay a $150 plot allowance when the eligible veteran is not buried in a cemetery that is under U.S. Government jurisdictions. Additional costs may also be reimbursed. We will assist in establishing eligibility and determining exact benefits.

If the veteran's death is service related, Veterans Administration will pay a burial allowance up to $1,500, provide a military service and pay the cost of transporting the remains of a service-disabled veteran to the national cemetery nearest the home of a deceased that has available gravesites.

Burial in National Cemetery

Eligible veterans and armed forces members who die on active duty are entitled for burial in a Veterans Administration national cemetery. Many national cemeteries have columbaria for the inurnment of cremated remains or special gravesites for the burial of cremated remains. Great Lakes National Cemetery, located in Holly, Michigan, is the nearest cemetery to metro Detroit.

Gravesites in national cemeteries cannot be reserved. Funeral directors must apply at the time of death. A.J. Desmond & Sons makes any and all arrangements.

Headstones and Markers

Veterans Administration provides headstones and markers for the unmarked graves of eligible veterans and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state veteran or military cemeteries. The headstone or marker is ordered and placed through the cemetery.

When burial occurs in a cemetery other than a national, military post or state veterans cemetery, the marker is shipped at government expense but Veterans Administration does not pay the cost of placing the headstone or marker on the grave. Veterans Administration does not issue a headstone or marker for a spouse or child buried in a private cemetery.

Flat bronze, granite and marble or upright granite and marble types are available to mark the grave in a style consistent with the place of burial. Niche markers also are available to mark columbaria used for the inurnment of cremated remains. Headstones and markers are inscribed with the name of the deceased, the years of birth and death, and branch of service. Optional items that may be inscribed at VA expense are: military grade, rank or rate; war service; months and days of birth and death; an emblem reflecting one's beliefs; valor awards; and the Purple Heart. Additional items may be inscribed at private expense.

Please contact A.J. Desmond & Sons for information on or assistance with any of the above.

Presidential Memorial Certificates

The Presidential Memorial Certificate expresses the nation's recognition of the veteran's service. Certificates are issued in the name of honorably discharged, deceased veterans. Eligible recipients include next of kin, other relatives and friends, and more than one certificate may be requested. Contact A.J. Desmond & Sons for more information and to facilitate the request.

Veterans Life Insurance Information

Please notify us if you need assistance with this. To contact the VA Insurance Center, call 1-800-669-8477, 8:00am to 6:30pm ET or visit http://www.insurance.va.gov/miscellaneous/.

Surviving Spouse/ Dependent Children Informations Benefits

Specific benefits are available for the surviving spouse and dependent children of an eligible veteran. Please ask us for more information or visit http://www.vba.va.gov/survivors/.

Veterans Merchandise and Services

We offer specific merchandise and other particulars available for veterans and families.

Planning Ahead

To be prepared, advise your family of your wishes and where your discharge papers are kept. These papers are very important in establishing your eligibility for any of the Veteran's benefits and allowances. To ensure that everything is in order, you may wish to make pre-need arrangements with a funeral home; Suzanne Seitz Behan coordinates our pre-need programs. We will assist in determining which benefits and honors the veteran is eligible for. We can also store copies of discharge paper to have ready. At the time of need, your family contacts A.J. Desmond & Sons; we will take care of everything from there.

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