February 26, 2024
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By Ray Boughner
TMCS USN Ret
Newton VCSO

An uncomfortable subject, but one that we invariably, need to address…
The passing of your veteran and what you need to do before your veteran dies.
One of the eventualities in life that spouses and family of veterans face is the death of their loved one who served America in uniform. To help ease the burden on loved ones, retirees and veterans can make preparations in advance.
The first step is to make certain the family has easy access to important documents such as:

  1. The vet’s discharge certificate (DD form 214)
  2. VA documents, if any, indicating a VA claim number.
  3. A copy of all marriage certificates and divorce decrees (if any previous marriages.)
  4. Insurance policies, including beneficiary designation.
  5. Location of safety deposit boxes.
    Families may request a U.S. flag to drape over the casket. They may also request a Presidential Memorial Certificate to honor the deceased loved one. The VA will also provide a free headstone or grave marker. For more information, go to http://militarybenefits.infor/10-veterans-benefits-you-may-not-now-about/
    Please note that you MUST have a copy of the DD-214 at the time of death to receive VA death benefits. If you do not have a copy you can request information on how to get one from your county veteran’s service officer.
    Kirbyville Banner- Texas Press Association Member- Volume 31 Issue 27
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