FAQs

(Frequently Asked Questions)

  • Grounds:
    • 7:30 AM - sundown (M-F)
    • 8:00 AM - sundown (Sat & Sun)
  • Office Hours:
    • 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
    • Closed State Holidays

Yes, as long as the spouse or eligible dependent meet eligibility requirements.

No. Interments are performed in the next available site based upon the type of interment requested.

No. US Government-issued upright granite headstones (or granite niche covers) are used to ensure the cemetery maintains a distinct nature like its national counterpart.

Cemetery staff will provide you with a mockup of the grave marker at the time of the service. Uniformity of inscriptions is mandated for some fields, but permits symbolic expressions of remembrances when space permits. The family has five calendar days following the service to review the mockup for correctness and provide input before the grave maker is ordered.

It usually takes 45-60 days. You will be informed when the marker is in place.

You should start with your funeral director to make those arrangements. Federal law provides for military honors, if requested. Your funeral director should have contact numbers (including the cemetery) to make those arrangements. At least one member of the Honor Guard should be from the same service as the veteran. A veteran’s family may desire a service organization to assist the Honor Guard. Again, work with the funeral director to make your wishes known. Cemetery personnel will work cooperatively with funeral directors across the state and the Iowa Honor Guard to ensure coverage. Contact the cemetery for additional guidance.

Yes. Contact the cemetery to learn how to join the “Friends of the Cemetery” donation program. These programs allow families, friends and organizations to memorialize their loved ones and the selfless service of our veterans through the beautification of the cemetery grounds. Donations are tax deductible. Donors will receive a letter acknowledging their donation. Donors are identified on the electronic grave locator kiosk found in the vestibule of the Cemetery Administration Building.

Learn more information about the Friends of the Cemetery donation program.

Memorials are allowed on the cemetery grounds. Design proposals should be submitted to the Director for review and consideration. All memorials will be required to keep with the design of the cemetery. Examples of memorials may include memorial trees, commemorative benches, designated artwork, and organizational stones along the Memorial Walk.

There is an electronic grave locator kiosk found in the vestibule of the Cemetery Administration Building that will assist you to locate a burial site.

No. Funeral and/or chapel services are to be held prior to arrival at the cemetery.

No. The Iowa Veterans Cemetery adheres to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration's standards. Like our national counterparts, we provide a committal service shelter that takes the place of the tented graveside service traditionally conducted at private and community cemeteries. We are concerned about cemetery visitors' safety. Graveside services are not permitted since burial sites are assigned consecutively and the cemetery staff may be working in the area with heavy equipment opening and closing grave sites. The family may visit the grave site as soon as the area is determined to be safe by the staff. Cemetery staff will escort the families from the committal shelter to the columbaria plazas for the placement of cremated remains in the niches of the columbarium walls. Cemetery staff will take cremated remains that are inurned in-ground to the burial site and return to the committal shelter to escort the family to the burial site when the site has been closed and the area is safe.

Yes. The cemetery does not provide a chaplain. A family minister is encouraged to lead the service at the Committal Shelter. As stated, this service replaces the graveside service. A member of the cemetery staff will attend and assist the funeral director and family during the service. Fifteen (15) minutes is allotted for the service that can include any combination of committal prayers, family remembrances, and the honor detail. The burial process will be completed after the family departs so cemetery staff can prepare for the next family.

The cemetery schedules four committal services Monday - Friday (except state holidays) on a first-come, first-serve basis. Committal services are held at the Committal Shelter. The service must start and stop within the allotted time period because of other scheduling. Following the service, casketed remains are left in state until the family departs, after which the burial process is completed. The funeral party will be invited to view the inurnment of cremated remains following the service. Times for scheduling the committal service are:

  • 9:30 a.m.
  • 11:00 a.m.
  • 12:30 p.m.
  • 2:00 p.m.

Veteran burial benefits may vary based upon individual circumstances. For example, some costs may be paid if the veteran died as the result of a service-related disability; or if the veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death; or if the veteran was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation but decided not to reduce his/her military retirement or disability pay; or if the veteran died while in a VA hospital, in a nursing home under VA contract, or in an approved state nursing home.

The family should first contact their County Veterans Affairs Commission for advice on their specific circumstances. The Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs also has Veteran Service Officers that may be able to assist you. Contact them by calling the following number: 515-242-5331 or 1-800-838-4692.

You may obtain specific information about these benefits and how to apply for them at the US Department of Veterans Affairs Burial and Memorial Benefits website or call 1-800-827-1000.

Iowa veterans, veterans discharged to Iowa, or those who may have filed their discharge paperwork with the State of Iowa, or the County Recorder’s Office of the veteran’s residence, may be able to obtain a copy by contacting the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs.

Those veterans from out of state may possibly obtain a copy by contacting the National Personnel Records Center (NRPC) in St. Louis, MO. You can request a copy by mail, fax or on-line. You may request a record by letter or submit the “Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records.”

Standard Form180 can be obtained on-line.

Mail: Complete a “Standard Form 180” and mail it to the appropriate address at the end of the form.

Fax: Complete a “Standard Form 180” and fax to 1-314-801-9195. The Center will respond in writing.

On-Line: If you are a veteran or next-of-kin of a deceased veteran, you may now use the National Archives at eVetRecs (or still use the Standard Form 180) to order copies of military records.

Additional information may be found at NPRC-Requesting Military Records.

A DD 214 or equivalent Report of Separation is required. Proof of honorable service must be provided to determine eligibility for burial at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery. If the veteran died without obtaining a copy of the DD 214, the next-of-kin may contact the IDVA (515-242-5331) or a national veteran service organization to obtain assistance in expediting the process to obtain a copy of it.

A United States flag is provided at no cost to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran who served honorably in the US Armed Forces. It is furnished to honor the memory of a veteran’s military service to his or her country.

You may apply to receive a flag by completing VA Form 21-2008 - Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes. You may get a flag at any VA regional office or US Post Office. Generally speaking, your funeral director should help you file this form and obtain the flag prior to the funeral.

The ceremonial burial flag is given to the next-of-kin (e.g., surviving spouse, children, etc.) after its use at the funeral or committal service unless other arrangements have been agreed to. When there is no next-of-kin, USDVA will furnish the flag to a friend making a request for it. National veteran cemeteries having an “Avenue of Flags” provide the opportunity for families to donate the ceremonial burial flag to the cemetery to be flown on patriotic holidays. The Iowa Veterans Cemetery also has an “Avenue of Flags” and accepts these flags, which will be proudly displayed at appropriate times.

 
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For 24-hour counsel, call the National Veteran Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255