Eligibility for Burial

The Iowa Veterans Cemetery operates under United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) operational standards. Eligibility for burial is the same as those for burial at national cemeteries. Basically, that means any veteran separated from the service other than dishonorably, the veteran’s spouse, and eligible dependent children may be interred at the cemetery. There is NO requirement to be a resident of Iowa. If you are unsure of your eligibility, please contact the cemetery for a determination.

Eligibility Defined by Military Service: Eligibility determinations shall be made in accordance with federal regulations (38 CFR 38.620) and state administrative rules currently under development. In general, the military service requirements for burial in the Iowa Veterans Cemetery are:

  • Discharged from “active duty” under conditions other than dishonorable, or
  • Died while on “active duty”, or
  • Served at least 20 years in the National Guard or Reserves and qualified for military retirement pay (or would have qualified except death occurred before age 60), or
  • Reserve component personnel qualify if they otherwise served in a Presidential call-up during their Reserve Component military service. Active duty for training of Reserve Component personnel does not qualify as active service.

Residency: Iowa residency is not required for burial in the Iowa Veterans Cemetery.

Burial Fees: There is no charge for the burial of an eligible veteran. Burial options include in ground burial of caskets and cremated remains and above ground placement of remains in a columbarium niche (next available -- no pre-selection). A standard government upright granite headstone/niche marker is provided at no cost to an eligible veteran.

There is a $300 interment fee for an eligible spouse and dependent child. This fee is subject to change. An eligible veteran’s spouse or dependent will be interred with (and along side the veteran in the case of a third burial unless other arrangements are made). Fees collected for burial are placed in a fund used for future physical expansion of the cemetery and infrastructure improvements. Perpetual care of the gravesites and grounds are maintained by cemetery personnel at no cost to the veteran or his/her family.

Eligibility Determination Application

The Pre-Registration for Burial Determination application is required to assist cemetery personnel in determining eligibility for burial in the Iowa Veterans Cemetery. Completion of the application is required at the time of need (death) or may be used for a pre-need determination. The application is available for download here.

Pre-need determination allows a veteran to establish in advance, his/her eligibility for interment at the cemetery. There is no cost for pre-need determination, and it does not obligate the veteran to be interred at the cemetery. Pre-need determination is intended to simplify and assist the veteran's next-of-kin at the time of death (or the non-veteran spouse if the veteran elects to be interred at the cemetery). By taking a few minutes to complete a pre-registration application and mail it with the supporting documentation, veterans and their families can plan their interment and gain peace of mind. It is a form of pre-estate planning.

Funeral Directors are required to complete and submit to the cemetery an Application for Interment (submitted at the time of need).  The application is available for download here.

After you open the application you will be able to type the required information into the appropriate areas. After filling in all appropriate information, print it and return the completed form, with all supporting documentation (do not send originals, send copies only) to:

Iowa Veterans Cemetery
34024 Veterans Memorial Drive
Adel, IA 50003-3300
Telephone: (515) 996-9048; Fax: (515) 996-9102

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