folded flag

FAQs, page 3

Can the family be reimbursed for burial expenses (e.g. mortuary and casket)?

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. Click here for county contact information. 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.

What are my burial benefits?

Specific information about these benefits and how to apply for them may be obtained from the contact information listed above.

I don’t have my Form DD 214. How can I get a copy?

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 Form 180 can be obtained on-line. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to open this file.

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.

I do not have a DD214. Are other military documents acceptable?

A DD214 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 DD214, 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.

Am I eligible to receive a ceremonial burial flag and how do I get one?

folded flagA 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.

Who is to receive the ceremonial burial flag?

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.

What is a Presidential Memorial Certificate and how can I get one?

A Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) is an engraved paper certificate signed by the current President to honor the memory of honorably discharged, deceased veterans. Veterans being interred at national veteran cemeteries and the Iowa Veterans Cemetery will automatically receive the certificate several weeks after the service. Veterans being interred at private cemeteries should work with their funeral director to apply for the PMC. Eligible recipients, or someone acting on their behalf, may apply for a PMC in person at any VA Regional Office or by US mail. Requests cannot be sent via email. When requesting the PMC, be sure to enclose a copy of the veteran's discharge and death certificate. Only submit copies as original documents will not be returned. More than one certificate can be requested. Application can be found here.

If you would like to request a Presidential Memorial Certificate, mail your request and all supporting documents to (or visit the nearest VA Regional Office):

Presidential Memorial Certificates (41A1C)
Department of Veterans Affairs
5109 Russell Road
Quantico, VA 22134-3904

How do I contact the Iowa Veterans Cemetery?

Iowa Veterans Cemetery
34024 Veterans Memorial Drive
Adel, IA 50003-3300
(515) 996-9048

FAQs home | page2 | page3

Return to Top of the Page