Honoring Veterans

Honoring Those Who Protected Our Freedom

Having had family and staff members who proudly served in the United States Armed Forces, we are both humbled and honored to serve those who have protected and defended our country in her time of need. On behalf of our family and staff, we thank you and your loved one for the dedicated and selfless service.

Eligibility for Military Funeral Honors

All branches of the United States Armed Forces will honor veterans with military funeral honors. These honors are free of charge to the family and required by law for eligible veterans. In order to provide honors, eligibility will need to be verified by the veterans DD-214 or other discharge papers. In the event that you are unable to locate these documents, our family and staff will be able to assist you in obtaining copies.

Eligible members include the following:

  • Military members on active duty or in the Selected Reserve.
  • Former military members who served on active duty and departed under honorable conditions.
  • Former military members who completed at least one term of enlistment or period of initial obligated service in the Selected Reserve and departed under honorable conditions.
  • Former military members discharged from the Selected Reserve due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.

If you are unsure of whether or not your loved one who qualify, please ask our licensed directors. Often times there are circumstances where a veteran who may not appear eligible will still qualify.

Standard Military Funeral Honors

At a minimum, eligible veterans are entitled to the folding and presenting of the American flag and the playing of Taps by a bugler or recording. These honors can be performed at the funeral home, a church or other place of service or a cemetery, but can only be held once. Traditionally, these honors are performed by an honor guard detail consisting of at least two members of the Armed Forces. One member must be a representative from the branch in which the veteran served.

For those veterans being laid to rest at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, Ohio, it is not uncommon for the military honors to include a three-volley rifle salute to represent duty, honor and country. This three-volley rifle salute is different than a 21-gun salute, and is provided generously by local VFW and American Legion posts. For those being laid to rest at a private cemetery, the funeral home will attempt to arrange for a three-volley rifle salute, however, if the veteran was not part of a VFW or American Legion, this may be difficult to obtain.

Veteran Benefits

Our family and staff can assist you in communicating with U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to arrange for:

  • A Presidential Memorial Certificate. This is a certificate expressing the nation’s recognition of the veteran’s service. The veteran’s name is inscribed, and the certificate bears the signature of the President of the United States.
  • Headstones or Markers: The VA provides headstones or markers for the graves of American veterans anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state or military cemeteries.
  • Memorial Plots: If an eligible veteran’s remains are not available for burial, the VA will provide a grave plot and headstone or marker in a national cemetery for memorialization. If you wish to place the memorial in a cemetery other than a national cemetery, a headstone or marker will be provided but the plot itself.
  • Burial in a VA national cemetery. Burial in the national cemetery includes the grave, as well as the opening and closing of the grave, a government grave liner (burial vault), a headstone and perpetual care.
  • Reimbursement of burial expenses. For information on eligibility and the different levels or potential reimbursement, please review their Guide to VA Burial Allowances or speak with one of our funeral directors.

Additional Resources

We encourage you to visit the following links for other detailed information about the options available for honoring service members and other aspects of military funerals:

Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery

Located in Rittman/Seville, Ohio, Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery is a 274-acre site in Medina County dedicated to honoring those who honorably served their country. The cemetery was opened in March, 1999, and is the second national cemetery built in Ohio. Ohio Western Reserve can provide burial spaces for 106,000 eligible veterans and dependents beyond the year 2050.

Veterans and their eligible dependents have the option for in-ground casket burial and columbaria niches, scattering garden and in-ground garden niches for cremation.

The cemetery also features a beautiful pathway that is lined with approximately 139 memorials, commemorating events and troops of 20th century wars. These memorials have been donated by various organizations including VFW and American Legions, police departments and other organizations.

Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery
10175 Rawiga Road, Rittman, Ohio 44270-0008

Who is Eligible to be Buried at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery

  • Most veterans who have been discharged from active duty-military service under other than dishonorable discharges.
  • Veterans discharged due to a hardship or a service-connected disability prior to completing 24 months of continuous service.
  • Those enlisted personnel who began active service September 7, 1980 and officer personnel who entered service after October 17, 1981, with certain time restrictions.
  • Any member of the U.S. Armed Forces who dies while serving on active duty.
  • Any person who has retired from the Army or Air National Guard or from the Reserves.
  • The spouse of an eligible active duty member or veteran, even if the veteran or active duty member is not interred in a National Cemetery. *Common law marriages before October 1, 1991 are eligible for spousal burial.*
  • Under some conditions, minor children, unmarried and under 23-years-of-age, of an eligible active duty member or veteran.

What are the Costs to the Family for services provided by Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery?

There are no charges for any services provided by any National Cemetery. The veteran and their eligible dependents are provided with an in-ground plot or cremation niche, a simple grave liner (burial vault) for an earth burial, the opening and closing of the plot or niche, and an upright headstone or flat marker. All perpetual care of the grave is covered as well.

Walter Martens & Sons Funeral Home Annual Memorial Day Service

Honoring Those Who Protected Our Freedom

Every Memorial Day, our firm is proud to partner with the family and staff of Riverside Cemetery to honor the veterans serviced by our firm. This hour-long service includes a candle-light memorial, reading of necrology, presentation of the American Flag and the playing of Taps.

Families of those whose loved one’s are being remembered are sent an invitation at the beginning of May each year with details regarding our service. However, the service is open to all those who lost a loved one.

For additional information about our service, please contact the funeral home.

Walter Martens & Sons Funeral Home
Phone: (216) 281-7111
9811 Denison Ave., Cleveland, OH 44102

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