Virginia National Guard Military Funeral Honors Program

Sgt. Phillip J. Reddick plays taps in honor of Staff Sgt. Darryl D. Booker and Col. Paul M. Kelly Nov. 16, 2013, at their Arlington National Cemetery grave sites. Kelly and Booker were killed along with 10 other Soldiers Jan. 20, 2007, when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter they were in crashed in Iraq.  (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Sgt. Phillip J. Reddick plays taps in honor of Staff Sgt. Darryl D. Booker and Col. Paul M. Kelly Nov. 16, 2013, at their Arlington National Cemetery grave sites. Kelly and Booker were killed along with 10 other Soldiers Jan. 20, 2007, when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter they were in crashed in Iraq. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

The Virginia National Guard Military Funeral Honors program renders professional military funeral honors, in accordance with service tradition, to all eligible veterans when requested by an authorized family member.

The Army National Guard conducted 86% of all military funeral honors for the U.S. Army and approximately 60% of all MFH for the Department of Defense. In 2014, over 125,000 Soldiers and veterans were buried with honors.

The MFH program has developed a comprehensive network within communities which allows for an expedient response to the needs of deceased veteran’s families. The MFH program has forged positive relationships between the Virginia National Guard, State leadership and local communities.

The Virginia National Guard’s training program has certified over 500 Soldiers since 2006. Trainers, assigned to the Arkansas-based National Guard Professional Education Center, conduct in-State certification before Soldiers are authorized to perform MFHs. This training ensures the Virginia National Guard conducts professional and dignified MFHs.

Military Funeral Honors have always been provided whenever possible. However, the law now mandates the rendering of MFH for an eligible veteran if requested by the family. As provided by law, an honor guard detail for the burial of an eligible veteran shall consist of not less than two members of the Armed Forces. One member of the detail shall be a representative of the parent service of the deceased veteran. The honor detail will, at a minimum, perform a ceremony that includes the folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps.

Taps will be played by a bugler, if available, or by electronic recording.

Upon request of the next of kin, authorized representative, or authorized funeral director, the regional MFH coordinator will arrange the provision of funeral honors for an eligible beneficiary. The parent Service of the eligible beneficiary shall assume full responsibility for the entire process. The MFH coordinator shall coordinate with the funeral director, other Military Services, and other authorized providers, as appropriate.

You may contact your local funeral home director to initiate a request for Military Funeral Honors for a deceased Veteran. You will need to provide proof of military service in the form of a DD Form 214, NGB Form 22 or 22B, or Statement of Service.

Read the latest news on the Virginia National Guard Military Funeral Honors Program.