By law, as of 1 January 2000, Congress guaranteed Veterans’ Funeral Honors. All eligible veterans are entitled to military funeral honors signifying America’s gratitude for their honorable service. Upon request, two service members will fold and present the American flag to surviving family members, and a bugler will sound “Taps.” If a bugler is not available, a high-quality CD or digital bugle will be used.
At least one member of the funeral detail will be from the deceased veteran’s parent military service. The other may be from the same service or another military service. Other authorized providers, such as members of a veteran’s organization, may be used to augment the military detail. 1 No particular rank is specified in the law, but the services by tradition have ensured the person presenting the flag to the family is at least the grade of the deceased veteran.
Once the family of an eligible veteran has requested Military Funeral Honors, Funeral Directors or those assisting the family can use this directory to locate a military point of contact to help arrange for the funeral honors detail. Click here (www.dmdc.osd.mil/mfh/) From the home page, click on the Funeral Director button and you will have the option of entering the military branch of the deceased veteran and the state. This provides the Points of Contact to arrange for a Military Funeral Honor.
AMVETS posts/members desiring to be an “official” part of the (AP3) program must receive training by a military unit designated to provide the branch specific training. The protocol for establishing/requesting this training is to call the military facility closest to you and go through the Commander’s/HQ office. All base commanders have the responsibility, by law, to support the Military Funeral Honors program and to provide the training opportunities for those wanting to participate in the (AP3) program.
AMVETS Post Honor Guards are providing Military Funeral Honors, less the two active duty service members, at a tremendous pace. For the twelve-month reporting period that ended December 2011, twenty plus posts across all National Districts, 14,200 volunteers provided 128,775 hours conducting Military Funeral Honors. (These services are considered Military Funeral Honors by the majority of the families, but are not technically counted by the DoD as part of the AP3 program because they do not include at least two active duty troops and may not have been conducted specifically with the traditions for the decedents branch of service.)