Old News Archive

Honoring those who served - military funeral honors

January 23, 2008 - TRC

Military Funeral Honors is now an entitlement for all honorably discharged Veterans. There are no costs what so ever associated with this program.

The rendering of Military Funeral Honors for United States Armed Forces Veterans is a tribute that our Veterans and their families justly deserve and in fact, are now entitled to. It is a way to show our Nationís deep gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country. Section 578 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2000 requires the Department of Defense to provide, upon request, Military Funeral Honors for eligible Veterans.

The Maine Military Funeral Honors Program began performing Military Funeral Honors Ceremonies for Maine's Veterans in late 2004. Since it's inception, we have performed over 2300 ceremonies from Fort Kent to Kittery and eastern Canada.

According to the Maine Veteran's Administration, Maine is loosing nearly 4000 Veterans a year, (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Army Air Corps and Merchant Marines). This rate is expected to continue with very slow reductions through the year 2030.

Any person, Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve and Merchant Marines, who received an honorable discharge is now entitled to an appropriate Military Funeral Honors Ceremony performed by US Military active duty service members.

Before the law passed, many Veterans did not receive a Military Funeral Honors Ceremony or acknowledgement and appreciation for their service to their country. The Maine Military Funeral Honors Team is prepared to right this wrong by providing appropriate Military Honors to any honorably discharged Veteran who was not honored at the time of death. A family member need only call and request this service.

Standards: The currently serving, US Military members of the Maine Military Funeral Honors Team are trained to the highest possible standards. Military Funeral Honors is their full time duty. The Service Members selected to perform these ceremonies for Maine's Veterans are extremely proud of what they are doing. They have the utmost respect and admiration for those who served before them.

We have six Military Funeral Honors Trainers on the team who have all attended a two week course and have been certified as instructors by Arlington National Cemetery. Veterans of Maine will receive a Military Funeral Honors Ceremony performed to the same high standard as those ceremonies being performed at Arlington National Cemetery. Maine Veterans deserve no less than perfection.

I strongly encourage all Veterans residing in Maine to allow these dedicated members of the United States Military to perform this ceremony and to simply express our appreciation for their dedicated service to our country.

Whenever individuals decide to join the Armed Forces of the United States they promise to put themselves between the people of the United States and those who would harm us. To honor this promise and sacrifice, we are committed to doing all that we can to support our Veterans & the families of those Veterans.

For more information about the Maine Military Funeral Honors Program or Military Funeral Honors in general, Families and Veterans may visit our web site at www.funeralhonors.org or call the State Coordinator in Augusta at 1-800-958-5967 toll free.

Mr. Frank R. Norwood
Maine Military Funeral Honors Coordinator
Office toll free: 1-800-958-5967
Office: 207-626-7822
Cell: 703-901-8531
FAX: 207-626-7804
Web site: www.funeralhonors.org

Submitted by : Frank R. Norwood

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.