“You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself” (Leviticus 19:18)

Free Burial for Veterans

This comprehensive guide provides key details about interment and entombment at the South Florida National Cemetery.

The Cemetery is located at 6501 S. State Road 7, Lake Worth, FL 33449.  You can get more information by calling (561) 649-6489.

Is the VA Cemetery in Lake Worth Nice?

Yes, it is.  The South Florida National Cemetery is a beautiful facility and is meticulously maintained.  

Green grass with white headstone placed throughout because it's the burial section at the South Florida National Cemetery

Veteran Burial Services at the South Florida National Cemetery 

The South Florida National Cemetery honors our veterans and their spouses by offering key services, including:

  1. A free shared grave for eligible veterans and their spouses;
  2. Individual concrete burial vaults; 
  3. Complimentary opening and closing of the grave; and
  4. A memorial marker (headstone) for both husband and wife, complete with inscriptions.

For free, the Veteran’s Administration will provide your family with a headstone for use in any cemetery.  However, it only provides burial space at VA cemeteries such as the South Florida National Cemetery. 

So, while the VA pays for the gravesite and headstones for veterans and their spouses, it does not pay for the costs of the funeral home (which is still required for burial).  

Organizing Funeral Services at the South Florida National Cemetery

Organizing a funeral service at the South Florida National emetery requires advance booking.  The time you will be assigned for burial varies based on the number of people needing burial and whether the decedent has been cremated (you will have to wait longer if the decedent has been cremated).

You Must Have A DD-214 To Be Admitted To The South Florida National Cemetery

A DD-214, officially known as the DD Form 214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, is a document the United States Department of Defense issues upon a military service member’s retirement, separation, or discharge from the active-duty military.

This form contains important information about a veteran’s military service, including their dates of enlistment and discharge, assignments and duties, military job specialty, military rank, reason for discharge, and any awards, decorations, or recognitions received. 

Copy of a Veteran's DD-214 honorable discharge papers.

The DD-214 is crucial for veterans as it often serves as proof of military service, which may be required for various benefits and services, such as applying for veterans’ healthcare benefits, home loans, education benefits, or burial in a VA national cemetery, such as the South Florida National Cemetery.

To qualify for burial at the South Florida National Cemetery, your DD-214 must state that the veteran had an honorable discharge.  

How to obtain a replacement DD-214

If your DD-214 has been lost, do not despair – you can get a replacement. Veterans can obtain replacement DD-214s by submitting a request to the National Archives National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)  (https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records). 

Military funeral showing military personnel carrying a wooden casket through a cemetery.

Punctuality and Funeral Service Scheduling at the VA Cemetery

Punctuality is paramount at the South Florida National Cemetery.  Funerals are scheduled every 30 minutes and the South Florida National Cemetery sticks to the schedule.  

The Cemetery has an outdoor non-airconditioned shelter that it uses for funeral services (however, seating is limited).  

Each service has access to the shelter for a strict 20-minute period and all funerals must take no more than the allotted 20 minutes.  

The procession to the outdoor shelter follows the hearse or graveside service vehicle once all the attendees have arrived.

It is best not to be late because late arrivals can limit the time available for the service.

Since services are scheduled every half an hour, if one cannot start on time, it may be rescheduled to a later slot or set as the last service of the day.

Rules for Cremated Remains at the VA Cemetery

Regarding the handling of cremated remains, the VA Cemetery has specific rules and procedures in place to ensure respectful and dignified treatment of the deceased. 

Firstly, cremated remains must be placed in a durable, sealed container, i.e., an urn.  The VA Cemetery does not require the urn to be biodegradable.

Secondly, the cremated remains will be interred in a specially designated section.

Finally, similar to traditional burials, the VA Cemetery requires advance notice for the interment of cremated remains.

Services for the interment of cremated remains are also subject to scheduling constraints, with no services scheduled on weekends.

Post-Service Procedures at the VA Cemetery

Once the funeral service concludes, a cemetery representative will mark the end of the ceremony, requesting attendees to leave. The casket is then transferred to a van for the final burial. For safety reasons, only cemetery workers are allowed near the gravesite during this process.

How Kronish Funeral Services Can Assist 

Navigating the processes of the VA and South Florida National Cemetery can be made easier with our help.  We are seasoned professionals and manage hundreds of veterans’ funerals each year. 

Kronish Funeral Services ensures everyone has a smooth, well-managed funeral process, respecting the protocols set by the VA Cemetery. Our expertise proves invaluable during these difficult times, making the journey a little more bearable.

4 flags in a row flying high under a cloudy blue sky.

Mark Sunshine

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