All veterans are entitled to a free burial in a national cemetery and a grave marker. This eligibility also extends to some civilians who have provided military-related service and some Public Health Service personnel. Spouses and dependent children also are entitled to a plot and marker when buried in a national cemetery.
There are no charges for opening or closing the grave, for a vault or liner, or for setting the marker in a national cemetery. The family generally is responsible for other expenses, including transportation to the cemetery. For more information, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs' Website. To reach the regional veterans' office in your area, call 1.800.827.1000.
In addition, many states have established state veterans cemeteries. Eligibility requirements and other details vary. Contact your state for more information.
Some commercial cemeteries offer "veterans' specials," but these may not always be the great deal they seem to be on the surface. They may offer a free plot for the veteran, but charge a very high rate for an adjoining plot for the spouse, as well as high fees for opening and closing each grave.
Evaluate the bottom-line cost to be sure the special is as special as it appears on the surface. As always, research your options to make sure you understand the true cost of the deal.