I have been writing for the internet for over a year. Most of the time I choose the topic for an article; sometimes, however, I find that the topic for the article chooses me. That has been the case for my recent series of articles about military veterans. Once I began writing on this topic I couldn’t seem to let go – until now.
As I researched, wrote, and digested the information that I learned about veterans, my gratitude level rose higher and higher. Today I feel that my tank is filled with such a depth of gratitude that for now, at least, I can finally move on to other topics.
Each and every person who has served in the military, or is presently serving, has sown seed into my life. It is my hope that somewhere, at some point in time, there will be a deposit of seed sown back into their lives because of my recently-posted series of articles.
I have an interest in National Cemeteries since my spouse is at rest in one and one day my remains will be interred there also. That thought has always humbled me mightily since I have done nothing to earn that honor. Regardless, the cemeteries are set up to accept non-military family members who qualify and I am extremely grateful for that privilege.
Perhaps many persons are unaware of the rules regarding the burial of non-military family members.
“Burial benefits available for spouses and dependents buried in a national cemetery include burial with the veteran, perpetual care, and the spouse or dependents name and date of birth and death will be inscribed on the veteran’s headstone, at no cost to the family. Eligible spouses and dependents may be buried, even if they predecease the veteran.”
Also: “The spouse or surviving spouse of an eligible veteran is eligible for interment in a national cemetery even if that veteran is not buried or memorialized in a national cemetery. In addition, the spouse or surviving spouse of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States whose remains are unavailable for burial is also eligible for burial.”
In most cases, one gravesite is provided for the burial of all eligible family members and a single headstone or marker is provided. When both spouses are veterans, two gravesites and two headstones or markers may be provided if requested.
Although the husband and wife may be buried side by side, the name of the veteran is on the side of the stone facing the gravesite; the name of the spouse is engraved on the reverse side of the stone.
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Cemetery Administration maintains 131 national cemeteries in 39 states (and Puerto Rico) as well as 33 soldier’s lots and monument sites. There is not a VA national cemetery in every state; there is also a listing for State veterans’ cemeteries.
Presidential Memorial Certificates are available for all eligible veterans. This is an engraved paper certificate, signed by the current President, to honor the memory of honorably discharged deceased veterans.
Today I give my deeply-felt thanks to all those who have served or are serving in the military. The fact that these people have done so is not something that I take lightly, nor is it something that I can ever afford to forget.
Additional articles on “giving thanks” by R.C. Johnson:
Giving Thanks for My Online Writing Career
Giving Thanks for Our Church’s Music Ministry
Giving Thanks for My Children and Grandchildren
Giving Thanks for Soap, Derreck Kayongo, and the Global Soap Project