American Veteran
No Next Of Kin
Burial / Information
This page was created on March 15, 2015 by Jeff Doc Dentice
to provide information about burials of our veterans with no next of kin.

To Doc Dentice
Thank You for posting the info about the burial of the unknown Vet in Union Grove.
This was an experience in itself. I know there will be more.
The information you are providing on this page is very good.
Thanks for always being there for our veterans for the past 30 years.
Tim Baranzyk  Wisconsin Vietnam Vets Chapter One - Greendale, WI. Legion Post 416
 

Here Is One Example Of A 2015 No Next Of Kin Burial In S/E Wisconsin
A veteran's remains were taken to the Wisconsin Union Grove Veterans Cemetery for burial with honors.
He was from Milwaukee County, died in a group home in Waukesha County - no family, no friends....
Working with Waukesha County Medical Examiner's Office, Milwaukee County Corporation Counsel, a
funeral home in Hales Corners, and others, they were able to determine his veterans status, get his body
cremated, and the military funeral honors and internment that he deserved, as an American veteran.
At the WI. Union Grove Veterans Cemetery, they have a group of veterans & citizens who are on call.
They attend burial ceremonies when there is no next of kin, so that the veteran will never be buried alone.
Many Thanks to the local veterans providing the military honor guards, and the patriotic citizens who attend those ceremonies.

Please keep in mind that some veterans are also buried at local cemeterys, but no one knew they were a veteran.
Many foks have visited cemeterys and saw a grave, and wondered if maybe that person may have been a veteran.
They have searched on their own, and asked for a furthur review, and in many cases, it proved to be correct.
Cemeterys in that situation may be provided by the VA, with a headstone or marker for that veterans grave.
In rare cases, the veteran would be disinterred, and buried with honors at a veterans cemetery.

Veterans that pass away, at a VA hospital or Vets home, group homes, or homeless on the streets, or at their own residence.
If they have no family members, or no one in the family who will claim that veteran, then the No Next Of Kin process begins.

If a veteran passes away at a VA hospital or veterans home, and no one claims him/her as a family member, the staff will work with the
state or national cemeterys, to ensure that there is a plot or urn provided, and military funeral honors for that veteran.

Funeral directors will also call the morgue, or vice versa, and they in turn will contact the nearest veterans cemetery, and
ask them to check to see if that person was a veteran. Many times they will contact a local County Vets Service Officer for help.
The veterans cemetery staff will check the records, and if that person is a veteran, they in turn will contact
the local area veterans organizations who do funeral honors, to have them provide a military honor guard.
That veteran will  be provided a burial plot at that veterans cemetery.

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October 20. 2015
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program to reimburse for the purchase of a casket or urn used to
inter a deceased, eligible, Unclaimed Veteran in a VA National Cemetery, is in place.
The program allows for the reimbursement to any individual or entity, has
standards for the casket or urn purchased, and by law requires that the Veteran died on or after January 10, 2014.

For eligible Veterans who died on or after January 10, 2014 and were interred in a VA national cemetery prior to May 13, 2015 there
special instructions for applying for the reimbursement.

To learn more about the program and how to receive reimbursement, please reference the fact sheets listed below.

Unclaimed Remains Burial Resources
Unclaimed Veteran Remains Casket or Urn Reimbursement Program
Retroactive Unclaimed Veteran Remains Casket or Urn Reimbursement Program
 


New as of August 7, 2015
WDVA / Legion to Help Bury Indigent Veterans

(WDVA) and the American Legion Wisconsin announe effort to ensure that military veterans receive the proper burial they deserve.
To remedy a situation where a veteran may pass away without a next-of-kin claiming them or without the funding to hold a funeral for them.
They will reach out to more than 450 funeral service providers in Wisconsin to identify the remains
of deceased veterans who may be potentially eligible for a military burial.

"Not all those who have served our nation honorably have been afforded their full honors.
Of the many thousands of brave men and women who served our nation from WorldWar II
to the present day, some will pass on without a next-of-kin to arrange their funerals or without
enough money to cover the costs associated with burial. When these Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and
Coast Guardsman serve our country, the very least we owe them is a dignified burial and final salute."

When a veteran is located who died without a next-of-kin or without enough funds to cover burial, the American
Legion has created a restricted fund to assist with burial costs to ensure the veteran receives the dignified
memorial service he or she deserves. The WDVA operates three State Veterans Cemeteries located in
Union Grove, King and Spooner which may be used as a final resting place for these veterans.
As with any other veteran, the American Legion will also perform honors at the funeral a final rifle volley,
playing of 'Taps,' and folding the U.S. flag.
The WDVA will also assist in coordinating Military Funeral Honors throughout the state.

Funeral service providers and cemeteries are asked to contact the American Legion Department of
Wisconsin at 608-745-1090 for further details on providing information about the deceased in order to make a
determination of their veteran status
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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program to reimburse for the purchase of a casket or urn
used to inter a deceased, eligible, Unclaimed Veteran in a VA National Cemetery, is now in place. The program
allows for the reimbursement to any individual or entity, has standards for the casket or urn purchased, and by
law requires that the Veteran died on or after January 10, 2014.

For eligible Veterans who died on or after January 10, 2014 and were interred in a VA national cemetery prior
to May 13, 2015 there are special instructions for applying for the reimbursement.