There is a lot of formality that goes into burying a veteran or scattering his or her ashes. If you are the surviving spouse of a veteran, there are a lot of decisions to be made. Some funeral homes offer veterans funeral packages to take some of the heavy burdens and decisions out of this sorrowful time for you. As such, you may know exactly what you are looking for, and the best veterans funeral packages should offer all of the following.
Twenty-One Gun Salute
If there are enough veterans left from your spouse's old platoon, company, etc., the funeral home can track down seven members who will provide the twenty-one gun salute. If not, then three veterans shooting seven times also works. If your spouse was the last one from his or her military group, the branch of the military in which he or she served will often send seven others to honor your spouse in this way. The best part is that when this is part of your funeral package, you do not have to track anyone down yourself.
Funeral Procession (Either by Hearse or by Carriage)
Depending on the final wishes of your spouse, his or her casket may be driven through the streets, slowly, to the grave site in either an automobile hearse, or horse-drawn carriage hearse. If your spouse had obtained a very high rank in the branch in which he or she served, the horse-drawn carriage is usually much more serene and appropriate, but that is up to you. If you and your spouse previously chose the horse-drawn carriage procession, the funeral home will make sure that the streets are cleared for the procession and that everyone involved has the city's permission to proceed this way. Again, those arrangements are all on the funeral home, not you.
Ceremonial Scattering of the Ashes
If your spouse opted to be cremated, and chose a very specific location for the scattering of his or her ashes, the funeral home makes certain that this will be possible. Many Navy and Marine veterans request cremation and the ceremonial spreading of their ashes on the sea. If this is something you want, find a funeral home that offers it. They will arrange for a boat charter out on the water, followed by a solemn funeral service, and then the emptying of the urn. If your recently deceased spouse had another location in mind, ask the funeral home to work on getting permission/clearance from local governing bodies to accomplish your veteran spouse's final wishes.