There is a little-known resource for Marines and their families to have their family buried with the thanks of a grateful nation for their service and sacrifice.

The Marine Corps Funeral Honors ceremony consists of, at a minimum, the folding and presentation of the American flag and the sounding of Taps by a detail of two uniformed members, in addition to a bugler, if available, of the Armed Forces.

While burial of a Marine casualty can be arranged in a cemetery of the family’s choice including V. A. cemeteries nationally, there is another very special option for Burial at Sea. Burial at Sea can be arranged through the Marine Corps Funeral Honors program.

The remains of the deceased, whether a body or cremated remains (cremains), can be delivered to one of five locations for Burial at Sea. Norfolk, Virginia, Jacksonville, Florida, San Diego, California, Bremerton, Washington and Honolulu, Hawaii are the Ports of Embarkation with Burial Coordinators available.

Eligibility: Individuals eligible for this program are: (1) active duty members of the uniformed services; (2) retirees and veterans who were honorably discharged. (3) U.S. civilian marine personnel of the Military Sealift Command; and (4) dependent family members of active duty personnel, retirees, and veterans of the uniformed services.

How to get started: After the death of the individual for whom the request for Burial at Sea is being made, the Person Authorized to Direct Disposition (PADD) should contact the Navy and Marine Corps Mortuary Affairs office at 1-866-787-0081 to request a packet and for additional information.

Supporting documents which must accompany this request are:

(1) a photocopy of the death certificate
(2) the burial transit permit or the cremation certificate
(3) a copy of the DD Form 214, discharge certificate, or retirement order.

For further details and instructions, you can visit The Marine Corps Honors Burial Program