Presidential Memorial Certificate to Honor Deceased Veterans: Information on the Application Process
Available for all Honorably Discharged Veterans
Qualifications to Receive Presidential Memorial Certificate
The family and friends of any deceased, honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces is entitled to receive a Presidential Memorial Certificate presented by the United States government. The engraved paper certificate is signed by the president in office at the time of the request and is intended to honor the military service of the Veteran at no charge to the family.
It makes no difference if the deceased served during war or peacetime and it is not a requirement that the serviceperson died in active duty. The only stipulation is that they received an honorable discharge.
President John F. Kennedy initiated the Presidential Memorial Certificate program in 1962 and all presidents since that time have followed suit.
How to Apply for the Certificate
Considering you are dealing with the government, it is an amazingly simple process. According to a representative at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which administers the program, the friend or family member should either visit their local VA office or download the application from the VA website. It merely asks for the name of the veteran and the requesting party's mailing address and phone number. You then fax the application along with the veteran's discharge form DD214 and a copy of the death certificate. You do not have to be related to the veteran to obtain the Presidential Memorial Certificate and the application does not inquire about your relationship to the deceased.
Surprisingly, you may order more than one copy, however, they ask that you use good judgment when you request multiple copies. The VA advises the time frame for receiving certificates is from 2 to 4 months and they normally have a large backlog. They will definitely honor your request, but you should be patient. As the public has become aware of this program, the number of applications has increased dramatically.
No Time Limit for Request
Requests may be submitted anytime after the veteran passes away and there is no time limit. For example, the family of someone that died during the Vietnam War era could still receive the honor.
Note that all Presidential Memorial Certificates are signed by the current president and not the president that was in office during the time frame served by the veteran.
A Beautiful Keepsake to Remember Your Veteran
The Presidential Memorial Certificate is a gold embossed, engraved certificate which expresses the country's grateful appreciation of the veteran's service in the United States Armed Forces.
It would make an appropriate gift for someone who has lost a loved one that was a veteran, whether the loss was recent or years ago. For genealogists, it would be a perfect addition to their genealogy research and make an excellent remembrance keepsake in a family history book.
It is such a simple procedure and there is no charge to receive this meaningful document. It is a wonderful service offered by the United States government.
Your Veteran may be Eligible for Burial in Arlington Cemetery
Your loved one may also be eligible for burial in Arlington Cemetery. Additional information may be found at http://thelmac.hubpages.com/hub/Arlington-Cemetery
© 2011 Thelma Raker Coffone