Honoring those who have served

by Megan Coyle-Stamos, FLT Columnist

The month of November is an important time to reflect on the gratitude and respect for our U.S. military troops and their families. We have the privilege to provide military funeral honors for any veteran who defended our nation. While these honors are a long standing tradition with the armed forces, many families are not aware of the benefits for a deceased veteran.

Upon the family’s request, the law requires that every honorably discharged veteran receive an honors ceremony that includes the folding and presenting of the flag, the playing of Taps, and often, the 21-gun salute.

This ceremony is incredibly moving and emotional. I hope everyone can witness it at some point in their lives. I am always touched by the gentlemen from the burial corps, many of them in their eighties, who continue to share in the pride of service to America and the commitment to our country’s freedom. We often take for granted, in the business of our lives, that there was a time when our citizens didn’t have the rights and privileges that we do today.

The funeral and burial benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are:

  1. Free burial space in a national cemetery
  2. Free grave liner for cemetery, if required
  3. Free opening and closing costs
  4. Free memorial headstone – the funeral home can arrange this for you
  5. Free U.S. flag and signed memorial presidential certificate

Free burial is available at all VA national cemeteries to any deceased honorably discharged veteran. Free burial is also available to their spouse and minor children. While these benefits are significant, the VA does not pay for the funeral or cremation arrangements, transportation or military honors, all of which can be arranged through a funeral home.

Coyle Funeral Home is proud to be a Certified Veterans & Family Memorial Care Provider. My dad, Joe Coyle, is a U.S. Army veteran, having served during the Vietnam era, and has a strong commitment to work closely with the VFW, American Legion, and other Veteran Service Organizations.

One example of working closely to support our veterans is the community outreach program of recycling old and unused cell phones. Over the last 18 months, we have collected 2,500 used cell phones to recycle and give the proceeds to soldiers serving overseas in order to stay connected to their families back home. Our “Cell Phones for Soldiers” campaign will continue throughout the year, so please drop off your old cell phones at 1770 S. Reynolds Rd. in Toledo.

Please stop and thank your current service men and women for their time and talent, their willingness to serve, and their courage and commitment.

Megan Coyle-Stamos is Vice President at Coyle Funeral and Cremation Services, working with her father, Joe Coyle. You may contact her at 419-865-1295 or mcoyle-stamos@CoyleFuneralHome.com.