Holiday Wreaths Honor Veterans at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery
December 17, 2016
Mims (Scottsmoor), FL -- Volunteers placed holiday wreaths to honor and remember our nation's Veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs' Cape Canaveral National Cemetery today.
"These wreath laying ceremonies help us continue the mission of maintaining national cemeteries as national shrines, sacred to the honor and memory of those interred or memorialized here," said cemetery director Don Murphy. "It is a great way for the community to come together to pay our respects during the holiday season."
The organization arranges the wreath-laying ceremony with assistance from local citizens and other Veterans service organizations as a part of Wreaths Across America. All 135 VA national cemeteries receive at least seven wreaths, one for each service branch, one for the Merchant Marines and one for Prisoners of War and those Missing In Action (POW/MIA).
This is the eleventh year of Wreaths Across America, a nationwide program which distributes holiday wreaths as a tribute to Veterans laid to rest at VA national cemeteries and state Veterans cemeteries. It is also the 25th year that the Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, have provided holiday wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. Through this program, company president Morrill Worcester seeks to recognize Veterans, active duty military and their families. His goal is to remind the public to remember the Veterans, honor their service, and teach children the value of freedom.
For more information about this event, call the cemetery administration office at 321-383-2638 or visit the National Cemetery Administration website at www.cem.va.gov.
December 8, 2016
VA National Cemeteries Now Offering Pre-Need Burial Eligibility Determinations
Mims, Florida - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it now provides eligibility determinations for burial in a VA national cemetery prior to the time of need. Pre-need eligibility determinations will streamline access to burial benefits that Veterans have earned through military service for themselves and their eligible family members. Pre-need eligibility determinations will help Veterans and their families with pre-need burial planning.
"A pre-need burial eligibility determination will confirm an individual's eligibility for burial in a VA national cemetery prior to the time of need" said Cape Canaveral National Cemetery Director Don Murphy. "I encourage Veterans and their spouses to take advantage of the new program so they have peace of mind and can address burial plans ahead of time."
Interested individuals may submit VA Form 40-10007, Application for Pre-Need Determination of Eligibility for Burial in a VA National Cemetery, and supporting documentation, such as a DD Form 214, if readily available, to the VA National Cemetery Scheduling Office by:
VA will review applications and provide written notice of its determination of eligibility. VA will save determinations and supporting documentation in an electronic information system to expedite burial arrangements at the time of need. Because laws and personal circumstances change, upon receipt of a burial request, VA will validate all pre-need determinations in accordance with the laws in effect at that time.
- Toll-free fax at 1-855-840-8299; or
- Email to Eligibility.PreNeed@va.gov; or
- Mail to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office, P.O. Box 510543, St. Louis, MO 63151.
VA operates 135 national cemeteries and 33 soldiers' lots in 40 states and Puerto Rico. More than 4 million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA's national cemeteries. VA also provides funding to establish, expand and maintain 105 Veterans cemeteries in 47 states and territories including tribal trust lands, Guam, and Saipan. For Veterans buried in private or other cemeteries, VA provides headstones, markers or medallions to commemorate their service. In 2016, VA honored more than 345,000 Veterans and their loved ones with memorial benefits in national, state, tribal and private cemeteries.
Eligible individuals are entitled to burial in any open VA national cemetery, opening/closing of the grave, a grave liner, perpetual care of the gravesite, and a government-furnished headstone or marker or niche cover, all at no cost to the family. Veterans are also eligible for a burial flag and may be eligible for a Presidential Memorial Certificate.
Information on VA burial benefits is available from local VA national cemetery offices, from the Internet at www.cem.va.gov, or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000. To make burial arrangements at any open VA national cemetery at the time of need, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.
Cape Canaveral National Cemetery Construction Nearing Completion - Scheduling for Columbarium to begin soon
Feb. 13, 2017: Veterans and Spouses of Veterans, Funeral Industry Professionals
The first phase of construction at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Mims (Scottsmoor), Florida, is nearly complete and the cemetery staff is planning to move from temporary facilities to the new permanent buildings in April. The cemetery has been conducting in-ground burials for casketed and cremated remains while operating in a small completed portion of the Phase I property. The move to permanent facilities also includes activation of the cemetery's columbarium, which is an above ground courtyard structure consisting of 7,200 niches, for placement of cremation urns.
The 318-acre cemetery began interments Jan. 12, 2016. The VA national cemetery serves the burial needs of more than 163,000 Veterans in the Space Coast area, including Orlando and Daytona. VA purchased the land in July 2012 for $2.1 million. The property is located along U.S. Route 1 in Scottsmoor, in northern Brevard County, 2 miles south from Interstate 95, Exit #231, and 12 miles north of Titusville.
"More than 300 families had completed the burial scheduling process when we opened for burials Jan. 12, 2016," said Cape Canaveral National Cemetery Director Don Murphy. "Today, after just a year of conducting interments, nearly 1,700 Veterans and their family members have been laid to rest in this national shrine. When construction is complete, which includes the columbarium, we will have a second burial option for Veterans and their eligible family members who are cremated," Murphy said. Murphy also indicated 200 families have been waiting for the columbarium to be completed so they can schedule interment of their loved one in the new courtyard above-ground structure.
Cape Canaveral National Cemetery will begin accepting applications for inurnment of cremated remains of deceased eligible Veterans and their spouses on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. The next of kin (NOK) or funeral home acting on the family's behalf, may request inurnment in the columbarium at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery by contacting VA's National Cemetery Scheduling Office (NCSO) in St. Louis, Missouri. First, send a copy of the military discharge documents to the NCSO by fax at 866-900-6417 or email at NCA.Scheduling@va.gov. Next call the NCSO toll free at 800-535-1117 to complete the application process. After construction is complete and the columbarium is available, cemetery staff will contact the NOK of who have completed the application process to schedule a date and time for the committal service of their loved one.
Burial in a VA national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces and Veterans who have met minimum active duty service requirements and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Their spouse, widow or widower, minor children, and, under certain conditions, unmarried adult children with disabilities, may also be eligible for burial. Eligible spouses and children may be buried even if they predecease the Veteran. Members of the reserve components of the armed forces who die while on active duty or who die while on training duty, or were eligible for retired pay, may also be eligible for burial. VA provides the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, government headstone or marker, U.S. burial flag, Presidential Memorial Certificate and perpetual care of the gravesite at no cost to the family.
For questions regarding burial eligibility and burial application at the cemetery, please contact the Cape Canaveral National Cemetery staff at 321- 383-2638 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information on this event, visit the National Cemetery Administration website at www.cem.va.gov.