State Veteran Cemeteries: Common Faqs

Veterans, or those who have served or been honorably discharged from the armed forces, can sometimes have access to burial options not available to the general population. If you are a veteran, are the relative of a veteran, or are left in charge of making funeral arrangements for a veteran, it is important that you understand what is available. Burial in a state cemetery may be possible. Take a look at some of the things you may need to know about these unique cemeteries. 

Who is the overseer of the state cemetery?

In most cases, it is the state government that is the official overseer over a state cemetery. However, it is also common for the government to assign other entities to be the contact persons if you need information about a specific cemetery. For example, a state government office may assign a local funeral services provider as the place that people need to go to find information about getting a plot, finding a grave, etc. It is also not uncommon for VA offices in the state to have information about the state veteran cemetery even though they don't necessarily have any control or affiliation with the property. 

Do you have to be a veteran to be buried in a state cemetery?

It can depend on the ownership of the cemetery and the designated rules for the specific location. Most state cemeteries are indeed reserved only for veterans, some are for veterans and their immediate family members like their spouse or children, and some are open to a broader spectrum of people. For instance, it is not uncommon to find government officials, such as governors or senators, buried in these cemeteries along with veterans. 

How is a state cemetery different than a national veterans cemetery?

State and national veteran cemeteries have some similarities, but they are two different types of places. The national cemeteries are owned by the federal government, and the information about these cemeteries can be found through the Veteran Affairs office in your state. State cemeteries can have different rules as far as who is allowed to be buried on the grounds. For example, a national veterans cemetery in Texas may allow veterans to be buried on the grounds regardless of whether they were ever a resident of the state of Texas, but a state veterans cemetery may require the veteran to be a resident of the state.