As we prepare for yet another funeral for a military veteran, I wonder how prepared are we for handling the aftermath? Most days we are so caught up with the affairs of living and general daily to-do’s that we never stop to think or prepare for the inevitable. I ask you to please pause and ask yourself a few questions, today. Will my family, our kids and grandkids be able to survive after a supporting parent leaves this earth? For military families are you up to date in the DEERS system? These are “loaded” questions I realize, but we should ask them, ponder the choices and seriously make a plan! Losing a parent is such a stressful time, both kids and grandkids need special care and a gentle hand at this time.
Even if you are not a service member are you prepared? He was not sick or in a combat zone, it was due to a motorcycle accident. No goodbyes or last, I love you’s were said. How do you treat your family, do you honor every day as if it were your last?
A free headstone or grave marker is provided as well as a spot in one of the national cemeteries for all qualified veterans. If money is an issue this can help as a funeral these days run into the tens of thousands of dollars. If you have not done so already, remember active duty and veterans can join the American Legion for free. If Active for $30 also the VFW for $45, they can and will help with separation and benefits as well as giving back to the community. The Red Cross is available in case of an emergency stateside such as major accident or death of an immediate family member.
Please take a few minutes talk and make a plan, we owe it to our kids, our surviving spouse and our aging parents. We are our parent’s caregivers, do you know there wishes or plans? If they are ex-military, the VA can help with some of the expenses, up to two-thousand dollars. If you are going private, please look into it well in advance. Four years almost to the day we buried another brother in arms who left young twins behind. I was there for the tears and the missed birthday parties daddy will never be able to attend. His situation was different, he was sick with cancer and in a short time made a plan.
I have added a few links below that may be helpful. Let’s hope and pray that this situation does not happen to you and your family, yet learn from the hardships of others and have a plan in place.