Arlington Cemetery question

I guess I’m more looking for verification than asking a question.

My girlfriend just told me her father is expecting to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. I’m pretty sure he’s not eligible. He was drafted and served in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged. He worked on helicopter avionics so didn’t get awarded any medals for valor. He does have a 100% VA disability rating from Agent Orange exposure. From what I see he’s not eligible because he did not retire from the Army. Am I getting that right or am I missing something?

It does say “former members of the Armed Services whose last service finished honorably” are eligible for inurnment in the columbarium or niche wall.

From the linnk Kent_Clark provided, there is a PDF fact sheet, which shows that those eligible to be burined in-ground are:

  1. Those who die on Active Duty (other than Active Duty for Training)

  2. Veteran who retired from Active Duty and receiving retired pay

  3. Any former prisoner of war who, while a prisoner of war, served honorably in the active military, naval, or air service; whose last period of service terminated honorably; and who died on or after Nov. 30, 1993

That’s for burial. Kent_Clark already mentioned the bit about inurnment.

Yeah I totally forgot about inurnment. I don’t think he’s interested in that but I will let him know.

One interesting thing I found out as I’m reading further, I’m eligible…kind of. I’m retired from the National Guard with quite a bit of active duty time. I won’t start receiving my retirement pay until I’m 59. Once I start receiving the pay I’m eligible. Until then I’m not eligible.

My father is inurned at Arlington. Burial space is limited but a lot of veterans would like to be there one way or another. Perhaps it was a bigger deal for my father’s generation, he served in WWII.

So my grandfather is buried in Arlington. He and my grandmother had an unfriendly divorce (her idea) in 1947, they didn’t stay in touch, and she laughed out loud when by huge coincidence a rare day I looked at the obituaries I found him in it. It hadn’t occured to me to wonder until just now if he was buried buried or ashes in an urn. Turns out they have a search function, and not only he is buried, with a headstone, he is literally just across the road from the Pentagon. (He served 21 years and retired (after entering in 1942) a fact that I only learned from the obit. He was also a POW from TBotB.) So thanks for leading me to that little bit of family trivia. I’d dig him up and give the site to your girlfriend’s dad if I could. Or your girlfriend’s dad’s dog.

?? I’ve searched and don’t know what this means

The Battle of the Bulge

It sounds like he went through a lot of hell in his life. It changes people. I’m reminded of Patrick Stewart who hated his abusive father until he found out all of the awful things he lived through and realized he was suffering from severe PTSD the rest of his life at a time when such things were not talked about.

I am a little surprised about his desire to be buried there. He was drafted and never would have joined and went to Vietnam on his own. He got out as soon as he could. A totally different generation than my father. She is 11 years younger than me and I’m the youngest child. Her father was in Vietnam during the height of the conflict, my father was in the Marine Corps being told they would be in the invasion of Japan when WWII ended.

Maybe it’s nothing he wanted, but having served his time and done what was demanded of him he wants some of the perks?

In the process of removing this category right now.
Federal Register :: Army Cemeteries

They managed to turn a simple concept into incomprehensible gibberish.

They try to cover every possible aspect of exactly what they mean, and end up obscuring what they mean. I read it several time trying to see if what is written is what they wrote that they had written…

I think the biggest problem is that the space they spent explaining what they were not doing hides the text where they explain what they are doing.

I tend towards the opposite problem: by trying to be clear, I end up deleting necessary information and people find my text too concise to be helpful. In this case, I’d probably have just written something like "delete line 157 (“text of line 157”) from document 10-55-1640-9A (“name of document”), and trusted the meaning to be clear from the action.

I find it particularly offensive in documents written about grade-school and high-school education. You want my 2nd-grader to sign this agreement with a PhD level readability score? (as measured by Flesch-Kincaid or Gunning-Fog). This high-school English curricula document has a 24yr+ reading level?

At least the Army Cemeteries document was clear at the top: the cemetery is filling up too fast and they’re going to stop that. It’s just when you try to figure out WTF they mean that it gets confusing.

Arlington has their own standards which are more stringent. You would still be eligible for burial in a national military cemetery under the standards posted by the VA.

More importantly for the question, he is also eligible for the military burial benefit. He just is not qualified for anything other than inurnment if his heart is set on Arlington. There are host of other national cemeteries administered by the VA.

What follows is dangerously close to IMHO territory (actually kind of is, but seeing as the OP has received a definitive factual response…). Anyway, here goes…

I understand many veterans see burial in Arlington as a “perk.” For my part, having been there recently, I think it’s absolutely the last place I’d want to imagine myself being buried. The beautifully landscaped gravesites all seem to be taken. What’s left is like a grass-covered parking lot. No landscaping, only a few trees, and too much focus on herding tourists rather than facilitating people who are actually there to, you know, visit a grave.

It was a painful experience being there, made all the more painful by how they have it setup as a tourist attraction.

I think that might be just militarism. My relatives tended to be very correct about walking on the path, on the correct path, only on the path at /any/ military base. The old ones were relaxed and strict: the young one were nervous and strict, the youngest were all over the base, but I think they knew what their limits were.

I wouldn’t mind the tourists (they’re paying for the place, after all—tax dollars I mean) if it weren’t for the neon-vested crossing guards doing the herding.

I know. There’s an empty road. I want to cross the road to go to a funeral. No: go along there to the crossing, cross, then walk back to the crossing, cross, cross back again, then proceed to the grave site. I appreciate that this road is held open for the buses that aren’t here, or perhaps the VIPs that aren’t here, or some other reason, but I have to do a 3 leg crossing? I’m not going to the tomb of the unknown warrior: I’m heading in a different direction.

I took it to be the same militarism that defines where people can walk on base or at Texas A&M.

when I was there they mentioned some people assume every burial is someone famous so they take pictures which is not allowed.