BEAUMONT, Texas — A Beaumont mortuary has made it its mission to help families understand all that comes with and goes into being buried with military honors.
Proctor’s Mortuary specializes in veteran funerals and works to make sure families understand the process.
"Veteran cemeteries only bury veterans Monday through Friday,” Lashon Proctor, funeral director for Proctor's Mortuary, said. “There's no Saturday burials in the VA cemetery."
Proctor believes when it comes to the burial of a person who served in the armed forces, their family members need to know what their loved ones are entitled to.
There are often many misconceptions regarding veteran funerals, including who will pay for the funeral.
“VA will only pay for funeral services for active duty personnel," Proctor said. "If a person is just a veteran that has served in the military, then they have the ability, of course they have military honors, to be buried in VA cemeteries."
Families of veterans also have to provide proper documentation to verify military service. Those documents can be obtained through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, but it can take up to 72 hours to process a person’s request.
"And once they're a veteran, the things that we as funeral providers need is the DD214," Proctor said. "DD214 is your discharge document. And that's the thing, a lot of time, even for veterans, they need to be able to put that document somewhere where their families can file it. Whether you file it at the local courthouse, that way it's on file, so the family can always go and get it".
A US flag is provided at no cost and will be draped over the casket to wrap the veteran in red, white, and blue before they are sent to their final resting spot.
“When you have that flag and that flag is folded, and again there's no red showing in the flag," Proctor said. "You know, of course, we all say when flags are folded in red that's like blood, you know, being shed. So, that's why when you fold a flag you don't see, you know, any red showing".