The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) Military Funeral Honors Program (MFHP) works to provide and coordinate a final tribute to the men and women who served our state and nation honorably as members of the U.S. armed forces. It allows a grateful nation to pay its last respects in a dignified and solemn ceremony.
The WDVA administers the program with assistance from Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), funeral directors, active and reserve components of the U.S. armed forces and County Veterans Service Officers (CVSOs)
National: On January 1, 2000, Military Funeral Honors became a statutory benefit to all veterans with the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act. The law requires that, upon the family's request, every eligible veteran is entitled to receive a military funeral honors ceremony to include folding, presentation of the United States burial flag and the sounding of taps, at no cost to the family.Wisconsin: On May 9, 2000, the governor signed into law a bill that directed WDVA to administer a Military Funeral Honors Program using local units of member organizations of the Council on Veterans Programs and members of the Wisconsin National Guard. As part of this bill, the WDVA was authorized to establish honor guard teams. Currently located at the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Union Grove the team is also responsible for the coordination of Military Funeral Honors for the entire state of Wisconsin.Wisconsin MissionTo provide and coordinate the final tribute to eligible Wisconsin veterans acknowledging their faithful and honorable service to the State of Wisconsin and the Nation. The WDVA MFHP is designed to complement and augment existing federal and local programs that provide this solemn and dignified ceremony to honor a deceased veteran at the time of burial. The MFHP is committed to serving veterans and their families. The MFHP ensures all agencies are coordinated in their efforts and those honors are conducted with dignity and respect and meet an acceptable military standard.Wisconsin MFHP Facts
- Over 413,000 veterans live in Wisconsin as of September 2014; 40% live in southeast Wisconsin.
- 12,000 Wisconsin veteran's deaths are projected each year between 2008 and 2012, nearly twice as many as 15 years ago.
- Wisconsin is one of nine states that have created a Military Funeral Honors Program with full-time employees to conduct and assist with providing honors.
- The WDVA MFHP coordinates honors with seven military casualty assistance centers throughout the country, 16 different military organizations with over 500 units, seven different Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) with over 1,300 posts and two funeral associations with 600 funeral homes.