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Presidential Memorial Certificate for Deceased Veterans - Information on Application Process
Qualifications to Receive Presidential Memorial Certificate
The family of any deceased, honorably discharged Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces is entitled to receive a Presidential Memorial Certificate presented by the United States government. The engraved paper certificate is signed by the President in office at the time of the request and is sent to the family or friend to honor the memory of the Veteran.
It makes no difference if the Veteran served during war or peacetime and it is not a requirement that he or she died in active duty. The only stipulation is that the veteran must have received an honorable discharge.
President John F. Kennedy initiated the Presidential Memorial Certificate program in 1962 and all Presidents since that time have followed suit.
How to Apply for the Presidential Memorial Certificate
Considering you are dealing with the government, it is an amazingly simple process. I spoke today with a representative at the Department of Veterans Affairs which administers the program. She suggested the friend of family member either visit their local VA office or go to their website to download the application. It merely asks for the name of the veteran and the requesting party's mailing address and phone number. You then fax the application along with the veteran's discharge form DD214 and a copy of the death certificate. You do not have to be related to the veteran to obtain the Presidential Memorial Certificate and the application does not inquire about your relationship to the deceased.
Surprisingly, you can order more than one copy, however, they ask that you use good judgment when you request multiple copies. The VA representative advised the time frame for receiving the certificate is from 2 to 4 months and they currently have a backlog of over 7,000 requests. She said they will definitely honor your request, but to be patient. As the public has become aware of this program, the number of applications has increased dramatically.
No Time Limit for Request for Presidential Memorial Certificate
I inquired if there was a time limit for requesting the certificates or, for example, if the family or friend of someone that died in the Vietnam War could still request a certificate. She said there is no time restriction as long as you provide them with the form DD214 and the death certificate. Note that all Presidential Memorial Certificates are signed by the current President and not the President that was in office during the time frame served by the veteran.
Beautiful Keepsake for Family or Friend of Deceased Veteran
The Presidential Memorial Certificate is a gold embossed, engraved certificate which expresses the country's grateful appreciation of the veteran's service in the United States Armed Forces.
It would make an appropriate gift to someone who has lost a loved one or a friend that was a veteran, whether the loss was recent or years ago. For genealogists, it would be a perfect addition to their genealogy research and make an excellent rememberance keepsake in a family history book.
It is such a simple procedure to receive this meaningful document and a wonderful service offered by the United States government.
If you request a Presidential Memorial Certificate or have received one in the past, please share your experiences here.
Contact for Additional Information
Additional information concerning the Presidential Memorial Certificate may be obtained by calling 800-455-7143.
Your loved one may also be eligible for burial in Arlington Cemetery. Additional information may be found at http://thelmac.hubpages.com/hub/Arlington-Cemetery
© 2011 Thelma Raker Coffone