NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

There were only 3 Soldiers on the firing party. That’s not a 21-gun salute.
A firing party may have 3, 5, or 7 firers. A firing party IS NOT a gun salute. The significance of the firing party is the three volleys it fires, not how many rounds are fired.

My loved one was a retiree, but there was no firing party.
We make every attempt to ensure proper honors are rendered. However, if no documentation is submitted to the funeral director or the Casualty Office showing retirement, the deceased may be listed as regular veteran. If that paperwork was submitted, there is a chance that we did not have team members available to perform a firing party. Unfortunately, most funerals take place at the same time during the day, and our priority is performing basic military honors.

The bugle you use isn’t real.
Most funeral honors are performed with a ceremonial bugle, which is a real bugle with an electronic insert. A live, PROFICIENT bugler is always preferred, however, there are very few. The ceremonial bugle is much more dignified than a boom box stereo. Taps is a very difficult bugle call to play correctly. The recording used is the Army Band’s (Persian’s Own) premier bugler, and is the same Taps heard at Arlington National Cemetery.

The military does not perform Military Funeral Honors for veterans.
The Army National Guard has performed over a half-million funerals since 2004. There are occasions when veterans do not receive military honors. There are a several factors that may cause this, but it’s usually because paperwork showing honorable service cannot be located. Other factors include funeral directors not following up with the Casualty Office. On occasion, team members are involved in auto accidents or get stuck in traffic. On those rare instances, teams will render honors later than day, or at a date and location convenient to the family.

 


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