Eligible veterans are those whose last active service ended under other than dishonorable or undesirable conditions. Also eligible are:
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard) who die while on active duty
- Any member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces (Army National Guard, Air National Guard or the Reserve Officers Training Corps of the Army, Navy and Air Force) who dies under honorable conditions while on active duty for training or performing full-time service
- Any member of a reserve component who has attained 20 years of service creditable for retired pay
- Certain World War II Merchant Marines and others who have attained veterans status
The veteran or service member must have established legal residence in New Jersey prior to death or have been a legal resident of the state for at least 50 percent of his or her lifetime.
Eligible dependents include the veteran's spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21 (23, if they are in college) and unmarried adult children who become incapable of self-support before reaching the age of 21 because of mental or physical impairment.
The widow or widower of a member of the Armed Forces lost or buried at sea or officially determined missing in action or a member of the Armed Forces buried in a U.S. military cemetery overseas maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission is also eligible.
To minimize confusion and delays at the time of need, pre-registration may be accomplished in person at the cemetery or any Veterans' Service office. The application may also be submitted to the cemetery through U.S Mail or fax.
Although the cemetery will assist in every way possible, establishing eligibility is the responsibility of those requesting the burial and must be established before burial is permitted.
Requests for burial in the cemetery may be made at the time of death through any funeral director. The request should be accompanied by proof of the veteran's honorable military service and legal residence in New Jersey. The funeral director will then contact the cemetery. Requests for interment of cremated remains may be made by the family directly to the cemetery.
Requesting an Exception to Burial Eligibility Policies
Requests for exceptions to burial eligibility policies will not be considered until the death of the individual. A letter requesting an exception should be mailed or faxed to the Superintendent.
The letter should include the following information:
- Name of the deceased
- Reason(s) why the request should be favorably considered for an exception to the burial eligibility policy
- All relevant information regarding military service or special service to the Nation
- All documentation of military service such as DD Form 214, award certificates, orders, etc
- If interment is to be in the same grave with an immediate family member already buried at Doyle Cemetery, include that decedent's full name, burial location and relationship
- A point of contact with daytime and evening phone numbers
Decisions are generally provided by telephone within 24 to 48 hours after receipt of the request.
Burden of Proof
The decedent's next of kin or representative is responsible for providing the necessary documentation to verify eligibility for interment at Doyle Cemetery. The cemetery staff may offer assistance in verifying eligibility at the time of need. Verification by the cemetery staff may take up to five business days if the family does not have the necessary documentation.
The following documents may be used to establish eligibility:
- DD Form 214 (all branches used this form starting in the 1950s)
- WD AGO Form 53, 53-55 or 53-98 (Army)
- NAVPERS Form 553 (Navy) or NAVMC Form 553 (Marines used during the 1940s)