Guys, not something any of us want to think about, but if you don't have your discharge papers available to your next of kin, you may be denied military burial.
Some military veterans have not received full burial honors because they do not have their discharge documents when they died. Since 1950 the discharge form has been called DD Form 214. That document went by other names prior to 1950, but they all serve the same purpose. When a veteran dies, the family provides a copy of DD Form 214 or equivalent discharge documentation to the funeral home which uses it to arrange for an official U.S. flag, honor guard, grave marker and burial in a national cemetery, according to the veteran's service level and last wishes. But, problems can arise with veterans who do not have copies of their discharge certificates available at the time of death. For more information on obtaining a discharge form, contact your county's veterans services officer. Learn more about requesting a replacement of your DD 214 Discharge Documents and other military records.