We are honored to serve the veteran and military community offer a wide range of service plans and Veteran specific merchandise to the families we serve.
Research has shown that many Veterans do not receive all the benefits that they are entitled to. One call to Porta Coeli and we handle all the details. Our licensed staff is trained to assist with every detail of making burial and cremation arrangements for Veterans. This includes our answering questions about military protocol, assuring that legal requirements are met and providing whatever equipment, facilities, and technical services that may be needed. We will help you in obtaining all VA benefits available, social security benefits, life insurance and arrange for military honors and burial in a National Cemetery, Osceola Memory Gardens Cemetery or the cemetery of your choice.
It is important that you know that all Veterans, and possibly their spouses and children, are entitled to free cemetery spaces, grave opening/closing, grave liner and headstone at any VA cemetery.
We take our responsibility to you very seriously. It is helpful to consider all your options and take time to ask questions before making final decisions about such an important event. It is our intent to help make the entire experience as positive as possible.
We hope the following information will answer any questions you have regarding the various benefits available to Veterans and their families. If you have additional questions, please free to call us day or night, seven days a week at 407-846-2804.
Veterans Honor Services
Military honors are available to all veterans regardless of rank or location of burial.
If you are retired military with 20 years or more of service, we will call and request an active duty honor guard from your branch of service. The ceremony will consist of a Chaplain to speak, flag folding and presentation to next of kin, rifle salute and the playing of TAPS.
Honorably Discharged Veterans with less than 20 years
Currently, we call volunteer, local veterans groups for Military Honors requests. Typically these are retired veterans with incredible service histories. The ceremony will consist of a Chaplain to speak, flag folding, presentation and the playing of TAPS. Rifle Salute is not regulation but is often offered. Payment is not required but these groups accept donations.
If you have the DD214 but have lost or misplaced medals such as a purple heart, a bronze star or theatre ribbon, we can order it for you.
Wood Flag Cases
The Military provides a wood flag case for any active duty deaths. For all other veterans, we stock wood flag cases.
Affordable Burial Choices
- High-Quality casket with choice of color
- Transfer from place of death
- Securing permits and documents
- Professional services of a Osceola Memory Gardens Funeral Director and staff
- Embalming and preparation of the body
- Funeral service conducted at our facility, your church or graveside
- Visitation held prior to start of service
- Funeral coach
- All transportation within 60 miles
- Guest register book and 100 memorial folders
- At-need financing available to qualified applicants
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible?
Military members on active duty, Military retirees, members and former members of the Selected Reserve, eligible U.S. veterans of any war, other U.S. veterans who served at least one term of enlistment and separated under conditions other than dishonorable.
My husband is a veteran and wants to be buried in a National Cemetery. Can I be buried with him?
Yes. The veteran and spouse are buried next to each other.
How are Social Security and Veterans’ benefits handled?
Porta Coeli will notify both agencies. Social Security pays a lump sum death benefit of $255 directly to the spouse. Veterans receive cash benefits based on disability or other requirements.
We prefer Cremation. Do you provide cremation services?
Yes. We provide a full-range of cremation options. In addition, we are affiliated with Osceola Memory Gardens Crematory which operates the only on-site cremation center in Osceola County.
What happens if the death occurs while out of Central Florida?
You should call us immediately at 407-846-2804. Our staff will assist your family in making all of the arrangements.
How do I make advance arrangements with Porta Coeli?
Send a copy of your discharge papers (DD214). We will keep your prearrangement in our permanent files. One call to us is all that is necessary. You can rest knowing that everything will be taken care of according to your wishes.
What are the eligibility requirements for burials in Arlington National Cemetery?
Please click here to see eligibility requirements.
What are VA burial allowances?
VA burial allowances are partial reimbursements of an eligible veteran's burial and funeral costs. When the cause of death is not service related, the reimbursements are generally described as two payments: (1) a burial and funeral expense allowance, and (2) a plot or interment allowance.
Reimbursement of Burial Expenses
VA will pay a burial allowance up to $2,000 if the veteran's death is service connected. VA also will pay the cost of transporting the remains of a service-disabled veteran to the national cemetery nearest the home of a deceased that has available gravesites. In such cases, the person who bore the veteran's burial expenses may claim reimbursement from VA. VA will pay a $300 burial and funeral expense allowance for veterans who, at time of death, were entitled to receive pension or compensation or would have been entitled to compensation but for receipt of military retirement pay. Eligibility also is established when death occurs in a VA facility or a nursing home with which VA contracted. Additional costs of transportation of the remains may be reimbursed. There is no time limit for filing reimbursement claims of service-connected deaths. In other deaths, claims must be filed within two years after permanent burial or cremation.
VA will pay a $300 plot allowance when the veteran is not buried in a cemetery that is under U.S. Government jurisdiction if the veteran is discharged from active duty because of disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty, if the veteran was in receipt of compensation or pension or would have been in receipt of compensation but for receipt of military retired pay, or if the veteran died while hospitalized by VA. The plot allowance is not payable solely on wartime service.
If the veteran is buried without charge for the cost of a plot or interment in a state-owned cemetery reserved solely for veteran burials, the $300 plot allowance may be paid to the state. Burial expenses paid by the deceased's employer or a state agency will not be reimbursed.
How Can You Apply?
You can apply by filling out VA Form 21-530, Application for Burial Benefits. You should attach a copy of the veteran’s military discharge document (DD 214 or equivalent), death certificate, funeral and burial bills. They should show that you have paid them in full. You may download the form at www.va.gov/vaforms - we will be happy to assist you with completing all necessary paperwork to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
VA provides an American flag to drape the casket of a veteran and to a person entitled to retired military pay. After the funeral service, the flag may be given to the next of kin or a close associate. VA also will issue a flag on behalf of a service member who was missing in action and later presumed dead. Flags are issued at VA regional offices, national cemeteries, and post offices.
Burial in National Cemeteries VA Cemeteries
Burial benefits in a VA national cemetery include the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, and perpetual care. Many national cemeteries have columbaria for the inurnment of cremated remains or special gravesites for the burial of cremated remains. Headstones and markers and their placement are provided at the government's expense.
Veterans and armed forces members who die on active duty are eligible for burial in one of VA's 114 national cemeteries. An eligible veteran must have been discharged or separated from active duty under honorable or general conditions and have completed the required period of service. Persons entitled to retired pay as a result of 20 years creditable service with a reserve component are eligible. A U.S. citizen who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in a war also may be eligible.
Spouses and minor children of eligible veterans and of armed forces members also may be buried in a national cemetery. A surviving spouse of an eligible veteran who married a nonveteran, and whose remarriage was terminated by death or divorce, is eligible for burial in a national cemetery.
Gravesites in national cemeteries cannot be reserved. Funeral directors or others making burial arrangements must apply at the time of death. Reservations made under previous programs are honored. The National Cemetery System normally does not conduct burials on weekends. A weekend caller, however, will be directed to one of three strategically located VA cemetery offices that remain open during weekends to schedule burials at the cemetery of the caller's choice during the following week.
Headstones and Markers
VA provides headstones and markers for the unmarked graves of veterans anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state veteran or military cemeteries.
Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, upright granite and upright marble types are available to mark the grave in a style consistent with the place of burial. Niche markers also are available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains.
Headstones and markers are inscribed with the name of the deceased, the years of birth and death, and branch of service. Optional items that also may be inscribed at VA expense are: military grade, rank or rate; war service such as World War II; months and days of birth and death; an emblem reflecting one's beliefs; valor awards; and the Purple Heart. Additional items may be inscribed at private expense.
When burial is in a national, state veteran or military cemetery, the headstone marker is ordered through the cemetery, inscription, shipping and placement can be obtained from the cemetery.
When burial occurs in a cemetery other than a national, military post or state veterans cemetery, the headstone marker must be applied for from VA. It is shipped at government expense. VA, however, does not pay the cost of placing the headstone or marker on the grave. To apply, you must complete VA form 40-1330 and forward it to Director, Office of Memorial Programs (403A), National Cemetery System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC 20420. Forms and assistance are available at VA application you may call the Director, Office of Memorial Programs at 1-800-697-6947.
VA cannot issue a headstone or marker for a spouse or child buried in a private cemetery. Twenty year reservists without active duty service are eligible for a headstone or marker, if they are entitled to military retired pay at the time of death.
Headstones or Markers for Memorial Plots
To memorialize an eligible veteran whose remains are not available for burial, VA will provide a plot and headstone or marker in a national cemetery. The headstone or marker is the same as that used to identify a grave except that the mandatory phrase "In Memory of" precedes the authorized inscription. The headstone or marker is available to memorialize eligible veterans or deceased active-duty members whose remains were not recovered or identified, were buried at sea, donated to science, or cremated and scattered. The memorial marker may be provided for placement in a cemetery other than a national cemetery. In such a case, VA supplies the marker and pays the cost of shipping, but does not pay for the plot or the placement of the marker. Only a relative recognized as the next of kin may apply for the benefit.
Presidential Memorial Certificates
The Presidential Memorial Certificate is a parchment certificate with a calligraphic inscription expressing the nation's recognition of the veteran's service. The veteran's name is inscribed and the certificate bears the signature of the President. Certificates are issued in the name of honorably discharged, deceased veterans. Eligible recipients include next of kin, other relatives and friends. The award of a certificate to one eligible recipient does not preclude certificates to other eligible recipients. The veteran may have died at any time in the past. The local VA regional office generally originates the application for a Presidential Memorial Certificate. The next of kin also may request a certificate. Requests should be accompanied by a copy of a document such as a discharge to establish honorable service. VA regional offices can assist in applying for certificates.
Headstone and Gravemarker Program
8:00am to 4:30pm Eastern Time
Government Life Insurance Information
VA Insurance Center
8:00am to 6:30pm Eastern Time
For More Information, Call:
Porta Coeli Funeral Home & Crematory at (407) 846-2804 or email us by going to the "Contact Us" section of the website. Thank you.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Toll-Free 1-800-827-1000 or visit their website at www.va.gov.