Veteran family encourages others to seek out proper funeral honors

Nov 12, 2021, 10:59 PM | Updated: 11:00 pm

BOUNTIFUL, Utah A Utah family hopes their experience with making funeral arrangements for their father will help other families of veterans.

When they asked the funeral home to arrange a three-volley rifle salute to honor their veteran father, they were told that was no longer available.

“The director of the funeral home said, ‘Yeah, we can set up the Navy to come do taps and do the flag for him, but they don’t do the rifles anymore,’” said Jenny Love.

Love’s father, Donald Roat, died in September.

He served in the Navy during the Vietnam War.

Knowing her father deserved every honor, Love made some calls to get answers.

“I just wanted to know why. Was it because of COVID? Was it because the law has changed? What was going on, and nobody had an answer,” Love said.

Love eventually got in touch with the American Legion, who told her that they see this all the time — funeral homes not knowing this is available to families.

“I have seen this before. Some of the funeral homes that we work with are very good at doing this, and some of them are not,” said Steve Caldwell, American Legion District 8 Honor Guard.

Caldwell said unfortunately, veteran families do not know what is available to them until it is too late.

“I just find it too bad that they didn’t know,” said Caldwell.

Thankfully, the American Legion was able to arrange the three-volley rifle salute the day before Love’s father’s funeral.

He said even if families had a funeral, they can still arrange for the American Legion to preform a three-volley rifle salute. Family members will just need to show the veteran’s DD214 form.

Love hopes her experience sheds light on the issue, helping other families in the process.

“It’s important that they know that it’s possible,” she said. “It is important to the survivors, it’s important to the veteran, and it’s the right thing to do.”

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Veteran family encourages others to seek out proper funeral honors