About The Honors Team
"Honoring Those Who Served"
The rendering of Military Funeral Honors is a way to show the Nation's deep gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country. This cermonial paying of respect is the final demonstartion a grateful Nation can provide to the veterans' families. That is why this team has been formed.
To provide and coordinate the appropriate final tribute to eligible veterans acknowledging their faithful and honorable service to the State the Nation. The Military Funeral Honors Program is designed to compliment and augment existing federal and local programs that provide this solemn and dignified ceremony to honor a deceased veteran at the time of burial. The MFHP is committed to serving veterans and their families. The MFHP ensures all agencies are coordinated in their efforts and those honors are conducted with dignity and respect and meet an acceptable military standard.
Missouri's Military Funeral Honors Program
The Military Funeral Honors Program became a reality when Governor Mel Carnahan signed into law the provisions of House Bill #1519 that was approved by the 1998 Missouri legislature. Governor Carnahan and the veterans of Missouri felt this was an extremely important program and have supported this program above other very worthwhile endeavors.
This bill was introduced and co-sponsored by State Representative Bill Boucher (D-48th District) and State Representative Carson Ross (R, 55th District) both former members of the military service and veterans of the State of Missouri. Likewise, Lieutenant Governor Joe Maxwell (Then State Senator D, 18th District) championed the bill in the State Senate. The basic provision of this legislation was to create a National Guard Trust Fund and appropriate funding in order for the Adjutant General of Missouri to provide military funeral honors for veterans when requested by family and/or friends. On July 1, 1999 this became a reality.
The veterans' organizations of Missouri such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Veterans, Marine Corps League, and others provide military funeral honors and funeral rituals for numerous veterans each year. Currently without their wonderful support, most veterans of this state would not have received this final tribute as a testament of their service to this nation and state. It is only befitting that these valiant citizen soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines are laid to rest with dignity and honor. The military service impacted their whole life and the lives of their families. As part of the new legislation, these organizations are compensated at the rate of $100.00 per veteran's service to assist in defraying expenses incurred by the Post/organization. Also, the Adjutant General has been directed to provide training in this area for any veterans' organization that requests such training. During the past several decades, these great patriotic organizations were the community's source for providing military funeral honors for veterans of their community. Veteran's organizations are involved in approximately 65% of all services conducted.
Active component services do a wonderful job of providing these honors for active and retired members. It is simply a matter of resources that dictate the limited amount of support available from them for veterans. They provide two representatives to sound taps and fold and present the American Flag to the next-of kin; however, rifle volleys are not provided.
Missouri has made this a priority for its veterans, even though the primary responsibility rests with the federal government. Missouri fully understands what these brave men and women have done to provide for the defense of our country. Freedom truly is not free and must always be paid for with the blood and toil of our citizens. The veterans of this state will now have additional agencies and personnel available to ensure they are laid to rest with all the dignity and honor they deserve. Missouri's Governor, state legislature, and veterans' organizations felt this was so important that each was willing to stand and be counted. Missouri is indeed proud and honored to begin this program for all veterans of this Great State.