The following North Carolina State Veterans Cemetery Program requirements and operations information is written in general terms and should not be regarded nor taken as law or official regulation. The official law and rules guiding the State Veterans Cemetery Program is established under Article 8A, Chapter 65, General Statutes of North Carolina.
A free burial plot is provided at a North Carolina State Veterans Cemetary for eligible North Carolina veterans and their legal spouse (and dependents under certain conditions). Veterans must be discharged under honorable conditions and meet certain residency requirements.
Proof of Eligibility
Documentary evidence is required to provide proof and substantiate military service, residence, marriage and children as well as dependency disability. It is the responsibility of the veteran, his survivors or legal representative to furnish any evidence necessary to establish the eligibility of the veteran or the family member before interment in a North Carolina State Veterans Cemetery can be approved and accomplished.
Proof of Military Service
The primary document used to verify honorable military service is the DD Form 214. The DD Form 214 is more commonly called a discharge or "Report of Separation from Active Duty." Other forms of proof may be acceptable pending verification. Veterans who are unable to locate their DD Form 214 should contact the local veteran's office or the nearest state veterans service office for assistance in obtaining a replacement copy.
North Carolina Residency
Verification of residence at time of entry into military service is documented on the DD Form 214. Residence at time of death and 10-year residency can be verified by North Carolina tax records, voter registration, personal income tax or property tax, employment or educational records, official records from U.S. government, state or municipal agencies.
The primary source for verification of a spouse is a marriage certificate. Dependent children may be verified by a birth certificate or other legal documents, such as adoption papers.
Proof of Disability of an Adult Dependent
A letter is required from the dependent's physician certifying the dependent became permanently incapable of self-support because of a physical or mental disability before attaining the age of 18 years. Medical records and other documents will be considered only as supporting or corroborating documents.
There is no charge for the gravesite or necessary interment services for a qualified veteran. There is however, a burial fee for an eligible spouse or family member.
Only government furnished headstones will be authorized for use in State Veterans cemeteries. There is no charge for installing the headstones. Government headstones are ordered from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs after consulting with the surviving family members.
Graveside services are not permitted. Committal services will be held in the chapel or at a committal shelter on the cemetery grounds. Family members may return to the gravesite after the burial of the casket or urn is complete and the area is cleared of all equipment and materials.
Three state veterans cemeteries are in operation. They are located in Black Mountain (Buncombe County), Jacksonville (Onslow County) and Spring Lake (Cumberland County). For details, consult a cemetery superintendent.