Burial and Memorial Benefits
An allowance of $75 is provided by the County of Berks toward the funeral and burial of any veteran honorably discharged, who served one or more days during any of the previously listed service dates. It is also required that the Veteran’s legal residence was Berks County at the time of death. The application for this benefit must be made within one year of the veteran’s death.
Spouse’s Burial Allowance
Widows or widowers of military personnel who served during wartime and were honorably discharged are also entitled to a $75 burial allowance. They, likewise, must have been a legal resident of Berks County at the time of death. Application for this benefit must be made within one year of the death of the veteran’s spouse.
An applicant may select any one of the three following allowances for a headstone:
- Up to $100 toward a headstone of prescribed dimensions (check with your local office of Department of Veterans Affairs)
- Up to $50 toward the base for a federal marker or a headstone
- Up to $50 toward lettering on an already existing headstone, including military information
Flags and Flag Holders
The County provides flags and flag holders, normally used for Memorial Day observances to decorate the graves of veterans. The markers and flags are then made available by the Department of Veterans Affairs free of charge to funeral homes, various veterans’ organizations and volunteers whose responsibility it is to place them on the appropriate graves. Individual families may also request them from the department.
Any veterans organization interested in obtaining flags and/or flag holders may do so by submitting a request on their official stationery/letterhead to:
Department of Veterans Affairs
726 Cherry Street
Reading, PA 19602
Available flag holders include those for the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean Conflict, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, War on Terrorism, and Berks County specific Peace Time.
Unauthorized removal of markers carries a maximum punishable fine of $5,000 and two years imprisonment.
Death benefits are provided by the County of Berks to veterans whose active service included any of the following periods of war:
- Persian Gulf War – August 2, 1990 to T.B.A. (Open until further notice through a date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation)
- Vietnam Era – August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975 (or November 1, 1955 to August 5, 1964 for “in country” service)
- Korea – June 25, 1950 to January 31, 1955
- World War II – December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946
- Word War I – April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918