For Your Benefit
For and about Hawaii's military Sunday, May 12, 2002

See also: In The Military

Punchbowl National
Cemetery will accept
donations of burial flags

Question: I would like to donate my husband's burial flag to National Cemetery of the Pacific. Is this possible even though he passed away some time ago?

Answer: The National Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) would be happy to receive your husband's burial flag. Punchbowl utilizes donated burial flags to display an Avenue of Flags on patriotic holidays and other special events throughout the year. A certificate of appreciation is presented to the donor for providing their loved one's burial flag to a national cemetery. For information on how to donate your flag, contact the Cemetery of the Pacific at 532-3720.

Q: My father's headstone at Punchbowl has weathered over the years. Will the Department of Veterans Affairs replace it at no cost?

A: Headstones and markers provided by the government may be replaced at government expense if badly deteriorated, illegible, stolen or vandalized.

The VA will also replace the headstone or marker if the inscription is incorrect, if it was damaged during shipping or if the material or workmanship does not meet contract specifications. If a government headstone or marker in a private cemetery is damaged by cemetery personnel, the cemetery will pay all replacement costs.

Marble and granite headstones or markers that are permanently removed from a grave must be destroyed, ensuring that the inscription is no longer legible. Bronze markers must be returned to the contractor. For guidance on obtaining a replacement headstone or marker, call the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at 532-3720, or if the headstone or marker is located at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe, call 233-3630.

There is also a toll-free number to the Memorial Programs Service Applicant Assistance Unit between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. eastern time at 800-697-6947.

If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran,
call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.

Gregg K. Kakesako, who covers military affairs for the Star-Bulletin,
can be reached by phone at 294-4075
or by e-mail at

E-mail to City Desk

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