Cemetery Frequently Asked Questions
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7:30 AM - sundown (M-F)
8:00 AM - sundown (Sat & Sun)
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Closed State Holiday
Yes, as long as the spouse or eligible dependent meets eligibility requirements.
No. Burials are performed in the next available site based on the type of interment.
No. US Government-issued upright granite headstones (or granite niche covers) are used to ensure the cemetery maintains a distinct nature like its national counterpart.
Much of the inscription is mandated to keep grave markers uniform. When there is room, some symbolic remembrances might be added.
Cemetery staff give you a mockup of the grave marker at the time of the service. The family has five calendar days to look it over, make sure the information is right, and correct typos before the grave marker is ordered.
It usually takes 45-60 days for the marker to arrive. You will be notified when the marker is in place.
Federal law provide for military honors if you request them. Start by talking to the funeral director. A family might like to have a service organization assist the Honor Guard. At least one member of the Honor Guard should be from the same service as the veteran. They should have contact information you need to make all the arrangements.
Contact the cemetery for additional guidance. Cemetery staff work with funeral directors across the state and the Iowa Honor Guard to ensure coverage.
Yes, by joining the “Friends of the Cemetery” donation program. This program lets families, friends and organizations memorialize their loved ones and the selfless service of our veterans through the beautification of the cemetery grounds. Donations are tax deductible. Donors will receive a letter acknowledging their donation and are identified on the electronic grave locator kiosk found in the entrance hall of the Cemetery Administration Building.
Learn more information about the Friends of the Cemetery donation program.
Yes, memorials are allowed on the cemetery grounds. All memorials are required to keep with the design style of the cemetery. A design of a memorial needs to be given to the Director for consideration and approval. Examples of memorials include memorial trees, commemorative benches, designated artwork, and organizational stones along the Memorial Walk.
Use the electronic grave locator kiosk in the entrance hall of the Cemetery Administration Building to find a specific gravesite.
No. Funeral and/or chapel services should be held before arrival at the cemetery.
No. The Iowa Veterans Cemetery follows the United States Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration's standards.
Like our national counterparts, we have a committal service shelter for the committal service. We are concerned about cemetery visitors' safety. Graveside services are not permitted since burial sites are assigned consecutively and the cemetery staff may be working in the area with heavy equipment opening and closing grave sites. The family may visit the grave site as soon as the area is determined to be safe by the staff.
Cemetery staff will escort the families from the committal shelter to the columbaria plazas for the placement of cremated remains in the niches of the columbarium walls. Cemetery staff will take cremated remains that are inurned in-ground to the burial site and return to the committal shelter to escort the family to the burial site when the site has been closed and the area is safe.
Yes. We encourage families to have their minister lead the committal service since the cemetery doesn't have a chaplain. This service replaces the graveside service.
Fifteen (15) minutes is allowed for the service including prayers, remembrances, and the honor detail. Cemetery staff will attend and assist as needed during the service. The burial process will be completed after the family leaves so the cemetery staff can get ready for the next family.
Services are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Times for scheduling the committal service are Monday through Friday (except state holidays:
The service must start and stop within the allotted time period because of other scheduling. After the service, casketed remains are left in state until the family departs. Then the burial process is completed.
The funeral party will be invited to view the inurnment of cremated remains following the service.
Veteran burial benefits are based upon individual circumstances.
Some costs may be paid if . . .
the veteran died as the result of a service-related disability
the veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death
the veteran was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation but decided not to reduce his/her military retirement or disability pay
the veteran died while in a VA hospital, in a nursing home under VA contract, or in an approved state nursing home.
The family should first contact their County Veterans Affairs Commission for advice on their specific circumstances. The Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs may be able to assist you. Contact them by calling the following number: 515-242-5331 or 1-800-838-4692.
Find specific information about these benefits and how to apply for them at the US Department of Veterans Affairs Burial and Memorial Benefits website or call 1-800-827-1000.
Iowa veterans, veterans discharged to Iowa, or those probably filed their discharge paperwork with the State of Iowa, or the County Recorder’s Office of the veteran’s residence. Get a copy by contacting the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans from out of state might obtain a copy by contacting the National Personnel Records Center (NRPC) in St. Louis, MO. You can request a copy by mail, fax or online. You may request a record by letter or submit the “Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records.”
Mail: Complete a “Standard Form 180” and mail it to the appropriate address at the end of the form.
Fax: Complete a “Standard Form 180” and fax to 1-314-801-9195. The Center will respond in writing.
On-Line: If you are a veteran or next-of-kin of a deceased veteran, you may now use the National Archives at eVetRecs (or still use the Standard Form 180) to order copies of military records.
Additional information may be found at NPRC-Requesting Military Records.
A DD 214 or equivalent Report of Separation is required. Proof of honorable service must be provided to determine eligibility for burial at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery. If the veteran died without getting a copy of the DD 214, the next-of-kin may contact the IDVA (515-242-5331) or a national veteran service organization to get help in expediting the process to obtain a copy of it.
A United States flag is furnished to honor the memory of a veteran’s military service to his or her country.The flag is free and can drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran who served honorably in the US Armed Forces.
Completing VA Form 21-2008 - Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes to apply for a flag. Generally speaking, your funeral director should help you file this form and obtain the flag prior to the funeral. You may get a flag at any VA regional office or US Post Office.
The ceremonial burial flag is given to the next-of-kin (e.g., surviving spouse, children, etc.) after the funeral or committal service, unless other arrangements have been agreed to. When there is no next-of-kin, USDVA will give the flag to a friend who requests it. National veteran cemeteries having an “Avenue of Flags” provide the opportunity for families to donate the ceremonial burial flag to the cemetery to be flown on patriotic holidays. The Iowa Veterans Cemetery has an “Avenue of Flags” and accepts these flags and proudly displays them at appropriate times.