The Veterans Interment Project (VIP) is supervised and executed by the Catherine and Charles Kratz Memorial Park (CCKMP) Board of Directors with indispensable help from Morticians and Funeral Coordinators in the Baltimore, MD area.
Very simply, burial or columbarium placement of remains is available for any honorably discharged veteran at no cost, regardless of the veteran's branch of service or dates served. In addition, arrangements can be made for the later interment of remains of the spouse of a deceased veteran, with the veteran's remains, upon request.
Documentation to verify a deceased veteran's "honorably discharged" eligibility for interment in the CCKMP is usually readily available in family records or easily obtained from government agencies. Family records may contain an Honorable Discharge Certificate or a DD Form 214 - Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. Funeral Coordinators are familiar with the processes for verifying a veteran's type of discharge and government eligibility for VA benefits. Some of these benefits include a United States Flag and a grave/columbarium marker with the veteran's name and other appropriate information.
The CCKMP interment process begins with the death of an eligible veteran and a request that his or her final resting place be in the CCKMP. The request is usually initiated by the next of kin who is responsible for making funeral arrangements and is based on knowledge obtained about the CCKMP or the previously expressed wishes of the veteran to be interred there. The Funeral Coordinator then communicates the request to the CCKMP Board of Directors, which approves it quickly upon receipt of appropriate verification of the veteran's eligibility. After approval, the Funeral Coordinator makes arrangements for the date and time of the funeral. Although individual funerals can be conducted at any time during the year, families may choose to have their veteran honored at one of the multi-veteran military honors funerals conducted twice each year on the Anniversary of D-Day, the June 6, 1944 Invasion of Normandy, and on Veterans Day, November 11th.
Additional information concerning the Veterans Interment Project (VIP) in the CCKMP is available thru the management office for Druid Ridge Cemetery, 7900 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21208. The phone number there is 410 486-5300.