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Presidential Memorial Certificates For Deceased Veterans

August 28, 2023

In the heart of the United States' solemn commitment to honor deceased veterans, a profound and poignant tribute exists — the Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC). This gold-embossed paper certificate, graced with the official signature of the President of the United States, stands as a dignified testament to the memory and service of departed veterans.

A symbol of the nation's unwavering gratitude, the PMC serves as an enduring expression of recognition for those who selflessly dedicated themselves to the defense of their country. This program doesn't merely issue certificates; it immortalizes the honor, respect, and gratitude our nation feels for those who once donned the uniform and defended our ideals.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve deeper into this profound initiative, seeking to emphasize its importance and the impact it has in preserving the legacy of our departed heroes. Learn all about the eligibility requirements, key highlights, and application process of this program.

Program Contact1-202-632-7300
Additional InfoPresidential Memorial Certificate Application
Managing AgencyU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Understanding the Presidential Memorial Certificates For Deceased Veterans

The origin of the Presidential Memorial Certificate can be traced back to March 1962, during the tenure of President John F. Kennedy. An initiative that transcends political lines, this program has endured through successive administrations, bearing witness to the shared understanding of the sacrifices made by servicemen and women. Administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs through the National Cemetery Administration, the PMC program ensures that the memory of these veterans lives on in the collective consciousness of the nation they served.

At its core, the PMC Program is a poignant expression of remembrance and appreciation. This program bestows upon the families and loved ones of deceased veterans a gold-embossed paper certificate bearing the official signature of the current President of the United States. This certificate not only signifies the veteran's service but also represents the nation's deep respect and indebtedness for their commitment to safeguarding freedom and security.

The primary purpose of the PMC is to preserve the memory and legacy of veterans who have passed away. It is a tangible manifestation of the nation's commitment to remember and honor the sacrifices made by these individuals during their service in the Armed Forces. By bearing the official signature of the President of the United States, the PMC carries with it the weight of the nation's acknowledgment of the veterans' dedication and contributions.

Eligibility Requirements

To ensure that this tribute is extended to the rightful recipients and maintains its heartfelt significance, specific eligibility criteria have been established.

Veteran or Reservist's Eligibility for Burial in a National Cemetery

The foundational eligibility criterion for receiving a PMC is that the deceased veteran or reservist must be eligible for burial in a national cemetery. This requirement underlines the individual's commitment to their nation and their service in the Armed Forces.

Relationship to the Veteran or Reservist

The PMC is intended to honor the memory of veterans through their closest connections. Therefore, to be eligible for a PMC, the requester must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Next of Kin: This includes the veteran’s spouse, children, parents, or siblings of the deceased veteran or reservist.

  • Family Member: Other family members who shared a significant relationship with the veteran, such as grandchildren, nieces, or nephews.

  • Close Friend: Individuals who shared a strong bond of friendship with the veteran.

  • Authorized Service Representative: Individuals who are authorized to act on behalf of the family member or friend of the deceased veteran or reservist.

These relationships are crucial to ensure that the PMC reaches those who held a special place in the veteran's life, thereby maintaining the personalized and sincere nature of the tribute.

Additional Considerations

Commissioned officers of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are recognized as active-duty members and veterans once discharged. As such, they are eligible to receive a PMC if they meet the other eligibility requirements.

It is important to note that the PMC program is specifically designed for honoring the memory of deceased veterans. Therefore, requests for living veterans are not eligible, aligning with the program's intent to commemorate the lives and contributions of those who have passed away.

Step-by-Step Application Process for the Presidential Memorial Certificate

The process of applying for a Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) is a thoughtful and respectful endeavor aimed at honoring the memory of a deceased veteran's service. Follow these step-by-step instructions to navigate the application process seamlessly:

Step 1: Confirm Eligibility

Before initiating the application process, ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for the PMC. The deceased veteran or reservist must be eligible for burial in a national cemetery, and you must be the next of kin, a family member, close friend, or authorized service representative of the veteran or reservist.

Step 2: Obtain Required Documents

Gather the necessary documents to support your application. You will need a copy of the veteran's military discharge document (usually the DD-214). This document serves as evidence of the veteran's eligibility for the PMC.

Step 3: Access the Application Form

Obtain the VA Form 40-0247, the official application form for the PMC. This form is available from the National Cemetery Administration and can be downloaded or requested through official channels.

Step 4: Complete the Application Form

Thoroughly fill out the VA Form 40-0247. Provide accurate and complete information, including the veteran's details, your relationship to the veteran, your contact information, and the number of copies of the PMC you are requesting.

Step 5: Attach Supporting Documents

Ensure that you attach a copy of the veteran's military discharge document (DD-214) along with the completed application form. This document is essential for verifying the veteran's eligibility.

Step 6: Sign the Application Form

Sign the completed application form in the designated section. Your signature serves as confirmation of the accuracy of the provided information and your request for the PMC.

Step 7: Submit the Application

Once the application form is completed and signed, you have the option to submit it either by fax or mail:

  • Fax Submission: Fax the completed application form, along with the military discharge document, to the toll-free fax number provided (1-800-455-7143).

  • Mail Submission: If sending the application by mail, address it to: NCA Memorial Products Service Presidential Memorial Certificate Program NCA FP Evidence Intake Center P.O. Box 5237 Janesville, WI 53547

Step 8: Follow-Up and Status Inquiry

After submitting the application, you can reach out for assistance or check on the status of your request. If you require assistance, call the provided phone number (800-697-6947). Customer service representatives are available from Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.

If it has been four months since you applied for a PMC and you have not received it, call 202-632-7300 to inquire about the status of your request. Avoid sending a second application unless specifically asked to do so.

Step 9: Requesting Additional Copies or Corrections

If you need additional copies of a PMC that has already been sent or wish to request corrections to an already sent PMC, fill out and sign the yellow form included with the original certificate. Return the form via fax or U.S. Mail to the appropriate address.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC)?

A Presidential Memorial Certificate is a gold-embossed paper certificate bearing the official signature of the President of the United States. It honors the memory of a deceased Veteran and expresses the country's grateful recognition of their service in the Armed Forces.

2. Who is eligible for a PMC?

To be eligible for a PMC, two conditions must be met: The deceased veteran or reservist must be eligible for burial in a national cemetery, and you must be the next of kin, a family member, close friend, or authorized service representative of the veteran or reservist.

3. How do I apply for a PMC?

To apply for a PMC, follow these steps: Obtain and complete the VA Form 40-0247, available at the National Cemetery Administration. Attach a copy of the veteran's military discharge document (DD-214). Sign and submit the completed form along with the necessary documents through fax or mail to the provided addresses.

4. What if I need additional copies of a PMC or corrections?

If you require additional copies of a PMC or need to request corrections to a previously issued certificate, complete and sign the yellow form provided with the original certificate. Send the form via fax or U.S. Mail to the appropriate address.

5. How can I check the status of my PMC request?

If it has been four months since you applied for a PMC and you have not received it, call 202-632-7300 to inquire about the status of your request.

Conclusion

The Presidential Memorial Certificate program is a meaningful way to honor the service and sacrifice of deceased veterans. By awarding a gold-embossed certificate bearing the President's signature, the program expresses the nation's deep appreciation for the dedication these veterans displayed while serving in the Armed Forces. 

Through this program, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs continues to ensure that the contributions of veterans are remembered and acknowledged with the respect they deserve.

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Michael Blair contributes his expertise to help veterans access government benefits and resources. Through his informative articles and guides, he plays a vital role in empowering veterans and improving their quality of life.
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