Governor Steve Bullock recently announced a directive to the Montana Veterans Affairs Division that ensures military families whose loved ones are laid to rest in a Montana state veteran cemetery will be allowed a graveside service at their request.

“When a Montana veteran is laid to rest, their loved ones should be near them throughout the ceremony, including the graveside burial” Bullock said.

The old policy, intended to provide greater safety for families as well as respect for adjacent graves, followed the National Cemeteries Administration guidance, only allowed families to be graveside during the burial under exceptional circumstances.  Now, the state’s policy has been clarified to allow any veteran’s family to request to be present during the burial.