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Funeral program offers veteran discount

Rafael Picklesimer, of the Veteran’s Alliance Honor Guard, plays Taps on the bugle, a simple brass instrument consisting of a horn, during a recent funeral for a veteran at the Marietta National Cemetery. (click for larger version)

The Veteran’s Alliance Honor Guard during a recent funeral for a veteran. (click for larger version)

The Veteran’s Alliance Honor Guard during a veteran burial. A local funeral home will be offering discounts to those who have served in the U.S. military. (click for larger version)

(click for larger version)
May 16, 2011
CUMMING, Ga. — A program aimed at helping veterans with costs associated with a funeral is getting started in Forsyth County.

Ingram Funeral Home is now offering discounts for funerals and cremations for those who have served in the U.S. armed forces.

"We are basically honoring these guys and saving them some money," said Jack Allen, president of Ingram Funeral Home, 210 Ingram Avenue.

Allen said he's joining forces with Veteran Funeral Care, which now offers discounts to veterans in 35 states and through 800 funeral service providers.

There are so many veterans passing away, Allen said. It's difficult for veterans to receive the proper burial they deserve, he said.

Allen said he's not sidestepping the military.

"We kind of set up our own program," Allen said. "We have specific prices for our veterans that are less than our existing prices. We just want to do something special for them."

If a veteran is buried at a national cemetery — Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, Ga. or the Marietta National Cemetery — they can save even more, because the veteran will not have to pay for a marker, vault or space. A funeral for a veteran would cost about $4,670, which saves the family between 10 to 15 percent from a traditional funeral and includes an Honor Guard service.

"They can be buried anywhere they would like," Allen said.

Ingram is also offering veterans a discount on cremation services — $1,525.

"I'm proud of being part of [Veteran Funeral Care]," Allen said. "It's a good way to pay veterans back and show them honor."

Wayne Cantrell, vice president of operations for the Veteran's Alliance, said that this year, his Honor Guard has participated in 67 funerals for veterans. They average about 115 a year.

"Ingram does fantastic work, and they are trying real hard to cut veterans a deal," Cantrell said. "It's important to me, and I appreciate what they are doing in getting this going."

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