It became Federal Law January 2000 that the Government must provide Military Honors for veterans. It is for this reason my Honor Guard always got the military to be present at services we participated in. We augmented military commanders by being the Rifle Team and assisted other ways when ever possible. It was by seeing the Military in uniform, that veterans and their family members became knowledgeable of the availability of the military to participate and the law.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (NDAA for FY 2000) - Section 578 of the NDAA for FY 2000 and as amended by Sections 561 and 564 of the NDAA for FY 2002 and Section 571 of the NDAA for FY 2003 reflects the extensive deliberations conducted on military funeral honors. The following describes what is now required of the Department of Defense in the rendering of military funeral honors for veterans and is codified in Title 10, Chapter 75, Section 1491, U.S.C.:
(a) AVAILABILILTY OF FUNERAL HONORS DETAIL ENSURED. The Secretary of Defense shall ensure that, upon request, a funeral honors detail is provided for the funeral of any veteran.
(b) COMPOSITION OF FUNERAL HONORS DETAILS. (1) The Secretary of each military department shall ensure that a funeral honors detail for the funeral of a veteran consists of two or more persons. (2) At least two members of the funeral honors detail for a veteranís funeral shall be members of the armed forces (other than members in a retired status), at least one of who shall be a member of the armed force of which the veteran was a member. The remainder of the detail may consist of members of the armed forces (including members in a retired status) or members of veteranís organizations or other organizations approved for purposes of this section under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense. Each member of the armed forces in the detail shall wear the uniform of the memberís armed force while serving in the detail
(c) CEREMONY. A funeral honors detail shall, at a minimum, perform at the funeral a ceremony that includes the folding of a United States flag and presentation of the flag to the veteranís family and the playing of Taps. Unless a bugler is a member of the detail, the funeral honors detail shall play a recorded version of Taps using audio equipment, which the detail shall provide if adequate audio equipment is not otherwise available for use at the funeral.