Every eligible veteran is entitled to Military Funeral Honors performed by uniformed members of the armed forces. The Alaska Army National Guard is a direct representative of the United States military and is highly qualified to perform proper Military Funeral Honors.
Military Funeral Honors are available at the request of the family, at no cost.
"We are Citizen Soldiers proud to serve our community, state and country. We are direct representatives of the United States Army and have been authorized by the Department of Defense to provide honors for all eligible veterans. We are active duty uniformed soldiers who have been tasked to provide honors to all branches of the Armed forces; Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Air Force. They are all entitled to a professionally executed farewell from a grateful nation."
The Honor Guard renders the Military Funeral Honors Ceremony. This ceremony represents the Nation's deep gratitude to those, in times of war and peace, who have faithfully defended our country. This ceremonial paying of respect is the final demonstration a grateful nation can provide to our veteran's family.
Upon request, military honors will be provided for eligible veterans whenever possible. By law, an honor guard detail will consist of no less than two members of the Armed Forces. One member of the detail shall be a representative of the parent service of the deceased veterans. The honor detail will, at minimum, perform a ceremony that includes the folding and presenting of the American Flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps. The playing of Taps will be played by a bugler if available, or by electronic recording.
Veterans Service Organizations:
Local Veterans Service Organizations (VSO's), such as Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Posts, have open offers to provide firing parties, chaplains, and additional veterans support for any services when requested. The Alaska National Guard Honors Team frequently works in conjunction with local VSO's to further demonstrate the gratitude of our nation and community support for our deceased veterans and their families.
If the family of a deceased veteran would like to request Military Funeral Honors for their loved one, a funeral director needs to be contacted and given the proper documentation recognizing the loved one's military service. Any of the following Documents are acceptable:
Funeral Directors should call the Headquarters Office for the Alaska Honor Guard Program. The request will be processes and assigned to the Military Funeral Honors team. In the absence of a funeral director, a family member can contact our office for assistance.
Office of Veterans Affairs
In 2009, Mr. Verdie Bowen was appointed as Director of the Office of Veterans Affairs by former Governor Sarah Palin. As Director, Mr. Bowen is responsible for the development and establishment of polices and strategic plans that directly affect over 230,000 Alaskans including all Alaska veterans, active duty, reserve components, dependents, and survivors living in the states 348 communities. Recently, Mr. Bowen served nationally as the 70th President of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs. In this position he provided key testimony for five major pieces of legislation; the most critical being the Veterans Affairs (VA) Modernization Act of 2017 and the VA Mission Act of 2018.
Since his appointment, Mr. Bowen has traveled to over 265 communities in Alaska. He has provided critical testimony to the US Senate on rural healthcare and helped as a member of the 13th working group to facilitate the establishment of a memorandum of agreement between Alaska Tribal Health Agencies and the Federal VA allowing veterans to receive healthcare in villages all across Alaska. Mr. Bowen served on the Department of Veterans Affairs Rural Health Advisory committee from 2013 to 2017. He has also provided guidance and testimony to the Alaska State Legislator on several local veteran’s issues. To date he has provided guidance on the following passed legislation:
Currently he is working on the development of a new state veteran's cemetery in Fairbanks and the establishment of a DoD/VA/Alaskan software platform assisting veterans with earned benefits.
As a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Bowen began his military career in 1981 serving in several units as a Communications Specialist. His major assignments included the following units:
During his service, he supported the research and development of long-range communications pertaining to the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). He managed the deployment of the Defense Mediterranean Improvement Satellite Program. He installed the first Alaskan bandwidth management network. Finally, he designed and installed UN and NATO telephone systems connecting commercial air traffic control towers in the old Czech Republic which allowed commercial air traffic back into this theater of operations.
Mr. Bowen holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems from Bellevue University in Nebraska. He is married to Catherine Bowen and they have four sons and four grandchildren.
(Current as of December 2018)
4600 DeBarr Rd., Suite 180
Anchorage AK 99508