You were part of the military family when you supported your service member in his or her mission. And you’re still part of the family now. That’s why the military has designed programs especially for survivors – tools and services to help you cope, make informed decisions, grieve in healthy ways and begin to envision a life with new opportunities.

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Employment Resources for Family Members of Deceased Service Members

Joining the workforce after the death or disability of a loved one can ease financial strain. Military family members seeking employment may be eligible for special preference programs.

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Survivor Contacts for Questions and Requests

This article gives survivors information about how to access needed resources from the Defense Department and ways to offer feedback on their experiences with the Casualty Assistance program.

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Overview of Casualty Assistance

The Defense Department Casualty Assistance program ensures that military families have support in their time of need, including understanding all benefits and other forms of assistance.

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Tools and Tips for Navigating the Holidays as a Survivor

The holidays can be an especially difficult time for survivors, but there are things you can do and resources available to help you manage your grief and rediscover your joy for the season.

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Korean War Veterans Memorial Wall of Remembrance

The Defense Department established eligibility requirements for requesting and validating a service member for inclusion on the Korean War Veterans Memorial Wall of Remembrance.

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Death Gratuity Benefit Explained

Military families face no greater challenge than dealing with the loss of a loved one who died while serving their country.

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Funeral and Burial Benefits for Service Members

The military ensures that service members who die on active duty receive recognition and proper burial services, and that their survivors are provided support.

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Scholarship Opportunities for Surviving Family Members

There are several scholarship opportunities available from both private organizations and federal programs if you or your children are interested in pursuing higher education.

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How to Talk to a Child About a Parent’s Severe Injury

Telling your child about a parent’s severe injury is a delicate issue that often requires some preparation and guidance.

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Online Military Memorial Pays Tribute to Service Members

The Department of Defense’s Military In Lasting Tribute memorial honors and remembers service members who died while serving honorably on active duty from 1985 to the present. It is the only DOD memorial to include peacetime deaths.

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Gold Star and Surviving Family Member Representatives

The National Defense Authorization Act 2014, Section 633, requires each secretary of a military department to designate a specific member to assist spouses and other dependents of service members, including Reserve Components, who die on active duty.

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Honoring Gold Star Families

Gold star families – spouses, children, parents, siblings or others whose loved one died in service to our nation – are a vital part of the nation’s military community and history.

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Stepsiblings Now Included in Gold Star Lapel Button Program

The Gold Star Lapel Button Program has expanded to include stepsiblings among survivors eligible for the honor of receiving and wearing a pin recognizing the loss of their service member.

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New Survivor Casualty Assistance Form Offers Personalized, Timely Support

A new form gives survivors a place to submit their questions and concerns if they aren’t sure where to go for information regarding the benefits and support available to them.

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Finding Support After the Death of a Loved One

After the death of a loved one, you may experience a wide range of emotions. That is natural. Finding your new normal after the death of a loved one is not the same for everyone.

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Understanding the Role of the Casualty Assistance Officer

In its effort to ensure that military families have support in their time of need when a service member is declared deceased, whereabouts unknown or missing, the Department of Defense’s Casualty Assistance Program assigns a dedicated casualty assistance officer to advise and assist the primary next of kin.

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Making Funeral and Final Arrangements

Your casualty assistance officer, or CAO, or mortuary officer is there to assist you with making funeral and burial arrangements in honor of your loved one’s service and sacrifice.

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State Consultants Offer Local Support

Need to connect with financial, health, employment or other services in your local community? Military OneSource’s state consultants bring help directly to you, offering outreach services to support members of the military community when and where they need it most.