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Sailors and family members attend the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal 41st annual Memorial Service in May at the Kauffman EOD Training Complex at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Under a new policy, the Navy will now pay the travel expenses of family members to attend a memorial service for their fallen sailor. 

Jennifer A. Villalovos/U.S. Navy

Sailors and family members attend the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal 41st annual Memorial Service in May at the Kauffman EOD Training Complex at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Under a new policy, the Navy will now pay the travel expenses of family members to attend a memorial service for their fallen sailor. Jennifer A. Villalovos/U.S. Navy (U.S. Navy)

BAMBERG, Germany — The Navy will now pay for families of deceased sailors to travel to unit memorial services for their loved ones, Navy officials announced Tuesday.

Under the new policy, eligible family members are entitled to round-trip travel and transportation allowances to attend one Navy-sponsored memorial service, at a location other than the burial site, for any sailor who dies while on active duty. The policy defines a memorial service as any command function, divine service or other religious service.

Eligible family members include spouses, children, parents, in-laws and siblings of the deceased.

Travel expenses are authorized to events in the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. territories and the last permanent duty station or home station of the deceased servicemember, including overseas locations.

In addition to paying the family’s travel expenses, the policy directs units to help with hotel and other travel-related arrangements, as well as providing unit escorts for the family. And it directs Navy units to ensure that the memorial service does not conflict with private funeral dates, or the dignified transfer of a servicemember’s remains at Dover Air Force Base, Del.

The funding was authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2010. The Defense Department policy was enacted on May 11, but the Navy put out its announcement just this week.

blottenbergerd@estripes.osd.mil


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