This guide is intended to aid you as you work through the difficulty and pain of losing a loved one who was serving in the military. The Department of Defense takes seriously its obligation to our service members and their families. The days ahead will be difficult. While we cannot lessen your loss, we are committed to doing everything possible to help and guide you as you deal with the details and decisions that surround the death of an active duty service member. Every service member’s family has certain benefits, privileges, and entitlements. This guide provides a brief overview including how to access them. Please bear in mind that those benefits, privileges, and entitlements which are mentioned may not be applicable to everyone. This guide was designed to give you a clear idea of how the Department of Defense will assist you from your first meeting with your casualty assistance officer. It covers the planning and details of the funeral or memorial service, and continues through the application and processing of all benefits and entitlements.