Providing a Veteran's Last Honor: Honor's Escort

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ORGANIZATION: Fargo VA Health Care System

What is an Honor’s Escort?

When a Veteran passes at the VA and it’s time to transport them to the morgue, the Veteran will be covered with their designated service flag and escorted to the morgue by a team of trained volunteers. This presentation and sign of respect helps bring closure to grieving families who have come to stay goodbye to their loved one.

How is it organized?

Volunteers are placed on an Honor’s Escort call list and will be contacted by the Administrator on Duty (AOD) and asked to come in within an hour’s notice. Upon arrival, volunteers will check in with the front desk and be escorted to the morgue to get an Honor’s Escort vest and the appropriate service flag before moving to the Veteran’s location.

The Procession

After nursing’s preparations are complete, staff will wheel the gurney to the nurse’s station where volunteers will take over. Volunteers will drape the appropriate flag and escort the Veteran to the morgue (one volunteer to lead the procession, and one to function as a rear guard). Family may also join the procession.

Who is Eligible to be an Honor’s Escort?

Any volunteer, regardless of Veteran status, may assist with an Honor’s Escort. All that’s needed is empathy and respect for a recently deceased Veteran and their family.

What Commitment is Expected?

Honor’s escorts are completed as needed. VA staff will continue to call down the list until at least two volunteers are found who are able to make the timeline. Being able to attend an honor’s escort 1-2 times a month during periods of eligibility is ideal.

How Will I be Trained?

Interested volunteers may contact the CDCE office at 701-239-3700 ext. 3395 to complete the appropriate paperwork. New Honor’s Escort volunteers will then be matched with an existing Honor’s Escort volunteer and will shadow them during the next available escort to learn the procedure.

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About Fargo VA Health Care System


2101 Elm Street N, Fargo, ND 58102, US

Mission Statement

To fulfill President Lincoln's promise "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans.


Since 1929, VAMC Fargo has been improving the health of the men and women who have so proudly served our nation. We consider it our privilege to serve your health care needs in any way we can. Services are available to more than 89,000 veterans living in North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota.


Health & Medicine
Veterans & Military Families
Community, Health & Medicine, Veterans & Military Families


We'll work with your schedule.


2101 Elm Street NorthFargo, ND 58102



  • Healthcare
  • Hospice Care
  • Veteran Care




  • Background Check
  • Orientation or Training
  • Must be within one hour of the Fargo VA Hospital. Ceremonies start when volunteers, staff, and family are ready and typically last less than an hour.
  • All VA volunteers must complete initial onboarding/training which include background check, TB testing, and fingerprinting.

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