The Journey to Serve initiative features free tools and resources designed to recruit military veterans into positions throughout the funeral service profession


Recruiting capable, focused professionals into available funeral service and deathcare positions became easier today thanks to a landmark partnership between the Funeral Service Foundation and the ICCFA Educational Foundation. The organizations teamed up to launch the Journey to Serve initiative, designed to connect military veterans with careers throughout the funeral service profession. 

Journey to Serve’s purpose is twofold: The sweeping initiative — which was funded equally by both organizations and endorsed by NFDA and ICCFA—positions the funeral service profession as an ideal career path for military veterans to deploy the skills, traits, and talents acquired and earned during their tour of duty.  At the same time, the initiative equips deathcare and funeral service professionals with free tools and resources specifically designed to engage with military veterans on a local, regional, national, and international scale.

This brief video offers a look at the natural fit between military veterans and funeral service.

“Military veterans embody the same strength of character that so often defines funeral service and deathcare professionals; connecting veterans with our mission-driven work was a natural fit,” said Foundation Chair Anthony Guerra and ICCFA Educational Foundation President Jim Price in a joint statement. “Finding and retaining skilled, reliable, and compassionate staff benefits the entire funeral service profession, and we knew that our organizations working together would create the synergy necessary to help get the job done.” 

Available Resources at

Curated with all funeral service and deathcare professionals in mind, the toolkit includes a variety of customizable resources available for download. The free resources include:

  • Customizable Print and digital ads
  • Customizable Radio and podcast spots in :30 and :60 lengths
  • Moving video explaining the natural fit between veterans and funeral service
  • Testimonials from veterans already working in the funeral service profession
  • Social media post template
  • Customizable flyers and postcards
  • Slide decks for use when speaking to veterans’ groups
  • Key messaging documents and FAQs

Also available is a hyperlocal Facebook marketing campaign option, which can be used to recruit veterans in your area for specific positions with the help of an experienced social media team.

Academic Scholarships

The Funeral Service Foundation and the ICCFA Educational Foundation will also award two $5,000 academic scholarships to military veterans to help offset the costs associated with pursuing a career in funeral service and deathcare. The annual scholarships are equally funded by both organizations. A third scholarship, the Hunter M. Harbeson Memorial Scholarship, will provide $2,500 in academic support to a qualified veteran. All scholarship applications open in September 2021. 

Virtual Kick-Off

Hundreds of funeral service professionals came together today for a live virtual kick-off event, hosted by Bob Arrington, founder and president of Arrington Funeral Directors in Jackson, Tennessee, and Jay Dodds, President/COO of Park Lawn Corporation, headquartered in Toronto. Lisa Rosser, CEO of The Value of a Veteran, delivered a keynote entitled “Regard, Recruit, Retain: 5 Reasons That Hiring Veterans Makes Good Business Sense – And How to Find Great Hires.” Jim Price and Funeral Service Foundation Executive Director, Lee Wiensch shared the comprehensive resources, which are now available at  Those interested may view the webinar on demand. 

Canadian Roll-Out

The foundations are working with the Funeral Service Association of Canada (FSAC) to roll out Canadian-specific materials this summer. More information about the exciting joint initiative is forthcoming. 

About the Funeral Service Foundation
Since 1945, the Funeral Service Foundation has served as the philanthropic voice of the funeral profession and has identified as the charitable arm of the National Funeral Directors Association since 1997. Donors and volunteer leaders, profession-wide, support the Foundation in its mission of investing in people and programs to strengthen funeral service and lift up grieving communities. 

About the ICCFA Educational Foundation
The ICCFA Educational Foundation, founded in 2005, seeks to make education accessible to the future leaders of the deathcare profession. It does this by awarding scholarships to the educational programs of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, as well as advancing initiatives designed to promote the profession and support the individuals who answer the call of service.

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