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The Medal of Honor is the symbol of highest prestige awarded by the United States military. It is an honor that carries respect and is recognizable even to civilians. The award depicts the honorary soldier that went through dire and dangerous experiences or gave a heavy or ultimate sacrifice for the American people.

The Honor carries a form of “celebrity” among veterans and active duty alike but many are unaware that the award carries some tangible benefits that the military and government reward the recipient. Here is a list of 6 benefits that serve as a “thank you” from the American people.

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1.Preferred access to military academies for their dependents.

All 100 senators can nominate up to 10 candidates for the upcoming freshman class at Army, Navy and Air Force military academies. Medal of Honor recipients have the power to bypass the selection process for their children and put their name in for consideration, regardless of open slots in the states’ academy quotas.

2. A monthly stipend

Every Medal of Honor honoree is entitled to a monthly fixed paid sum on top of their other pay or retirement benefits. The stipend in 1916 was $10 a month but it has since climbed exponentially to $1,299 per month. The recipient’s base retirement pay is also raised by 10 percent.

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3. Free, priority Space-A travel

Medal recipients receive preferred access and are granted lifelong access to the U.S. military’s “Space A” travel. This allows veterans and active duty alike to hitch rides on military planes.

4. Special parking spots at on-base amenities

Service members with the Medal of Honor are treated to lifelong access to on-base military benefits such as the commissary, on-post gyms and pools and recreational facilities. Along with the on-base amenities, many facilities offer reserved spaces for MoH recipients.

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5. Special status in exchange of salutes

Military members are not required to salute Medal of Honor recipients, yet they’re encouraged to do so if they are physically wearing the medal, even if the MoH recipient is in civilian clothes.

Also, servicemen and women always salute to the rank structure–meaning the junior soldier salutes to the senior one but anyone may render a salute to MoH recipient first.There have even been cases of American presidents saluting MoH recipients.

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6. Headstones with gold lettering and full burial honors

Medal of Honor recipients are guaranteed burials with full military honors, an honor that is otherwise only guaranteed to retired and active duty service members. This includes a nine-member team of six pallbearers, a chaplain and an officer-in-charge or noncommissioned-officer-in-charge and a bugler.

At the grave-site, the Medal of Honor recipient is also entitled to a special headstone with gold lettering.