View Full Version : Funeral detail today
We provided color guard today for another veteran. This is the fourth time this year, already. The difference between these ceremonies and the hassle some of our casualty notification guys have had is striking. Nothing really prepares you for this, and (of course) you get the usual macabre jokes, but once Taps plays, you get that chill that it's going to be your turn sooner or later.
Every time I had to do it, it was an Honor, someday some Vet will have to do it for me, so I never felt comfortable doing the detail, but knew It would be someones turn for me someday. Hope it don't rain.
As much as I hated to be on a funeral detail, I too considered it an honor and always did my best to honor my fallen comrade. I made an extra effort to stand a little more erect and to perform the drills a little snappier and a lot sharper.
There is only one funeral that I participated in that was a joke. And it had nothing to do with those of us on the detail. The deceased wife was carrying on and on about how she was going to join him in two weeks when her brother finally had had enough and told her flat out to just go ahead and jump into the grave before they filled it in. It shut her up because it turns out she was just putting on a show.
Only when my own Father was buried with full military honors last May did I realize the impact I made to the family of those I had helped buried when I was still in uniform.
There is no higher honor than serving on a funeral detail.
I have done many, and it can be hard.
We have so many veterans dying now. The WWII guys are all in thier 70's and 80's and the Korean war vets are right behind.
Active duty installations are required to provide honors and most have a full time detail of volunteers, well trained and professional. Our local installation has 45 troops that do this on a rotation covering the southern half of NM and parts of TX and AZ. My last outfit had 5 outstanding troops that volunteered and they did many many funerals. I had to send 1 to the docs, he started looseing it. He had passed the flag to the next of kin for the 60th time in a year. Next time you run into one of those active duty details at the graveyard, give them a thumbs up and a smile.
Get your VFW or Legion post to take them to lunch some day.
They'll be there when it's our turn.
P.S. I sent that kid to Iraq for a breather. He's back!, and back on the detail.
I attended my Step-father's funeral yesterday. I can honestly say there is nothing more touching than a military funeral. I personally thanked each one of vets. for being there.
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