Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Honoring the Honor Guard

Meet some of the men who volunteer their time to extend the final tribute to fellow military veterans on the day of burial. Click on the photos to enlarge them for better viewing.

Edward Weatherman
Army, '67-'68, Vietnam Veteran
 Career job: R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

R. C. Athey
Air Force, '71-'91
Career job: VA Medical Center

Jack Whitaker
Army, 4 years
Career job: welder

Ross Adams
Navy, '54-'58
Career job: R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Mr. Adams has participated in over 1,000 burials in the past ten years.

Robert McCarn
Army,  5 years
Career job: self - employed plumber

Giles T. McLelland
Army and Army Reserve, 30 years
Career job: self - employed barber

Tom Ehlers
Navy, 6 years
Career job: Service Manager, IBM

Butch Roberts
Navy, 24 years
Career job: security

Wayne Falls
Army, '53-'55
Career job: self - employed auto technician

Cliff Harris
Army, '67-'69 Vietnam Veteran
Career job: Technical Writer for Western Electric, ATT, and Lucent Technologies

Harold Hamilton
Army, '54-'56
Career job: Driver for Hennis and Roadway Trucking Companies

I. H. "Cokie" Jones
Army, '51-'52 Korean War Veteran
Career job: worked for Sealtest and Biltmore Dairies

Honor Guard, Attention!

Honor Guard, Parade Rest!

Hand salute and presentation of arms.  Seven rifleman fire three volleys to complete the 21 gun salute. 

Watch a YouTube video of their 21 gun salute by clicking here:

Commander of the Honor Guard, Gray Templeton, from Clemmons Post 9010 folds the US flag with the help of Adams and Athey during the flag-folding ceremony at the casket and in front of the family.

"On behalf of the President of the United States and the people of a grateful nation, may I present this flag as a token of appreciation for the honorable and faithful service your loved one rendered this nation." is an example of words softly spoken to the next of kin when the flag is presented.

This van helps car-pool the honor guard members to the sites in the north and west sections of Forsyth County.

Honor guard members represent VFW Post 9010 in Clemmons, VFW Post 8719 in Advance, VFW Post 8593 in Pfafftown, and Western Forsyth American Legion Post 522 in Lewisville.  Men from these posts work together to provide military funerals for all families who request them.  These funerals usually number over one-hundred per year with a record 170 in year 2010.

Not all honor guard members are pictured here.  Regulars Ron Hash and Barry Luper had other commitments this day.  Coordinator Carl Munson of Clemmons does what his title suggests, plan and dispatch the honor guard.  I had the privilege to accompany my good neighbor Ross Adams on September 19 to photograph and record the honor guard and their performance at the burial of a WWII veteran at Forsyth Memorial Park.  It was impressive to witness the cooperation and leadership among the different post members as these veterans planned their positioning and decided each other's roles to deliver their stellar performance.

I felt that all observers were pleased and honored by the honor guards' services.  I hope you will notice these men as they travel throughout our area and in your own way let them know they are appreciated. 

Have a good week!