A "Forgotten Hero Service" was held Friday, June 5, at Biloxi National Cemetery for a veteran with no known relatives. As a member of The American Legion, Sons of The American Legion and Patriot Guard, this funeral was different than the several forgotten hero services that I have attended this past year. Present were the normally assembled active-duty personnel, Patriot Guard and Legion members but a full complement of the Keesler Honor Guard was also present.
This time there was a six-member flag barrier honor guard that also performed a rifle salute and a bugler played taps.
This group of dedicated Auxiliary Legion Auxiliary Jackie Robinson Unit 252 members are serving on their Unit Color Guard that has been strong for over 30 years.
There are three original members of the current 12-member group.
This unit has won many awards throughout the years, continues participating in many parades, civic ceremonies and Legion Family installations. We are proud to support veterans through serving as an example of true patriotism to all men and women in our military.
The Honor Guard at the Ray A. Master, Post 217, Topton, Pa., was started in 1947.
Our present Honor Guard attends Memorial Day and Veterans Day parades and has averaged 120 final honor services in District 14, Eastern Pennsylvania.
Visit our Ray A. Master, Post 217 Homepage at: http://www.toptonlegion217.org
For some 20 years Leon Burson Post 395 has been providing honors for veterans at the end of their lives.
The post regularly musters a detail of 13 members to give final honor for the veteran's service. The detail consists of a seven man rifle squad, three color guards to carry the U.S. flag, service branch flag and Legion flag. (If able a POW/MIA is included) Plus a detail commander, bugler and chaplain to present the U.S. flag to the next of kin.
The unit responds to requests from family or funeral directors winter summer rain or shine.
A riderless horse and a caisson can often be seen forming a silhouette against the skyline at Camp Nelson Cemetery in Nicholasville, Ky. Camp Nelson Honor Guard claims to be one of the rare honor guards in the nation that uses horses in its funeral services.
Tracy Lucas runs the Camp Nelson Honor Guard (CNHG). He said CNHG has performed more than 800 funerals since it began doing military services at the national cemetery in 2008.
Honor Guard services for Doug Severin (Korean War), by The Air Force Honor Guard Team. It took place at San Joaquin National Cemetery, Santa Nella, California.
Doug Severin served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years and 12 years in the Air Force.
American Legion member Vivian Abalon has been serving her country with honor for 72 years. Born in Bridgeport, Conn., on April 2, 1924, and growing up in the small town of Milford, she was a girl who loved to sing. She wanted and considered nursing as a career, but her father discouraged this career choice for a young teen.
In 1942, Vivian Abalon decided to enter defense work and went to work in an aircraft plant. She felt this to be her way of supporting her country.
The Post 100 ceremonial guard conducts all veterans funerals for the funeral homes in the surrounding Cherryville, N.C., area when requested. The guard also travels to other parts of this state and other states. We formed this unit about six years ago to keep from depending of other posts. We also support the Navy ROTC program at West Lincoln High School and perform programs to rest homes in the area.
Pictured are (left to right): David Cabaniss, Mike Robinson, Reeves Black, Charles Brown, Mickey Brown and Bryan Daily (not shown).
Thanks to Michael Stadnick, who helped form this group, I was fortunate to be a part of this group and was able to attend and help at many funerals for many deserving veterans. God bless our military and our veterans, alive and deceased.
The Brown County Veterans Honor Guard's commitment continues to run deep. Their dedication now consists of providing military honors for deceased veterans in northeast Kansas. This tradition is not new. For over 60 years, members of the local VFW or American Legion were called upon to provide such honors upon a family member’s request, but only did so for their members.
Throughout the years, many American Legion and VFW members expired and the reduction of these organizations made it incapable to continue providing these honors.
The American Legion Newport Harbor Post 291 Honor Guard participated in this year's Balboa Island Parade on June 1. This year's theme was "Star Spangled Islands," and much honor was given to our veterans.
When we pay tribute to our veterans, we want to make sure that it is done in a proper military manner. I mean: let us give our veterans not only a tribute but individual recognition for his or her service to their country, and for some it may have been the ultimate sacrifice. Let us honor them the way they honored their country, and to never forget those who did not come home.
For some American Legion members, the Honor Guard could be the gray area that is not quite clear.
Eugene “Geno” Ballatti is 92 years young and still participates in Honor Guard duties for the American Legion Post 125 in Princeton, Ill. He is our U.S. flag carrier.
Geno was born in Mark, Ill., a small mining town in north central Illinois.
Geno enlisted in the Navy in September 1942 and served as a signalman on two different aircraft carriers. He was first assigned to the USS Bogue from January 1943 thru July 1944. The USS Bogue was used to patrol the Atlantic looking primarily for submarines, of which they sank 12.
We have in our American Legion post a 65-year member named Don Wilde, who is in his 90s and is an active member on our rifle team for funerals. He probably participates in 90 percent of our burials.
He also regularly attends our monthly meetings and is a big financial contributor to the post.
He is a World War II veteran and served in Alaska, Phillipines and the South Pacific.
Tri-County American Legion Post 124 of Mötley, Minn., was privileged to join the Third Minnesota Re-Enactment Company in providing final military honors for Civil War veteran Edgar Lewis. Sgt. Lewis served almost three years with the 20th Regiment Wisconsin Infantry.
His regiment usually moved by forced marches through six states as well as to Matamores, Mexico, to protect the American Consulate. He was wounded during battle at Prairie Grove, Ark., and mustered out at Galveston, Texas.
Lewis was buried at the Hewitt (Minnesota) Cemetery next to his wife who preceded him by many years.
Post 121, Chester, W.Va., and Post 374, East Liverpool, Ohio, provided a 21-gun salute to the veterans at Foxcrest community complex in Chester. Jessica Lynch (POW Medal) was the keynote speaker. The Honor Guard meet with the veterans and shared stories and enjoyed lunch with the veterans.
Tri State Burial Group
Post 121 and 374
HONOR GUARD – The True Story
Imagine if you will temperatures of negative 10 degrees with winds whipping causing the wind chill to become minus 29 degrees. Now imagine yourself standing in a row of comrades, outside, waiting to pay respects as part of the funeral detail of one of your own, Hurley Gallion, Past Commander of the Sullivan American Legion Post 139.
Sonnor Faught doesn’t have to imagine, he was there. He has been performing his duties for years and through rain or sleet or heat or snow, he performs on command, when requested in honor of those who defended this land.
American Legion Post 252 Honor Guard
Our American Legion Post has been around for quite some time. Its charter was established on October 25, 1920. Records indicate we obtained our first set of ceremonial rifles in 1948: Ten M1903 Springfields. Our Post members have been honoring our veterans at gravesites, marching in parades and performing flag raising ceremonies since — 64 years and counting.
Some years ago we joined forces with Honor Guard members from the Greenwood and Whiteland VFW Posts to help ensure we maintained adequate attendance for all veteran funerals.