VFW Post 4174: It’s an honor!
I’m sure we all have been somewhere when we viewed an Honor Guard performing at either a funeral, a state function, guarding a national monument, marching in a parade, heralding a sporting event or even a marathon. The primary purpose of the Honor Guard though, is to provide funeral honors.
But, Honor Guards also serve as guardians of the colors by displaying and escorting the national flag on many ceremonial occasions. They serve as ambassadors to recruiting efforts and are usually military by nature. Each branch of the military has its own Honor Guard official drill team. Service academies , as well as college and university R.O.T.C. ‘s and high school J.R.O.T.C. are another section of Honor guards.
In the military, the Honor Guards don’t normally get deployed, but members can be on an individual basis, given the need. The general criteria for becoming an Honor Guard for all the armed forces is for males to be 6 feet and for females to be 5 feet, 10 inches. This reasoning came about because it provides uniformity among all five joint Service Platoons. In principle, any military unit may act as a guard of honor.
To be eligible for the presence of an Honor Guard, a military member has either died on active duty or is a veteran with an honorable discharge who has passed away. The gun salute and Taps, along with the ceremonial folding and presenting of the flag is a very poignant part of a military funeral. But, the only time a 21-gun salute is provided is in honor of a national flag, a sovereign or chief of state of a foreign nation, a member of a reigning royal family and the president, ex president or president elect.
While watching our Honor guard at the VFW Post 4174, one will notice that even though these veterans are no longer in their first blush of youth, they will walk taller with pride in every step. They consider it an honor to be escorting the flag for a fallen comrade and while they wish to acknowledge the service the veteran rendered, they are continuing the lesson so dearly learned from the military by staying at their comrade’s side until the very end.
It is an honor to be part of an Honor Guard, and all veterans are welcome to join as part of the unit.