Once a year, the D.A.V. Honor Guard of the Roanoke Valley gets together to have their photo taken, much like other civic organizations. This year, the tradition also included the presentation of a certificate honoring the group and certifying them as an authorized provider in the Military Funeral Honors Program signed by the secretary of defense – meaning that they will now receive requests for funerals through the program.
The guard already travels all over the state, when requested, to perform the military’s ceremonial goodbyes. It is a free service to those who have served honorably. The guard will accept donations towards their equipment and uniforms, however, said post commander Phillip Turpin.
A majority of the members of the Honor Guard are veterans, but some are auxiliary members, the dependents of a veteran. This post performed honors for past commander of the Roanoke D.A.V. Chapter Mike Sweat with the old guard at Arlington on Dec. 3, 2008.
To learn more about the ceremony involved with military funerals, click here.
First photo: First row, from left, Laura Venable with the 29th Army Band, auxiliary Clark Dent, 1st Sgt. Kenneth Gnos, 2nd GM2 Patrick Hallahan, army spouse auxiliary Whitney Waterman-Frame, Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip Turpin, Stefan Bratcher, navy officer Dick Ferris, Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Madison, Sgt. 1st class Donald Crouch with the 29th army band; Second Row: Staff Sgt. and Petty Officer 2nd class Jim Fender, Chief Warrant; Officer Greg Wilcock, Sgt. Joe Grant, Cpl. Kenny Resnick, Cpl. K.P. Waterman, Petty Officer 2nd class Harry French, Master Sgt. John Inge, and Sgt. James Clem.
Second photo: Donald Crouch presents the authorized provider certificate to the Roanoke Valley Chapter of the D.A.V. Honor Guard.