"If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can read this in English, thank a veteran."
From Honor Flight
I shared the image above in a post a few years ago after my Dad and I returned from a trip to D.C. with Honor Flight. That's Dad over on the far left. It was an amazing experience and I recommend it for all of you with older parents who have served in the military. In fact, it was the best father-son adventure Dad and I ever did together. Just click on the group to connect to the Honor Flight organization and find out how the older veteran in your family can qualify for the experience!
Since it's Veteran's Day this is a perfect time to remind many of you of a very special opportunity you have when losing a loved one who served in the Armed Forces. It's been a year since my Dad passed away. If it's possible to have a highlight at a funeral, the presentation by the Honor Guard, was it. Dad served in World War II in what was then the Army Air Corps. As a member of the "greatest generation," while it wasn't something he talked about a lot it was an important chapter in his life.
I found this on the Military.com website:
"The rendering of Military Funeral Honors for an eligible veteran, free of charge, is mandated by law. An honor guard detail for the burial of an eligible veteran shall consist of not less than two members of the Armed Forces. One member of the detail shall be a representative of the parent Service of the deceased veteran. The honor detail will, at a minimum, perform a ceremony that includes the folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps. When available taps will be played by a bugler, however there are so few buglers available that the military services may choose to provide an electronic recording of taps. The veteran's parent Service representative will present the flag."
In addition, while Dad was in hospice, they also had a short service they did for veterans. A hospice representative for the Armed Forces did a short presentation to Dad with all of us by his side. I'm not sure he was awake for much of it, but just the short recognition and the flag they pinned on his collar meant a lot to us and to him.
The flag given to us by the Honor Guard is in a flag case and proudly sits on top of a book case in my office along with Dad's Veteran baseball hat. The certificate came much later and will probably wind up in a frame some place close by.
I'm not sure you're all aware of Military Funeral Honors. To find out more just click the image of the Honor Guard folding the flag.
So, on this 2016 Veteran's Day it's an opportunity for one more thought - a big thank you to all of you who are veterans, those of you have sons and daughters in the military now, our son Brian who serves today and my brother-in-law, Randy, who probably sleeps in his Marine baseball hat every night. Thank you all for the sacrifices you've made to give us the ability to take so much for granted.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.