Your opinion of funreal ceremony.....

Discussion in 'Veteran's Forum' started by aaronrkelly, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. aaronrkelly

    aaronrkelly

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    My father in law recently passed away at the age of 59 - he was a Vietnam veteran I believe serving from 67 to 69ish.

    Somebody messed up either at the Legion or the funreal home (leaning towards these boneheads being the problem) and nobody showed up for the military funreal. A couple guys ended up jumping in to fold the flag and nothing more was said.

    The guy never talked about his service but was the biggest patriot I ever saw - everything was eagles and american flags at his house. Just seems wrong to think he was slighted of his ceremony.

    I dont know if there is a proper protocol but is it possible to get the honor guard to come out and do a private ceremony for the family - I would be more than willing to make a donation.
     
  2. CarlosDJackal

    CarlosDJackal

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    I'm sorry for your loss and that the Military Honor Guard was not at your Father-in-law's funeral. My Father passed away May of last year and my family and I were very lucky that the funeral home took care of everything. While I kept bugging them about the Honor Guard, we were fortunate that the rep that handled everything for us was a retired Army National Guardsman. He made sure that there was at least a firing squad.

    The Maryland National Guard Honor Guard came out and provided seven personnel: three on the firing squad, two to fold the flag, an NCOIC (SFC), and an OIC (Major). The OIC was because my Father's highest rank was Captain (something he was not aware off until a week before his death). We have the whole ceremony on video and it was a very fitting send-off. I still get tearyeyed when I think about it (like now).

    Contact your state's National Guard HQ and see what can be done. Make sure you arm yourself with your Father-in-law's information (branch of service, highest awards, rank, etc.). The worse thing they can say is "sorry." But at least you gave it a try. Too bad it would be virtually impossible for us Veterans here on GT to do the honors. ;?

    Good luck!!
     

  3. Black Tiger

    Black Tiger

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    A good friend of mine, fellow Army MP and former US Marine was taken from us back in 2004 outside of Mosul, Iraq. A group of us went to his funeral in Palm Beach, FL and those of us that knew him were in attendance, including three of the guys that were with him when he died, all of them former MPs and NCOs.

    He was given full military honors from the US Marines, including a bagpipe player, a 21-gun salute by the VFW Honor GUard and USMC Colonel presented the flag to his wife; we all felt that he was given the most honorable funeral a man in uniform could ever ask for.

    No fallen soldier should go to eternal rest without the honor of a military funeral. It would be criminal not to give him that much after giving so much for us.
     
  4. K_Knight159

    K_Knight159 FOLLOW ME!

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    DAMN STRAGHT BLACKTIGER!!!
     
  5. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    When I check out, I had put in my will so that whoever responsible for me would request at least a headstone and a place to rest in a national cemetary where I can lay in eternal rest with my brothers-in-arms.
     
  6. habu3

    habu3

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    Sorry to hear about the loss!!

    I too believe that every soldier, sailor, and airman deserves to be payed the proper respect they earned through their service. All of us veterans whether we served one year, 10, or to retirement have done something that not all Americans would do. We have served our country in places and ways that many would find objectionable, whether through the draft selection of the Viet Nam era or the volunteer forces of today.

    If I recall correctly there was an article from DoD recently in one of the retiree newsletters that mentioned that at the very least the funeral Honor detail would consist of someone to present the Flag. It is possible the funeral director didn't contact them. Having spent some time as a volunteer doing Honors details, I can tell you that unless the funeral director requests the service the DoD has no clue.

    USAF MSgt (Retired)
     
  7. magsnubby

    magsnubby NRA LIFE MEMBER

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    Damn right!

    The man deserves a full military funeral. I think a private ceremony might help the healing a bit.
     
  8. thanospro

    thanospro

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    Being a funeral director myself, I can say that it probably was the funeral director that dropped the ball in this case. There are a hundred fifty or so individual tasks for the funeral director to tend to on each funeral. Five or so deal directly with those who served our country.
    Every US Vet gets a burial flag, folded in the casket or draped on the casket, family's choice. The family brings in the DD214 and we go to the post office and get a flag, draped flags are pressed first compliments of one of our local dry cleaners. If the family can't find the DD214, no problem, contact the local VAs office with vital info and they'll take it from there. Around here we, or the family choose from either the VFW guys (DoD approved), local Guard unit, or two active guys from deceased branch to fold flag/push play. VFW/ANG have rifles/bugler and the whole bit. The VFW requires a phone call to the local commander and he takes it from there, they get a cold beer at the club and mileage reimbursement for their services. The ANG requires a call/fax to a commander in another town and he takes it from there. The 2 active personnel requires a call to whomever answers at the assigned phone number at one of the 4 closest branch bases. They take it from there. They send two guys and a CD player. We recommend use of the VFW guys, they enjoy getting out and doing it and do an exceptional job. They're always a big help with any thing we need at the cemetery. They help unload flowers and never forget to ask if there is anything else when it's over before they leave.
    It's hard for me to imagine the honor detail to have dropped the ball in your case. We buried a veteran German soldier, WWII, last year. The Capt. at the VFW heard WWII mentioned in the obit on the local radio station and called to find out when they needed to be at the cemetery. He felt kinda funny when he realized why they weren't called. He didn't catch the German name and the fact he was with the axis during the war! My suggestion is contact your local VFW, if they have an honor guard, and see if they'll set up a detail at the cemetery. I know if I asked the guys down here they'd jump all over it.
     
  9. K_Knight159

    K_Knight159 FOLLOW ME!

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    Being a current OIF vet. If something were to happen i would like nothing more to be buried as a solider with full military honors. All vets. Past and Present deserve no less for all they have given for there country.

    And this forum has made it an option for all vets to maybe call thier congressmen and senators to bring up this fact about our military funneral benefits when the time comes to bury a hero of our country that maybe a funeral home should have a manditory option to make military funeral arragments for vets.
     
  10. reconvic

    reconvic Recon Marine

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    Sorry for your lost bro. Remember us vets will never forget a fallen Brother. May he now RIP.
    Semper Fi Vic
     
  11. SeriousStudent

    SeriousStudent

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    When I was stationed at Pendleton, my company Gunny looked in my SRB, and found out I had been issued a set of dress blues in boot camp. I spent the next 30 days on funeral details. When I first started, I thought, "This is going to be such a pain in the butt."

    By the time I finished, I went back to the Gunny and thanked him. It's still something I have great pride in, when I look back on my time in the Corps. It was a great honor to represent my Country and Corps, to families that had lost their hero.

    To see a tiny bit of that loss replaced by an increase in pride was a precious gift.

    Years later, I accompanied a fellow Marine and friend to his eternal resting place. I wanted to make sure the graveside detail was perfect, to show his family how much he meant to his fellow squadmates. The salutes were so sharp, they would have sliced like a knife. I spent two hours practicing my sword drill and facing movements that morning.

    Why?

    Because he would have done it for me. These veterans did it for us. So we can show a little respect in return for the gift of their lives.
     
  12. APD

    APD Trunk Monkey

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    Roger that.
     
  13. zebrajeb

    zebrajeb

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    Hey Black Tiger - just had to say "hi" from an old MP to a current MP! I notice all the 18th MP Brigade patches and others in the Iraq news. I'm proud of them all and wish I could be with them as well.

    John
    709th MP Bn, Germany, 1969-71
    97th MP Bn, Vietnam, 1971-72
    Army Brat as well
     
  14. ret_marine2003

    ret_marine2003

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    I am a retired Marine and a Vice Commander of the local Honor Guard.
    We are formed from members of all five components of the armed forces.
    We are members of the American Legion, KWVA, VFW, AMVETS, Marine Corps League, PVA, DAV,(and I appoligise if I missed any others)

    We all came together because there werent enough of us individually to make a firing squad.

    Our veteran organizations are often composed of two groups.

    1. The 10 percent who help out and volunteer.
    2. The rest who like to use the bar and only care about what is in it for them.

    This is a sad statement to make, but it has been true to my experience and I am a member of almost every veteran org I listed above.

    Between all of the orgs we have almost 30 members of the Honor Guard, and enough rifles to run two firing squads at once.

    This is under the best conditions.

    At worst we will have 3/4 of our good people snowbirding it or sick.

    Sometimes I am called to do several funerals in a week, often on the same day.

    I do this because I feel the need to do so.

    Most vets these days dont.

    I have more Gulf War veterans than Viet Nam Vets.

    The Viet Nam Vets I do have are great people, it is too bad more of them are not like my guys.
    Without more of them helping out in the immediate future, they will be having funerals without an honor guard.
    I realise that some of them feel slighted and that they were treated poorly by the WWI, WWII, and Korea vets... but geez, there comes a time when you have to say; "I am ready to move on now."


    Sometimes a person dies that I know is a vet. When I investigate the issue and talk to the funeral directors I usually find that a member of the family, (usually female) has decided that they dont want a veterans ceremony. If the rest of the family disagrees the offending family member typically blames the vets.
    I can do nothing when this happens most of the time.
    Sometimes the family doesnt have the discharge paperwork.
    In that case I usually vouch for the individual if I knew him or could find enough proof to make the claim. The Post Office provides our flags. We pay for the flag boxes ourselves.
    I help make sure that the family get the funeral money and the military head stone.
    Our Honor Guard is strictly non-profit.
    We accept donations, but nobody gets paid.
    The donations are used for equipment, blanks, and flag boxes.

    I am saddened to read about your experience.
    The best thing that you could do to honor your father and make sure that this does not happen again is to try to organize your local 10 percenters and volunteer and help us out.



    ;c ;c