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 Post subject: Modern Military Funeral
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:01 am 
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Corporal
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Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 7:38 am
Posts: 95
Good morning,

A member of my unit is a former member of the US Air Force, and so will be buried with modern military honors. He is suffering from advanced cancer and is given a couple of weeks at the most.

He has made a request of my Captain, and I am not certain how/where to begin researching this. The request falls into two sections - first, is proper and legal for us to present a CW period flag to the wife such as is done by modern military today? We don't want to tread on any toes or customs here. Second - can/should we fire a salute ?

Any help would be greatly appreciated,
Cpl Calum Munro
calum1861@verizon.net

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Calum Munro

40th PVI, 11th Reserves, Co F
http://www.facebook.com/reserve.companyf

1st USSS, Co H
http://nyberdans.wix.com/nyberdans


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:27 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:33 pm
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Location: Old Northwest (Michigan)
Cpl. Munro.

My regrets upon hearing of the pending loss of a good comrade in arms. I have no doubt, from your earnest desire to honor his memory and service, that his loss in the ranks will be keenly felt.

During the funeral service for my late uncle (Army Air Corps-WW2) at the Fort Custer National cemetery, my aunt arranged for me to be present dressed in my regulation USSS 'dress greens', (my uncle was a competative shooter and loved the USSS story). I stood beside her during the ceremony. The Army detail folded and presented her with a modern flag, and their detail fired the volley, then I stepped forward played 'Taps' on my bugle to close the service.

I would suggest that you get your comrade or his wife's permission to contact the USAF rep and tell them about your comrades service in both units, and his request for you/your organization to participate in his funeral service. Ask the rep (especially if you haven't seen a modern military service) how they conduct a funeral service, and offer suggestions where you might be a part of it. I have found modern military guys to be very interested in what we do and accommodating. But it will be essential that your detail be SHARP and strive to equal the modern soldiers in their dress, conduct and military bearing--you will be scrutinized by the pros.

My SUVCW Camp has worked a few times with modern rifle details, we usually fire the first volley, then they rip off the next two with their M-1 Garands...the modern guys always get a kick out of the 'rotten eggs' smell from our rifles-especially if they are downwind. Afterwards they usually brag about how fast their rifles fire. But we sharpshooters come back with: "yeah, but can you hit anything?" It serves as a great opener to tell the Sharpshooter story to young soldiers and old VFW vets alike--they get a kick out the history lesson, and it has cemented our comraderie ever since.

Hope this helps.

Bill Skillman
Randolph Mess-USSS
Robert Finch Camp 14, SUVCW


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:48 am 
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Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 7:38 am
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Thanks for the input sir. Some of your suggestion is already in the works or has been done - I confirmed after I posted that his wife is aware <and actually made the request for him> of his wishes, and we are attempting to find out what modern unit will be providing the Honor Guard so we can contact them to coordinate.

Once we find out what cemetery, our intent is also to contact them regarding their regulations of firing a salute (since we are not current military).

I fully agree that the reenactor unit must be sharp. Members of the unit were honored this past May by being included in a ceremony for local black soldiers (three of the individuals honored were killed during or veterans of the Civil War) at a local cemetery. In that case, six modern Honor Guard lined up for the rifle salute, with three of ours joining their line. One of us fired in each volley. They were up wind, but the one next to me caught a wiff and it proceeded very much as you outlined. :D

Thank you again,
Calum

_________________
Calum Munro

40th PVI, 11th Reserves, Co F
http://www.facebook.com/reserve.companyf

1st USSS, Co H
http://nyberdans.wix.com/nyberdans


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