WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The American Legion Post 202 Honor Guard in Wichita Falls provides official services at veteran funerals when the military are not able to.
“Having not been a veteran, I think it’s one of the most honorable things I’ve been able to do,” said Joe Vaccarella, an Honor Guard member.
The group provides full military honors, including folding the burial flag, having a firing party, and playing Taps.
“We do that because the military cut back so much, especially during this COVID-19 stuff,” said Ray Calvert, 1st Vice Commander at American Legion Post 202.
During the pandemic, they have done more military funerals in 2020 than previous years.
“When we first started five years ago, we might be looking at two funerals per year. Since COVID-19, we’ve done between 30-35,” said Calvert.
The pandemic has stopped their weekly practice of the routine done at the service.
“It’s pretty complex with everything that you have to remember, the way that they march together, the turns together, folding of the flag, you know it all has different steps to it,” said Evelyn Nichols, Commander of American Legion Post 202.
Members say they do this for veterans and their families.
“I feel good about presenting the flag to the bereaved that they can keep as a momento,”said Tom Talcott, member of the American Legion Post 202 Honor Guard.
Families can request for the service at a funeral home or contact the group directly.