Veterans sought to join local honor guard

By: 
Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

Review file photo by Lauren Clark

Area veterans are needed to serve in the Kalkaska Honor Guard, a group of local veterans that carries the flag and helps honor fellow veterans at a variety of events, such as in parades, at community celebrations and military funerals.

 

KALKASKA – Dave Pauch is looking for a few good men – and women – to help remember and honor those who’ve served their country, as well as celebrate that service.

Pauch helps coordinate the Kalkaska Honor Guard, a group of local veterans that has literally carried the flag and helped honor veterans at a variety of events, such as in parades, at community celebrations and military funerals.

“In order to continue these activities, we need more veterans to be a part of the honor guard,” he said.

According to Pauch, the honor guard at one point included as many as 15 veterans. That was enough to work around scheduling conflicts and still make sure the group was available, when called upon.

But, in recent years, that number has slipped.

“Our membership is dwindling,” Pauch said, a member of both Kalkaska American Legion Post No. 480 and Kalkaska Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 8684. “Members have moved or have had to step down from the honor guard due to health concerns or age.

“I’m down to three people now,” he added. “I can use all the help I can get.”

Pauch is hoping local veterans will answer the call, as organizers of the honor guard want to ensure every veteran receives military honors at their funeral.

“Most times there are only three or four members who are able to participate and provide that honor,” he said. “That’s not enough to provide a 21-gun salute.”

The requirements for the honor guard are few and simple.

“You have to be a veteran,” Pauch said. So, any veteran with an honorable discharge can participate, after turning in a copy of their DD-214.

“You don’t have to be a member of another organization like the American Legion or the VFW,” he added. “We’ll train them on everything else they need to know.”

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