By Bob Tuttle
An exciting opportunity is available to all military veterans. Military veterans are entitled to many benefits, including receiving military funeral honors. This “final salute” is one of the most prestigious of these. It cannot be given without dedicated volunteers like you.
The Greenwood & Whiteland Honor Guards provide military funeral honors to local veterans in a way that leaves a lasting remembrance for their family and friends. The team is sanctioned through the Greenwood American Legion Post 252, the Greenwood Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) Post 5864 and the New Whiteland VFW Post 6978. They are accredited by the Indiana National Guard and the Department of Defense to perform military funeral honors around Indiana but mainly in Johnson and southern Marion Counties.
Military veterans are needed to fill the ranks. Volunteers must be a member of one of the three posts noted above, able to stand at attention for short periods of time, able to walk in line formation and motivated to provide final respects to our fellow veterans. Each team member is notified of each funeral and the member then decides if he or she wishes to attend.
Those interested in this opportunity and are not currently a member of one of our organizations may register for membership at one of the noted posts. All military personnel who have served anywhere in the military for at least one day during wartime or conflict are eligible to join the American Legion. Those who have received a campaign ribbon overseas, served in the Korean War for 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days, or received hostile fire or imminent danger pay are eligible to join the VFW. Bring a copy of your DD214, $43 for the American Legion dues or $35 for the VFW dues. They’ll confirm your eligibility.
Don’t let the thought of attending post meetings deter you from joining one of the organizations. To be a member of these posts, all that is required to do is pay annual dues. There are hundreds of multi-year members that have never stepped inside of the post after they have joined.
For those unsure of their eligibility or would like more information on opportunities to help veterans, please contact the nearest post: Greenwood American Legion Post 252 (after 2 p.m.) at (317) 888-2488, Greenwood VFW Post 5864 (after 4 p.m.) at (317) 535-4041 or New Whiteland VFW Post (after 4 p.m.) at (317) 535-4041. To learn more information on how to become a part of the Honor Guard team, please contact Bob Tuttle, Honor Guard and Color Guard Commander, at phylandbob@aol or (317) 888-5617.
Being on an Honor Guard team places those at the very heart of assisting their fellow veterans and their families. This opportunity allows them to be back in uniform and have pride knowing that they are serving once again… serving their comrades in their final farewell.
Bob Tuttle is a VFW and American Legion member.