Commentary

September 7, 2012

We take honor in laying our fallen veterans to rest

Tags:
by BU2 Marco Valdovinos
Navy Operation Support Center funeral honor team
marco
BU2 Marco Valdovinos is charged with overseeing the 28-member funeral honor team based at the Navy Operation Support Center Moreno Valley, Calif. Their duties entail presenting honors at the funerals of fallen veterans throughout the southern Calif. regions. The team conducts an estimated 1,450 Navy funerals in a fiscal year, number two in the Nation. (U.S. Air Force photo / Darnell Gardner)

For most, the start of their duty day brings about a new beginning, a new chapter in life; however, for those in my line of duty, it closes a chapter by putting the kindred souls of our nation’s heroes to rest. I oversee a funeral honors team of 28 members who, when called upon, stand ready to present honors at the funerals of fallen veterans in the southern Calif. region.

On an average day, I wake-up to the buzzing of my alarm clock around 5:30 a.m. While preparing for work, the days tasks that I will have to face, cycle through my subconscious. As I make my commute to the Navy Operational Support Center-Moreno Valley, Calif., calls start coming in pertaining to funeral task assignments and family members requesting assistance.

I muster (check in) at the office no later than 7:30 a.m. After which, I fulfill my daily physical training requirement, shower and then hurry back to my desk to check emails to review and confirm times, dates and places for the day’s funeral assignments.

Upon confirmation of the funeral arrangements, I arrange a team using a selection process mandated by Navy regulation. In most cases, assigned members will have the rate and rank of the fallen veteran. Next, I conduct an in-depth inspection of uniforms (from cover to shoe) and grooming, to ensure we represent our Navy veterans with class, dignity, and professionalism. As a precautionary measure, I pack backup supplies such as white gloves, ascots and aiguillettes because they are easily forgotten or unintentionally spoiled.

With appointments set, families notified and funeral homes readied, members receive their briefs and then dispatch to their location of responsibility. Once at the funeral site, they prepare for duties involving folding the flag, and the playing of taps confirming the gravesite. Prior to the actual ceremony, members take time to meet and greet family members of the veteran.

It is a very somber moment as the ceremony commences while those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, are eternally laid to rest.

At the conclusion of the funeral, we regroup and debrief the results of the service and, if needed, discuss ways to improve our next presentation, to ensure veterans families are fully satisfied with our performance. Once finished, we immediately transition to stand-by status and prepare for the next funeral, which in some cases can be as quick as 30 minutes after the last one.

Some days are easier than others, but we can never become immune to the tears of families in mourning. We cannot be oblivious to the pain of the families, because we know of their sacrifice; they just lost a loved one who fought to keep this country free.

As for me, there is no more gratifying duty than serving on the funeral honor team.

The Navy Funeral Honor Guard in Riverside Navy Operational Support-Moreno Valley conducts an estimated 1,450 Navy funerals in a fiscal year, which ranks number two in the Nation.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Untitled-1

Preparation essential for those living in “Earthquake Country”

While we continually stress the fact we live in earthquake country, the last couple of weeks have certainly lent credence to that statement. Seismic activity in the California area to include Los Angeles, La Habra and Fortuna, ...
 
 
taxes-art

Tax season deadline looms, free filing available

On April 15, the regular tax season comes to an end. Unless you qualify for an automatic extension (deployed anytime from Jan. 1 – April 15, 2014), or you file for an extension, you need to have filed your return. Why not...
 
 

UPCOMING TICKETS AND TOURS EVENTS

Some restrictions apply. Times are approximate. APRIL Date: April 12 Event: Land Sailing Trip Cost: Free Description/ Restrictions: This is a Single Airmen Program. Open to all base personnel but Single Airmen have priority. For more info please call Outdoor Rec. at 951-655-2816. Date: April 26 Event: Carlsbad Flower Fields Blues Day/ Outlet Tour Cost:...
 

 

Military officials take aim at tobacco use

Military health officials have set an ambitious goal: to have all Department of Defense installations tobacco-free by the year 2020. That’s one part of a larger effort to cut tobacco use among service members and veterans, said Col. John Oh, Health Promotion chief at the Air Force Medical Support Agency. Tobacco has long been known...
 
 
DoD
MOMC_graphic

DOD salutes children during military child month

The Defense Department believes military children serve their country alongside their service member parents, DOD’s director of the office of family policy/children and youth said. When military children serve, they do so by ...
 
 

“Live our values, step up to stop sexual assault”

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and sexual assault is a crime that is not compatible with your military service. Each April, the Department of Defense (DOD) and other organizations across the nation observe SAAM. This annual event provides the opportunity to highlight the efforts that the DOD and Military Services are taking to combat...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin