Elizabethton veterans finding new paths in work with Honor Guard

Published 8:29 pm Wednesday, October 13, 2021

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Several months after losing sponsorship in Elizabethton, local honor guard members are partnering with two different organizations to provide services for funerals and other ceremonies.

Members of the honor guard, which had been sponsored by the American Legion locally, attend funerals of deceased military or veterans, where they play Taps; fold and present flags; and even provide a 21-gun salute, when appropriate.

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Roger Miller, has served his community and fallen service members for nearly two years.  “Ever since I joined the honor guard two years ago, our numbers would always fluctuate between a good amount and a small group of members,” he said. “We started off with the American Legion in Elizabethton, but after the program was shut down we moved over to the VFW in Johnson City and started an honor guard over there.”

The VFW helped tremendously. “They were able to purchase the weapons needed for the 21 gun salute, making things so much less of a hassle for us,” Miller said.

Recently, the group has started working with the Disabled American Veterans in Bluff City as well.

“We went over to the DAV because we knew that at times they could be short-staffed,” Miller said. “… (We are) helping them by sending some of our members whenever they are needed.”

Miller said about five local veterans participate in the honor guard. “We do this to show respect and honor those active duty members or veterans who have finished life on Earth.”