As submitted to the May 2015 issue of Military Officer by Chaplain Andy Meverden
Through his quick thinking – and his knowledge of military lore – a chaplain in the Army National Guard is able to keep a Vietnam veteran’s burial honors on track.
At the height of the war on terrorism, most military funeral honors for Army veterans were performed by the National Guard. As a Colorado Army National Guard chaplain, I often served as detail leader, folding and presenting the flag to the next of kin.
One day I arrived, per regulation, an hour before the inurnment of a Vietnam veteran. The funeral director pointed out the site of the columbarium and shared specific details of this ceremony. The decedent, a Denver native, had only one surviving brother, who was homeless and mentally ill. The funeral home had helped the brother prepare for the service with a shave, a haircut, and a new suit.