The Honor Guard offers final tributes to passing veterans in our area.
We are supported by the Vietnam Veterans of America - Chapter 349, Disabled American Veterans - Chapter 25, Catholic War Veterans - Post 1182, The Central Montgomery County Veterans Council and many individual veterans and their families.
Families wanting an Honor Guard at a Veteran's burial:
In 1979 the Department of Defense issued an order that established three categories for burial honors: Only active duty and Medal of Honor recipients would be guaranteed to receive full burial honors by the military.
Retirees and veterans may also receive full military honors, "provided resources were available". Unfortunately, resources for a full military service are not available outside Arlington National Cemetery.
That is why we formed this group and are here to fill that need. Families have been most appreciative and impressed with the honor bestowed on their loved ones who served their country in past wars.
Our honor guard has only been together since 2009 but have already provided many area WWII veterans with honors and three volley rifle salutes at their burial service.
Families requesting The Central Montgomery County Honor Guard at a Veteran's burial should first have their funeral director request Military representatives for the flag folding ceremony.
The active duty military will provide this service and sometimes taps from a nearby military base. Military personnel can be seen here enclosing our three empty brass casings into the flag. Each cartridge case symbolizes..
DUTY - HONOR - COUNTRY
This service is FREE and all funeral directors are familiar with the procedure. It also includes someone to play "Taps".
After the funeral director arranges for the flag folding service, email us at the address below providing your best phone contact number and details.
Once requested, we contact our volunteers. We will call you back with a confirmation that enough members are available to salute the casket and fire three volleys at your burial service.
We also present the traditional three empty brass cartidges to the family after the folded flag.
At this time we are just performing the tribute at cemeteries in the Central Montgomery County area. We are not available for viewings or funeral church services.
Veterans Interested in Volunteering
for the Honor Guard:
We are looking to recruit a few good men and women. If you would be willing to volunteer and join our group, please email or call us.
Membership in the Honor Guard is restricted to honorably discharged veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States. Proof is required through submission of a DD Form 214 or discharge papers along with a completed membership application provided by the chairman.
There is no permanent obligation. If you are available when called, great. You may only be needed once a month. Most burials are mid-day during the week and last about an hour.
Both men and women veterans are encouraged to join us. We are a diversified group from all races and religions.
If you are a veteran willing to carry and fire a rifle, then we need you.
Initially, members are requested to provide their own white dress shirt, plain black trousers and black shoes.
We will issue you a regular military black beret with blue flash to which you can attach your own military division or unit crest.
Once you volunteer for at least two events, we will issue you a new special white uniform shirt with flag patch for the left shoulder.
You can apply another veterans organization patch or previous unit patch on the right shoulder.
We have black winter jackets in all sizes now available to loan just for ceremonies. We also provide military white honor guard gloves.
If interested, any member of the Honor Guard can order his own customized jacket from us.
Members are asked to provide phone numbers and emails so they can be called about 72 hours in advance with time, place and details.
No prior drill training is necessary. We always meet a half hour before the burial and practice a few times before we are needed.
One member always acts as a leader and gives all the appropriate commands. You will, of course, be required to fire blanks from a military bolt action rifle, usually a 1903 Springfield or an M1 Garand. We provide a safety check and blank ammunition. You will also be required to learn a few basic drill commands.
If you are unable to respond due to prior obligations, we will call down the list until about five to seven members are available. Our goal is have about 50 members on the call list, so at least a few can respond when needed.
Burials are usually around noon on weekdays. We also shoot on Memorial Day and other special occasions.
Our group also has authentic war artifacts such as boots, helmets, rifles, military equipment and even a real military Jeep for memorial displays and special occasions.
Whatever your veteran affiliation, we want you to be a part of this patriotic group. It will give you a chance to serve again as you proudly did before. If you would be willing to volunteer and join our group, please email us.
Want to hold pieces of history?
Here is your chance. Our Honor Guard uses original World War One '03 Rock Island Springfield Rifles and World War Two M-1 Garands, called "The Greatest Battle Implement Ever Devised" by General George S. Patton.
We are in need of uniforms and equipment for our volunteers on a continuing basis. If you would like to make a tax deductable donation to the Honor Guard in memory of a deceased Veteran, make your check payable to V V A 349.
Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 349 is a non-profit 501(C)3 Veterans Organization chartered by Congress.
Although we accept donations through the V V A, we are individual veterans and members of various other veterans organizations. Please specify that it is to be used to help the Honor Guard. Mail your donations to:
V V A 349 Honor Guard
PO Box 337
Blue Bell PA 19422-0337