Honor Guard helps AF memorial dedication weekend run smoothly

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Madelyn Waychoff
  • USAF Honor Guard Public Affairs
Members of the United States Air Force Drill Team perform during the Air Force open house at the Pentagon Saturday.

The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard was well represented at the Air Force Memorial dedication Oct. 14 and 15. In addition to the living and breathing Ceremonial Guardsmen, a 15-foot, bronzed statue of an Honor Guard color team forever guards the site.

The tasks performed by the "living" Guardsmen varied from the narration of the dedication and wreath laying by Staff Sgt. Trey Goodwin, Honor Guard technical school instructor, to the escort and briefing of the official part by Capt. Derek Ketelsen, Honor Guard director of operations, to a four-person color team, 16-person cordon, four distinguished wives escorts and a wreath bearer.

"I was just so glad to be a part of it," said Airman 1st Class Cameron Jones, Air Force Memorial cordon member. "It was such an important event. It meant a lot to me to be chosen to be a part of the only dedication ceremony this memorial will ever have. When I think about it now, I get goosebumps."

Before Airman Jones watched the official party walk through the cordon, Captain Ketelsen briefed them, as concisely as possible, where to be, where to move and when each cue was.

"You know when a brief has gone well when no one has any questions," he said. "So, I believe the briefs went very well. When I briefed the president, I only spoke for 45 seconds. This was very humbling for me, it was a great opportunity and a once in a lifetime event to be part of."

In addition to the support from the Honor Guard, Col. Richard Perry, 11th Wing Operations Group commander, was the escort for the first lady, Laura Bush. In response to his participation in the dedication ceremony, Colonel Perry said he was honored and proud to escort the first lady on a historical occasion such as the Air Force Memorial Dedication.