U.S. Air Force Honor Guard remembers fallen

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Preston Webb
  • 11th Wing Public Affairs
The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard traveled to Colorado May 22, 2015, to participate in a series of performances and ceremonies spanning Memorial Day weekend.

Events included remembrance ceremonies at the Colorado Freedom Memorial; 40th Annual Territory Days, a weekend-long street festival for Memorial Day; and the 51st Annual Memorial Day Parade in Commerce City, Colorado. They also performed a community outreach drill display during a Colorado Rockies game at Coors Field.

For the ceremonies, the Honor Guard provided flag details, wreath layings, firing parties, drill displays and cordons for veterans as they arrived.

"This trip is to honor our fallen heroes and veterans," said Chief Master Sgt. Shane Rose, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Standardizations and Evaluations Flight superintendent. "We also have our outreach program, meant to recruit, retain and inspire individuals, past and present, for the United States Air Force."

The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard's primary mission is supporting Arlington National Cemetery. They also support various ceremonies for the President of the United States, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force and other high-level personnel within the National Capital Region.

"The honor guard's level of skill and precision is unmatched," Rose said.

"A lot of individuals in these areas don't have a constant view of a unit with a full-time ceremonial mission like we have. When they ask for support, they normally get a Veterans of Foreign Wars post or a local base" Rose said. "Everyone's been very impressed and surprised with the level we can perform at. It's an outstanding feeling and it's very humbling."

Numerous days, weeks and even months of training go into perfecting each routine. It takes approximately one year of training to become a fully-fledged member of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard.

"Determination and dedication are a necessity for the Honor Guard to accomplish its mission. The sheer amount of effort that goes into training every day is exhausting," said Andrew Stewart, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard member.

But, there is more to the unit than showcasing to the public.

"My favorite part about honor guard is being on the firing line," Stewart said. "Seeing the fired rounds handed off to the family as a physical sign of their loved one's service is really humbling."

The Honor Guard remembers the men and women who came before them, those who gave up their livelihood, and even their very lives, defending their Nation throughout the years.

"There's nothing that can compare to honoring our fallen Airmen," Rose said. "Ask any of our guardsmen, whether their Base or Air Force Honor Guard, and they'll tell you what hits you the most is honoring our fallen heroes. Nothing compares to it."