Sustainers, Transporters render funeral honors
August 16, 2010
FORT KNOX, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2010) - Members of Fort Knox's 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and 233rd Transportation Company recently provided funeral honors in the states of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and a portion of West Virginia.
The Soldier's participation from July 26 - August 9 provided dignified military funeral honors to departed Veterans.
Led by Master Sgt. Cornelius Smith, the funeral honors detail sought to bring comfort to Families affected by the death of a loved one.
"Our teams with the 3d ESC and 233rd were responsible for providing proper military funeral honors to veterans in our areas of responsibility," said Smith, a Greeleyville, S.C. native and supply and services noncommissioned officer with the 3d ESC. "This detail was a great way to honor Veterans who have served in our ranks."
The Soldiers began their initial funeral honors training on June 21, in which they learned the proper etiquettes and movements required to perform during a military funeral. This included the Soldiers learning where to stand during a ceremony, and the proper way to fold the American flag. Smith also mentioned that the Soldiers received training to teach them how to deal with Family members during their time of grief.
For the two units, the funeral detail consisted of 30 two-person teams, with 13 Soldiers from the 3d ESC and 17 from the 233rd Trans. Co. The teams were on - call 24 hrs a day, including weekends. Each team consisted of a noncommissioned officer and a junior enlisted Soldier.
During the ceremony, one Soldier was responsible for presenting an American flag to a Veteran's Family member while the other Soldier was responsible for the playing of taps.
Overall, 1st Sgt. Jonathan Napier, a Yatesville, Ga., native and headquarters and headquarters company first sergeant with the 3d ESC, said he was very pleased with the detail's performance.
"What better way to pay tribute to our fallen Veterans than to honor them in this manner. This truly speaks volumes to the levels in which our Soldiers perform on a daily basis."
While performing during the ceremony, each Soldier was graded on his/her performance by the ceremony's funeral director. Smith said it made him proud to know that all of the 3d ESC's and 233rd Trans. Co. teams received excellent reviews as well as many personal comments.
"We did honors once during our recent cycle and I received a phone call afterwards from a retired sergeant major that was part of the Family, complementing our Soldiers work," said Smith. "That type of compliment made the whole funeral honors detail worthwhile for myself and the Soldiers."
Photos and story by Sgt. Michael Behlin, 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) public affairs.
For queries, contact 3d Sustainment Command Public Affairs at: (502) 624-8601.
For high-resolution photos and stories by the 3d Sustainment Command, please contact the Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System by calling (678) 421-6612 or access them online at http://www.dvidshub.net/units/3sce.