Greenville’s Legion Honor Guard accepting members


By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 9:24 pm on Friday, January 25, 2013

The Legion Honor Guard in Greenville is looking to recruit veterans to help honor living and fallen veterans. The team usually has about 15 people, but is currently down to seven. Picture, from left to right, are members Gene Jury, Charlie Riker, Tang Splan, Lewis Staffen, Chuck Stephens, Tony Kasperek and Bob Forton.

 

GREENVILLE — The Legion Honor Guard in Greenville is looking for new members to help carry on the tradition of honoring living and past veterans.

According to Chuck Stephens, the group is recruiting members because through old age, illness and death, it has lost many of its members.

“The Legion Honor Guard is a team of legionnaires that are primarily in existence to provide military honors for veteran burials,” Stephens said.
Legion Honor Guard member Lewis Staffen said it usually has about 15-16 members, but now the group is down to seven.

At different ceremonies, three members are needed to hold the riffles, two members to hold the flags, one person to act as the chaplin, two members for guards and one sergeant at arms.

“We are hoping to get as many people as we can,” Stephens said, noting the group would like to have enough people to join for two teams.

Outside of honoring fallen veterans at funerals, the Legion Honor Guard provides flags to veteran grave sites on Memorial Day around Greenville and flags to local schools to do flag-raising ceremonies for students.

Also, the group holds a flag burning on Flag Day to dispose of unusable flags.

“It’s a good time,” Staffen said, of the times he spends with the members in the honor guard.

Any veteran who has served in the military before the year 1990 is eligible to join.

“The future relies on the younger generations,” said member Gene Jury, noting the importance of having younger veterans join to take over the future of the group.“It’s an honor for us to be doing this.”

For more information on joining the Legion Honor Guard, visit the American Legion Post located at 1320 W. Washington.

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