KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Nearly every day of the year, you can find a group of volunteers standing guard and performing military rites at a veteran’s funeral. This group is known as the honor guard.
It is the honor guard’s goal to offer the last tribute of respect to military veterans.
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Here are six things to know about honor guards in East Tennessee:
— Military funeral honors are provided to any honorably discharged veterans without any regard to sex, race, color, creed, national origin, or military rank.
— Honor guards serve in all weather conditions, any time of the day and without compensation.
— There are a number of costs associated with their service including the cost of uniforms, transportation, ammunition (for 21 gun salute), and flags.
— The average cost to serve at a funeral is $125. This cost is not compensated by any federal or local government, nor is the cost passed on to the family. And this average cost does not include the cost of uniforms.
— It costs as much as $800 to uniform one member of an honor guard and each member covers this cost.
— The four local honor guard units that benefit from the local Operation Hono Guard Day of Giving serve at 550 military funerals each year. At am average cost of $125 each, they will need more than $68,000 to support their efforts for a single year.
Operation Honor Guard is a growing national non-profit organization that provides charitable assistance to organizations working to provide military funerals for veterans and service members. It was founded in Illinois in 2013 and has since begun expanding to other areas. The Knoxville Day of Giving is in its third year and is the only one in Tennessee.
Learn more about Operation Honor Guard and local honor guards
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