- Karen S. Clymer
My Tribute to Daddy's Oklahoma National Guard Military Funeral Honors Team
The obituary for my Daddy, Floyd N. King, reads like many military veterans, “burial with military honors.” Today I will weave a story of the military funeral honors team, and how they impacted my life forever on that occasion and to impress on us the importance of our privilege and duty to remember them and thank them. Approaching the gravesite that cold March day my heart swells with pride, gratitude and appreciation at the sight of a lone soldier standing at full attention and holding a bugle at his side. Proceeding slowly to the gravesite, I see a second and then a third soldier also standing at full attention. I was overcome with emotion at the sight of these three soldiers who are honoring my daddy, a ninety three old soldier they never knew. Words fail me to adequately express the respect, the honor, the grace and dignity displayed by this U S Military Funeral Honors team.
At the appointed time in the honors ceremony, the bugler plays Taps in the purest and clearest tones I ever heard. As the other two team mates folded the flag perfectly and meticulously memories of the war stories Daddy had related through the years, poured through my heart and memory with the speed of the crisp March wind---stories of the New Hebrides, Guadalcanal, the Fiji Islands, etc. Then, a team member presented the flag to my newly widowed mother as he expressed appreciation for Daddy’s service to the greatest country known to mankind - the USA. Daddy would have been so pleased with the kindness, honor and respect shown to his widow and family on behalf of his service. Suddenly, my mother’s 89 year old brother, Price Akers, a Marine veteran, who is seated beside her, gives this young soldier a crisp salute, his way of expressing his thanks and appreciation for an honors ceremony expertly done. Military Funeral Honors team(s), thank you for honoring our loved one(s). You have won my respect and you have won my heart. You do not forget them; We will not forget you. Thank you U S Military for continuing to teach the utmost respect and appreciation for fallen comrades to our soldiers.
The Military Funeral Honors teams are volunteers and are trained by members of The Old Guard Military Funeral Honors Soldiers, the precision soldiers that guard The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. They practice daily so that they may provide the best honor for the best soldiers in history, our United States veterans. Speech written and delivered by Karen S. Clymer @ The Lawton Satanta Toastmasters on 9/20
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