New York Army National Guard Honor Guard Participated in 10,175 Military Funerals in 2012

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A New York Army National Guard Honor Guard member sounds Taps with an electronic bugle.

LATHAM, NY (01/03/2013)(readMedia)-- The New York Army National Guard's Honor Guard participated in 10,175 funerals for veterans in 2012.

In a December 25, 2012 press release Honor Guard coordinator Don Roy estimated that the New York Army National Guard's honor guard would participate in 10,200 funerals by the end of 2012.

In 2011, the Honor Guard participated in 10,752 funerals, while in 2010 the Honor Guard performed 10,415 military funerals.

Any veteran, with an honorable discharge, whether they served during peacetime or wartime, whether they retired after a full military career or not, is entitled to military honors at their funeral.

Since the program started in 1999, the New York Military Forces Honor Guard has provided services at more than 100,000 military funerals.

Federal law requires that at least two Honor Guard members, from the parent service of the deceased, be present to play taps, fold and present a flag to the next of kin for all former Soldiers when requested by the family or a designated representative.

For most of those funerals, the Honor Guard sends three members whenever possible. Soldiers killed in action, general officers, retired general officers, retired sergeants major and Medal of Honor holders require many more Soldiers.

The Honor Guard's primary function is to provide military honors at the funerals of Army, Army Reserve, Army Air Corps, and Army National Guard Veterans, Roy said. The Honor Guard will fill in when the other services cannot provide military honors if time permits, he said.

Honor Guard Soldiers go through a week-long training program before they go out into the community to represent the Army and the Army National Guard.