Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wreath's Across America - Rifle Detail

Parade of Flags
I wanted to share my experience with attending "Wreaths Across America" on December 11, 2010. I was part of the rifle detail to present colors at Golden Gate National Cemetery. Alongside of me were members of SQ18 out of Hayward. 

I had the honor to present these colors and volley a gun salute with Capt Ken Sturgill, Capt Grant McCoy and Cadet Ken Sturgill. Not only was this humbling, it also brought back several memories of previous events to honor the fallen.

Our day began at 0630 at SQ18 and we carpooled to the cemetery. The weather was looking favorable, unlike last year when the participants were rained on. The cadets from SQ18 lead the parade of flags to honor and bring in the dignitaries. It always amazes me with how professional the cadets look and perform the duty. It does bring me hope to know that these are going to be the future. Whether or not they join the military is secondary. What CAP brings them can be used in any capacity throughout their lives.

Rifle Detail
Once the parade of flags was finished, the rifle detail was summoned to present colors. We fired our M-1 rifles into the air and after the third loud burst; we came to attention for presentation of arms. That was amazing and how impressive to know that Cadet Ken Sturgill led us in marching and orders! I was so confident in his parade and marching commands. Although he is only 15, he possesses many traits of a leader and I know he will go far in whatever he chooses to do. This is by the way, to become an Air Force Rescue Paratrooper!

I was glad to see two other members from SQ188; 2d Lt Pat Bitz and our medical officer, Capt Kumar Misra.

I encourage and challenge members of our SQ, to participate in one of the ceremonies to honor those who served. There are several choices. 4th. of July, Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, and now Wreaths Across America.

I wanted to thank Capt Ken Sturgill for allowing me to display arms and march with them during the presentation. I look forward to next year's gathering and I know it will be bigger and better!

2d Lt David Dunham is SQ188's Personnel Officer and is a qualified Mission Observer.

Images courtesy of Capt Kumar Misra and Capt Kenneth Sturgill II.

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