Formed in 1991 for the sole purpose of providing military funerals, the Campbell County Honor Guard has come a long way since its inception. In its first year, there were only around 10 retirees who performed just a few funerals. Now honor guard members perform over 100 funerals a year. The CC Honor Guard mainly serves counties in East Tennessee.
Members are all honorably discharged veterans from the various branches of the service, according to honor guard photographer and member Jim Robbins, who is retired from the Navy.
The honor guard and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) also go to churches and schools to demonstrate the proper way to retire and bury a flag.
“We go to Valley View and explain what the flag means to the kids and show them the proper burial method; it’s just tradition,” Robbins said.
Electing officers is another tradition of the honor guard and DAV, which they did in June.
Though the honor guard and the DAV work as a team, they each elect officers separately amongst themselves, according to Robbins. In the honor guard, Don Chadwick, Navy, was elected as commander. John Cooper, Army, was elected as the 1st Vice Commander, Gene Browning, Air Force was elected as the Adjutant, and Ray Paul, Army, was elected as the Treasurer. Ovid Bolton, Army, was elected as the Chaplain and Jim Young, Navy, was elected as the Sergeant at Arms.
In the DAV unit, Poe Bostic, Marine Corps, was elected as the Commander, Ray Paul, was elected as the 1st Vice Commander, Bob Andreas, Army, was elected as the 2nd Vice Commander, Chuck Morgan, Navy, was elected as the Adjutant and Kevin Walden, Air Force was elected as the Treasurer. Don Chadwick was elected as the Chaplain and LeRoy Morgan, Navy, was elected as the Sergeant at Arms.
At each funeral, the CC Honor Guard provides a 21-gun salute, which is one of the highest military honors. The honor guard also posts the colors for each branch of the military, as well as folding and presenting the flag to the veteran’s loved ones.
“We just try to work together to honor the veterans in the manner they deserve,” Robbins said.