One of the many duties I performed during my 25 years as a Soldier was serving, on two occasions, as NCOIC of what is now called a “core-elements” funeral detail. Any veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States of America is entitled to such honors. Neither of the two Soldiers at whose funeral I so honorably served had fallen in service, nor had they retired from 20+ years of service to Our Nation. I don’t even know if either of them served in combat. So long as they served honorably, it didn’t matter. They were comrades in arms, and it was my privilege and duty to honor their service.
As NCOIC of these two details, it was my distinct honor and privilege to present to my fallen comrade’s next-of-kin, as a conclusion to the military honors we had rendered, the flag we had properly folded, as a symbol of Our Nation’s gratitude.