New York Army National Guard SPC Ramon Rodriquez renders a salute to Army Veteran Osborne Haynes.

Honor guards perform 12,271 military funerals

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By S. Edward Boselly, theOlympian.com

LATHAM, N.Y. – New York Army and Air National Guard honor guards conducted military funerals for 12,019 families across New York as of Dec. 23, and expect to perform another 252 military funerals – for a total of 12,271 before 2017 begins.

The New York Army National Guard’s Military Force Honor Guard performed 10,085 of these funerals. New York Air National Guard Wing Honor Guards conducted 1,934 funeral services.

The Army National Guard teams expect to perform 193 more funerals before Jan. 1, 2017. New York Air National Guard honor guards anticipate conducting another 59 funerals by Dec.31.

In 2015, the New York National Guard honor guards performed 10,692 military funerals. The Army National Guard conducted 8,725 services, while the Air National Guard performed funeral services 1,967 times.

In 2014 New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen conducted military funerals for 11,365 families.

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Since 2000, federal law has mandated that any military veteran who did not receive a dishonorable discharge from the armed forces is eligible for military honors at his or her funeral.

The ceremony must include the folding and presenting of the flag of the United States to the veteran’s survivors and the playing of Taps.

Because of the demand for funeral services, the Army authorizes the use of an electronic bugle. The Soldier raises a bugle to his lips and pushes a button and an electronic device plays Taps.

The size of the detail varies from a minimum of two service members to nine or more personnel for deceased service members who retired from the military after a full career or were awarded medals for valor.

At least one of the honor guard members must belong to the service the deceased service member had served in.

By S. Edward Boselly, theOlympian.com

Keep in touch. Subscribe to Ameriforce’s FREE digital editions.  Focus topics include: Military News    Spouses   Deployment   Finance   Relocation   Veterans   Health & Benefits