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Participants in founding the Honor Guard for American Legion, Post 229 included Alabama House of Representatives Speaker Mac McCutcheon; Mayor Paul Finley; Rep. Mike Ball; Honor Guard members Rick Jarrell, Tommy Whitten and Jean Downs; Sen. Tom Butler; Honor Guard members Bob Kirby and Dan Marr; Sen. Arthur Orr; Honor Guard member Tom McKinney; and Post 229 Commander Larry Vannoy. CONTRIBUTED

American Legion establishes Honor Guard

MADISON – Madison American Legion, Post 229 has established an honor guard with financial assistance from Madison’s state legislative delegation.

“Because of the overwhelming demand for funeral service support from the active duty and reserve military components, based on established rules and availability, departed veterans often times are not provided deserving funeral honors, including a firing squad,” Madison County and Post 229 Commander Larry Vannoy said.

“Unless the veteran is buried in a national cemetery, there is no guarantee that you will receive a full military detail, regardless of your time in service or accomplishments. If they are not available, they cannot fulfill your request. Typically, upon request, the military does provide a flag detail and bugler,” Vannoy said.

The American Legion, and specifically American Legion Post 229, now is providing these services, including casket, American flag folding and presentation to family, rifle detail and bugler. The services are offered at no cost to veterans, independent of their membership in American Legion.

In addition, the honor guard is supporting veteran events including (but not limited to) military parades, Memorial Day events, Veterans Day activities and flag retirement ceremonies.

“Huntsville Post 237 also has an established honor guard,” Vannoy said. “When talking with them, we found they have the same problem of availability of volunteers. Therefore, our two posts are working together to provide better support to our community.”

Legion posts are recruiting applicants for veterans who are interested in association with the honor guard.

Vannoy thanked the City of Madison state legislative delegation. “Due to the initial costs of standing up the honor guard, we approached the City of Madison state legislative representatives, and they generously help provided the initial funding. Without their assistance, we would have not been able to establish the unit.”

The honor guard is available to any honorably discharged veteran. For information, visit americanlegionpost229.org or Huntsville Post 237’s website legion237.com.

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