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April 17, 2024

WANTED: A few good veterans

Alexander County Veterans’ Honor Guard faces manpower shortage

The Alexander County Veterans’ Honor Guard is facing a hardship this season, and they are hoping other local veterans will help.

Mike Annas, Honor Guard Captain for the Alexander County Veterans Committee (VetCom), is a retired Air Force veteran. He noted that, in the past, the three veterans’ groups had borne the responsibilities of honor guard duty for events and funerals. However, due to the passing of some members, and the declining health of others, the honor guards of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5,466 and 10,000, and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 84, and the color guard of American Legion Post 170 combined forces. This helped for a while and enabled the combined groups to perform military rites at funerals, et cetera.

However, Annas said there just aren’t enough able-bodied veterans organization members to do funerals anymore. There have been as many as 4 to 6 funerals a week to attend (about 80 per year) and most of the veterans are in their 60s, 70s, or 80s.

Now with the VetCom, a new Honor Guard has been established. Annas said this is open to any veteran who would like to volunteer for Honor Guard duty, whether or not the veteran is member of a veteran’s organization. The veterans only need charcoal gray trousers and black socks/shoes. VetCom will provide a tie, shirt, and hat with patch.

If you are a veteran and would be willing to participate, contact Alexander County Veterans Services Officer Ginger Annas by calling 828-632-5411 or Mike Annas at 704-517-2941 (text is
preferred for the latter).

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