DVIDS – News – Naval Reserve Center Riverside Funeral Honor Guard answers the call

By Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Elizabeth Mendez, Navy Reserve Center Riverside

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The mission of the Naval Reserve Center (NRC) Riverside Funeral Honor Guard is to be the link between surviving family members, the deceased, and the United States Navy. The Funeral Honor Guard has not missed a funeral service in over 10 years and continues to be the most trusted funeral honor guard in the US Navy Southwest Region.

Each member of the NRC team is responsible, professional and exhibits exceptional military demeanor. They are proud to serve and they are there to support their family members around the world in times of need.

“Providing funeral honors to local families and friends who were left behind by our deceased shipmates is one of our primary missions,” said Cmdr. Christian Dumlao, Commanding Officer of NRC Riverside. “We consider it an honor and a privilege to provide this service and we take this work very seriously. It is the least we can do for four of our brothers and sisters in arms who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our great nation.”

The Funeral Honor Guard consists of 27 members who support funerals in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Each member is qualified to render appropriate military honours, a function which includes: directing detail as officer in charge or non-commissioned officer in charge; serve as a bearer for airside honours; sounding Taps like bugle; fold the American flag; and serve as a presenting agent.

The team arrives onsite 30-45 minutes before each service to liaise and coordinate with family members, funeral directors and other service members to ensure a seamless ceremony. The Funeral Honor Guard attends an average of 100 funeral services per month, and in 2021 the team performed over 1,000 services.

“The best thing about the funeral honor guard is the opportunity to tap dance for our veterans,” said Capt Phong Vu, NRC’s presenting officer at Riverside. sacrifice to our great nation. Everything is done to the highest military standards. Uniforms must be clean and exceed standards. Repetition and practice make perfect. Military customs and the wishes of loved ones are the foundation of our ceremonies.

One of the team’s most memorable services in 2021 was for Signalman 1st Class Eugene Skaggs, who served aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma during the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. . The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of Skaggs and 428 of his USS Oklahoma comrades.

Early last year, Skaggs’ remains were identified by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) and exhumed from one of 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as of Punchbowl, Honolulu. , to be transferred to Riverside, California, to be laid to a dignified final rest.

The NRC Riverside Funeral Honor Guard supported his arrival at the airport in Ontario, Calif. with aircraft side honors and rendered full military honors at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, Calif. , August 13, 2021. The funeral honor guard was honored to be charged with the solemn responsibility of bringing home a deceased shipmate who had served honorably and faithfully.

“I joined the funeral honors team in 2017, as a junior sailor and it was a decision I would recommend to any sailor, regardless of rank or experience,” said construction mechanic Jose Ruiz. 2nd class. “During my tenure with the team, I have been exposed to a plethora of situations that have only progressed me and enhanced my abilities as a professional, a sailor, a leader and a person in general. I have reached a position in my career where I now guide junior sailors, I often recommend participating in the funeral honor guard Sailors can gain valuable knowledge while serving and honoring those who have gone before us, who wore the uniform that we are all so proud to wear.”

There is no end date for the NRC Funeral Honor Guard mission. The Funeral Honor Guard will always be ready and ready to support you – anytime, anywhere.

“It is one of my greatest honors to serve alongside my shipmates to give these families peace of mind after the death of their loved ones,” said Technical Seaman Payton Belle, Cryptologic Technician . “I like being able to work closely with my teammates who have been around longer than me. Being part of this team is one of the best choices I’ve made.

Date taken: 02.11.2022
Date posted: 17.02.2022 12:58
Story ID: 414855

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