BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET)— While they’re with us, we show our gratitude to the brave men and women who fought for our freedom. The same is true when they are gone. While they make it look effortless, one group of soldiers works hard, making sure our deceased veterans receive a solemn, final salute.
It takes practice, teamwork and focus. They help veterans live on in our memory, honoring those who’ve gone before them. Sgt. Kevin Curley, Sgt. Taylor and Sgt. Tyler Weichel are members of the North Dakota Army National Guard, and serve on the Honor Guard.
“It’s providing closure to the family who just lost a loved one right there,” said Sgt. Kevin Curley.
Sgt. Kevin Curley, a nine-year veteran, said serving as an Honor Guard member connects him to history. “I wanted to join the honor guard because I wanted to pay back everyone who served before me,” Curley said.
14-year veteran Sgt. Tyler Weichel joined the National Guard after being inspired by his veteran parents. He said he and his military brethren work to make sure they carry out their duty with military precision. “A lot of families and people in the crowd don’t see it that often,” Weichel said,
Sgt. Taylor Lagro has spent nearly 7 years in the guard. Lagro, like Sergeants Weichel and Curley, recognizes the significance of military funeral honors and his role in them. A lot of pride, a lot of pride, just knowing that you’re doing something that matters,” Lagro said.
So far, the three sergeants have been a part of more than 650 funerals.
Sgt. Weichel pointed out the Honor Guard practices on a regular basis, in order to help calm nerves and master the technique, specifically, “the folds, for sure. It just seems people get hung up on how to properly fold the flag to make it look that crisp triangle,” Weichel said.
After hours of practice, when the time comes to carry out their duty, the Honor Guard will be “Always ready, always there.” “We do our best. We train every day and we want to make every moment perfect for the family,” Curley said.