Honor Guard Provides Unique Opportunity
(April 28, 2011)
|PANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS - 4/26/2011) -- The
hurried commotion of people chatting and finding their seats
overwhelms the room. A group of five people stand in the
background; not one Airman says a word and all stand tall
Members of the 52nd Fighter Wing Honor Guard prepare to present the colors at a retirement ceremony April 22, 2011, at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.
These five Airmen are silent for a purpose. They are the color guard
detail for the retirement ceremony of a service member who has spent
23 years serving his country; they are a part of the 52nd Fighter
Wing Honor Guard.
"There is a lot of pride associated with
the honor guard," said Staff Sgt. Louis Dymon, the 52nd Equipment
Maintenance Squadron and 52nd FW Honor Guard assistant NCO in
charge. "We represent the Air Force whenever we perform, so we take
our responsibilities very seriously.
"We have the opportunity
to visit many military memorials across Europe and present the
colors or provide a firing party to honor the fallen," he said.
The honor guard presents the colors twice a year at the
American Cemetery, where Gen. George S. Patton is buried alongside
5,075 other American service members who gave their lives for their
country during World War II.
"It is an honor to give back to the families of veterans,"
Sergeant Dymon said. "Their family member served their
country and many gave their lives overseas, so it is the
least we can do to show our gratefulness for their service."
The 52nd FW Honor Guard is responsible for
supporting northern Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium,
Luxembourg and northern France. They can be called to
perform at memorial services, funerals, promotion ceremonies
Whether the ceremony is a routine
wing promotion or a special opportunity to represent the
U.S. Air Force to the European community, the honor guard
will be there.
"Some of the events we cover allow us
to present the colors alongside World War II re-enactors,"
said Senior Airman Caleb Werdehausen, a 52nd Component
Maintenance Squadron and honor guard member. "They have
vintage U.S. Army uniforms, weapons and vehicles, which lets
you experience history in a completely unique way."
However, maintaining the manpower necessary to support these
events requires constant recruiting and training of new
"It doesn't matter if you are an airman or a
major, we welcome anyone who is interested in the honor
guard," Sergeant Dymon said.
New honor guardsmen must
learn new drill disciplines, including how to carry weapons
and flags, and perform as part of a larger team.
"Being a member of the honor guard requires discipline,"
Sergeant Dymon said. "But that discipline is essential to
the professionalism we display whenever we perform."
Article and photo by Sr. Airman Nathanael Callon
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Air Force News
Comment on this article