Local Honor Guard resuming military funerals, aiming to give fallen veterans proper military honors

Veterans Voices

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — For the past 13 years, the Blair Honor Guard has conducted nearly 2,000 military services for Veterans in our region.

Once the COVID-19 restrictions began, they had to put them on hold. However, they have been back on full time this month, and have often been conducting a ceremony each day.

“Well they certainly bring an honor of the military to the service,” said John Smith, Funeral Director of the Leslie-Miller Funeral Home.

At the Leslie-Miller Funeral Home in Claysburg Wednesday, the Honor Guard helped remember Air Force Veteran Alvin Stombaugh. They were joined by a flag-detail from the Air Force.

“It seems to help when we do the honors, gives the family something in return, that’s what we’re here for to help family any way we can and that veteran,” said William Miller, Commander of the Blair County Honor Guard.

Funeral directors say the Honor Guard has had a huge impact on the community.

“They’ve been wonderful, were it not for them, i’m not sure they’d have enough people to do a service,” Smith continued.

While some military services haven’t happened over the past few months, the Honor Guard says they can make up for it now. 

“All the families have to do is contact the funeral directors and let them know since they didn’t get military services they would like to have them now after the fact. we will come and do the military honors the veterans deserves,” Commander William Miller adds.

To request a military service, or to volunteer to join the Blair Honor Guard, visit their Facebook page.

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