To honor with dignity

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kayla White
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing, Public Affairs

Airman 1st Class Julia C. Schultz, assigned to the 157th Force Support Squadron at Pease, has served in the Wing for more than three years. For the last year, she has also served as a member of the Base Honor Guard. Since the beginning of January 2018, the Honor Guard has supported more than 200 funerals.

What is involved in the services provided by the Honor Guard? Taps is played, there is a flag-folding sequence, a flag presentation to the next-of-kin, and then a firing party, when we have the manning to support it.

How are Honor Guard services requested? Families of the military members can request our support through whichever funeral home they are using, then the funeral home will contact us.

How many funerals have you, personally, been involved in? I have worked 105 funerals.

How has your perspective on what it means to you shifted? At first, it seems sad because they're funerals, but then you realize what you're doing for the families in honoring them, and it turns into something different, positive even.

What has been the most memorable service so far? The one I think of most, I would say, is one where I was responsible for playing taps, so I did not see the family at first. As soon as I came up to fold the flag, I recognized a friend from high school. She was the granddaughter of the military member we were honoring that day. We grew up doing marching band together. Having that connection really made it hit home in a different, more personal way.

Why do you think Honor Guard is important? Whether they served one year or had a twenty-year career, it's important that we honor their service to our country.