The primary mission of The American Legion Neal Thomas Jr. Centennial Post 209 honor guard is to support Final Honors for our veterans, which is then followed by supporting our Post and our community. The members of the honor guard showed very strong support in all mission areas by supporting 69 events during the 2023 calendar year. Of the 70 events supported, 55 of those events were Final Honors for our veterans, five presentation of colors events for our Post and our community, two ceremonies at Pikes Peak National Cemetery supporting Memorial Day and Wreaths Across America, one Celebration of Life ceremony, and two parades (4th of July and Veterans Day).
One member of the honor guard stands out in providing support to our veterans, our Post and our community – Bill Thomas. Bill joined the honor guard in August 2021 when answering a call for anyone willing to support even just one event a month, because that one event might be the one that the honor guard cannot support without another available member. This year, Bill has become much more than a “one event a month” honor guard member. Out of the 70 events the honor guard supported in 2023, Bill supported 48 of those events. Final Honors for our veterans accounted for 44 of the events, 80% of the total Final Honors performed by the honor guard. Bill was that one “available member” for 24 of those Final Honors, ensuring those veterans received the honors they earned and deserved. Our veterans, our Post and our community are very lucky to have Bill as a member of The American Legion Neal Thomas Jr. Centennial Post 209 honor guard.