A veteran, hearing people every day thank him or her for their service, is usually wearing a T-shirt, jacket or cap that lets people know that they as veterans are proud to have served.
It is for this same reason that we continue to honor veterans by thanking them for their service at the end of their lives.
Earl M. Collier Post 153 of The American Legion in Olathe, Kan., is currently the largest post in the Department of Kansas. Being the largest post doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to do everything they can for veterans, but they try.
Post 153 has an honor guard and color guard unit dating back almost seven decades. They currently have over 40 post members who make up the guards. The honor guard performs military honors in eastern Kansas and western Missouri.
In 2022, the honor guard provided military honors at veteran funerals almost 70 times. Many of these funerals were provided at the Leavenworth National Cemetery. It is not only the families that show emotion - often the honor guard member who presents the flag to the widow is wrought with tears when they see the tears rolling down the face of the one receiving the flag. The families of the veteran always seem very appreciative of the fact that Post 153 is willing to show this honor come rain or shine.
Many of the rifle squad and the bugler are choked up when hearing taps sounded as the mournful notes are slowly receding in the wind. They often remember friends they lost in combat or who have passed.
The color guard unit posted colors and marched in parades almost 30 times in 2022. They posted colors for the national anthem at the Kansas City Royals baseball games and the Kansas City Chiefs football games. The color guard always demonstrated to the audiences their love of our country and the national emblem, our flag.
So relish the fact that people are sincere when they say, “Thank you for your service.” And know that Post 153’s honor guard will be at the veteran’s funeral to fold the American flag, solemnly present it to a surviving family member, render a rifle salute and sound taps. The veteran’s family will know that Post 153 is saying, “THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!”