Danville American Legion Honor Guards Honoring Veterans With Final Salute
The magazine BLOOMSBURG NEIGHBORS did an article on the members of the honor guard from Frank W. Sidler Post 40 in Danville, Pa. The goal of the article was to say THANK YOU to all the members.
This honor guard unit is a dedicated group of volunteers who give freely of their time to honor our departed comrades. They are thankful to have Marvin Sassaman, a live bugler. Local records for the area indicate that they are only performing military funeral honors for about 50 percent of all veterans who are eligible for it. One of the goals of this unit is to educate all veterans about this benefit and increase the numbers of military funerals they perform each year. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, members from this unit would attend local community events and hand out pamphlets on military funerals to educate the veterans. They believe that there are four possible reasons for the low number and offer information to help.
1) The veteran does not know they are eligible for it. To be eligible for a free military burial, a veteran must have died while on active duty or must have received a discharge other than dishonorable. Veterans may also be eligible if they were a member of the selected reserve.
2) The veteran and family think there is a cost for a military funeral. DoD will provide military funeral honors at no cost to the family. Families of eligible veterans should request military funeral honors through their funeral director.
3) The veteran never informed their family they wanted a military funeral. Let your family know you desire military funeral honors.
4) The family is unable to find the veteran's discharge papers ( DD 214). Inform your family where your discharge paperwork is. If you lost your paperwork, you can contact your local Veterans Affairs office to help you get a replacement.
Current Honor Guard Members:
Dave Callahan, Commander, Army
Steve Traub, Vice Commander, Air Force
Brad Becker, Chaplain, Sons of The American Legion
Kevin Pursel, Senior Vice Commander for Post 40, Army
Andrew Novi Sr., Past Commander for 8 years, Marine Corps
Marvin Sassaman, Navy
Alex Jordan, Navy & Air Force
Robert "Bob" Kirkner, Army & Army National Guard
Charlie Smith, Army
John Young, Army
Rob Huber, Army
Karl Achy, Army National Guard
Clair Heath, Marine Corps & Army
Dave Barsh, Army
Doug Resseguie, Air Force
Sid Guisbert, Navy