“I’ve never been deployed, and only been the field and the range a handful of times. Infantrymen at the Old Guard have it way different than line units, you’re lucky if you get to do anything Infantry like. As soon as you get to Myer, you go through ROP, (Regimental Orientation Program) it’s basically a 3 week course on house to press, pin, preform rifle manual, and march. Its a base completely centered around D&C, funerals, big wig retirement ceremonies, Cordons, and wreaths at the Tomb. If it requires a dress uniform we probably do it.
They put me in a MA company (Memorial Affairs). We escorted caskets from the chapel/transfer site to the grave. My first mission I held back tears, my second it was still hard but it got easier.
A few weeks later we buried a KIA, that one hit harder than any funeral. But now, the only hard part is fighting the wizard. You get numb to seeing crying families. Sometimes I feel awful, because I don’t feel anything. You certainly feel bad, the person you’re burying is a brother. It’s an unexplainable feeling.
Guys at the Old Guard don’t see combat, they only deploy once a conflict so they can get a streamer on the Reggies. You get NCOs who talk about how chill it is, like it’s a vacation. But none of the lower enlisted guys joined for this.
When you get down to it, the job is easy, stand there in a hot uniform. Don’t move, squeeze your ass cheeks together, and take deep breaths so you don’t smack your face on a head stone or eat grass.
After doing this for 3 years, I’ve grown to hate funerals. I’ve told my family that if I die before them, don’t have a funeral for me.”
– Anonymous US Soldier. 3rd Infantry Regiment, The Old Guard.
This story was documented by Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.