Honor Guard

More from this show

Meet a group of men who honor veterans “every” day through their work on the Veterans of Foreign Wars State Honor Guard.

VO: THE SIDE STATE ROUTE 90, ABOUT 12 MILES FROM MEXICO, IS A MONUMENT TO THE FORT HUACHUCA. TODAY A HIGH-TECH TRAINING FACILITY, BUT ALSO A KEY OUTPOST IN ARIZONA HISTORY. FOUNDED IN 1877 AS A TEMPORARY CAMP, CAMP HUACHUCA PROTECTED MINERS, RANCHERS, AND TRAVELERS AGAINST APACHE ATTACK. AFTER GERONIMO SURRENDERED IN 1886, THE FORT PROTECTED THE BORDER. AND IN 1915, IT SUPPORTED GENERAL BLACKJACK PERSHING'S EXPEDITION AGAINST PANCHO VILLA. A STATUE AT THE FORT CELEBRATES BLACK SOLDIERS WHO SERVED HERE FIRST IN 1892, AND CONTINUOUSLY SINCE 1913. THE 10TH CALVARY NICKNAMED THE BUFFALO SOLDIERS WERE SENT HERE. 1942, THE FIRST ALL-BLACK DIVISION WAS STATIONED HERE. FORT HUACHUCA HAS A LONG DISTINGUISHED SUPPORT OF ARIZONA.
TED SIMONS: BEHIND ME ARE 10 BLOCKS OF GRANITE ENGRAVED WITH THE NAMES OF THE 613-ARIZONANS WHO WERE KILLED OR MISSING IN ACTION IN VIETNAM. THROUGHOUT THE PLAZA HERE YOU'LL FIND MEMORIALS TO SOLDIERS KILLED IN THE KOREAN WAR AND BOTH WORLD WARS, AND TO MEN AND WOMEN WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR PUBLIC SERVICE SUCH AS POLICE AND FIREFIGHTERS. PAYING HONOR IS CERTAINLY SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT ON MEMORIAL DAY. RECENTLY WE MET A GROUP OF MEN WHO HONOR VETERANS "EVERY" DAY THROUGH THEIR WORK ON THE VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS STATE HONOR GUARD.
PETE ROSALES: MY NAME IS PETE ROSALES. I'M THE COMMANDER OF THE HONOR GUARD AT THE NATIONAL CEMETERY. I STARTED IN 1964. I GOT OUT IN 1970. '71 I JOINED THE ARMY. I RETIRED FROM THE ARMY IN 2002. I AM A MILITARY PERSON. THAT'S BEEN MY LIFE. I CAN'T SAY I ENJOY IT, BUT IT'S AN HONOR TO BE HERE AND DO THIS FOR OUR VETERANS. THE HONOR GUARD PROVIDES HONOR TO OUR VETERANS. WE SUPPORT THE OTHER BRANCH OF SERVICE WHEN THEY DON'T HAVE A RIFLE TEAM OR BUGLER OR CHAPLAIN. WE PROVIDE ALL OF THAT. WE ARE IN SUPPORT OF THE BRANCH OF SERVICES. WE'LL DO A RIFLE VOLLEY. READY, AIM, FIRE. TAPS WILL BE PLAYED. THEN WE FOLD THE FLAG AND PRESENT THE FLAG TO THE NEXT OF KIN. WHEN THEY WERE MOBILIZING FOR IRAQ, WE USED TO DO THE WHOLE SERVICE, FOLD AND PRESENT THE FLAG BECAUSE THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH MANPOWER BECAUSE THEY WERE ALL BEING DEPLOYED. SINCE THEY ARE BACK ALREADY, THEY DO THE DUTIES OF FOLDING AND PRESENTING THE FLAG. WE STILL PRESENT THEM. WE HAVE ONE MEMBER THAT WAS HERE WHEN HE RECRUITED ME. HE'S BEEN HERE 15 YEARS. I HAVE BEEN HERE 14 YEARS. YOU CAN'T EXPLAIN IT. IT COMES FROM THE HEART. ALL OF THESE PEOPLE IN MY SQUAD, THEY ARE HERE BECAUSE THEY FEEL THE SAME WAY. WE ARE ALL VOLUNTEERS. THEY FEEL THE SAME WAY OR WOULDN'T BE HERE. I WILL STEP UP AND PRESENT THREE SHELLS FIRED TO HONOR, SOLUTE AND BID FAREWELL TO THE VETERAN. IT'S AN HONOR TO BE HERE. IF YOU HAVE SEEN -- WHICH OBVIOUSLY, YOU HAVEN'T SEEN YOUR BROTHER OR COMRADE FALL IN THE HEAT OF BATTLE, WHICH IS SOMETHING YOU WILL NEVER FORGET, IT'S PARTLY FOR THEM TOO. YOU ARE NEVER FORGOTTEN. WE ARE HERE EVERYDAY FOR A MONTH, EVERY THIRD MONTH. WE HAVE DONE OVER 5,000 CEREMONIES. THIS AREA OVER HERE WAS NOTHING BUT DESERT, PLAIN AREA. NOW IT'S FULL. WE ARE HERE ASSEMBLED TO PAY A LASTING TRIBUTE OF RESPECT TO OUR DEPARTING COMRADE. WE ARE FILLING UP SO QUICK. WE HAVE OVER 80,000 INTERNMENTS HERE. WE HAVE SOME WORLD WAR I VETERANS HERE, NOT TOO MANY. THERE ARE A LOT OF WORLD WAR II VETERANS. THERE ARE MORE KOREAN WAR VETERANS. THERE ARE MORE VIETNAM VETERANS. WE HAVE SOME IRAQI FREEDOM. SOME AFGHANISTAN ENDURING FREEDOM. WE NEVER GET USED TO IT. EACH CEREMONY IS DIFFERENT. WHEN I SEE THE FAMILY, LITTLE CHILDREN CRY AND SAY DADDY, GRANDPA, THAT BRINGS A TEAR TO MY EYE. THERE IS SOMETHING THAT MAYBE A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T UNDERSTAND. THESE ARE OUR COMRADES, OUR COMRADES, AND THESE PEOPLE HERE PRESERVED OUR FREEDOM, AND IF THEY GO WITHOUT HONORS, IT MEANS WE HAVE FORGOT 'EM. WE HAVEN'T FORGOT 'EM. WE WANT TO PROVIDE ULTIMATE HONORS FOR THEM AND THEIR FAMILY. THAT'S WHY THEY RECEIVE A FLAG. IT'S THEIR FLAG. THEY EARNED IT. THEY PRESERVE THEIR FREEDOM WHICH WE ENJOY TODAY. WE SHOULD THANK FRIENDS AND FAMILY FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO BID OUR COMRADE A FINAL FAREWELL. I'M GOING TO BE DOING UNTIL MY LAST BREATH. I WANT TO STAY HERE AS LONG AS I CAN. FAREWELL, COMRADE. FAREWELL.
TED SIMONS: THAT'S IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS SPECIAL MEMORIAL DAY EDITION OF ARIZONA HORIZON. FOR ALL OF US AT ARIZONA-PBS YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson
airs Feb. 23

The Highwaymen: Live at Nassau Coliseum

A cute little duckling with text reading: Arizona PBS Ducks in a Row Event
March 6

Getting Your Ducks in a Row to Avoid Conflict When You Are Gone

gospel-live-presented-by-henry-louis-gates-jr.
aired Feb. 9

Gospel Live! Presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

A photo of Henry Louis Gates Jr. and photos of his books

Join the all new PBS Books Readers Club!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters

STAY in touch
with azpbs.org!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: