David Joseph Dieringer
Tomb PositionAssistant Relief Commander, Sentinel
Highest Military RankE-5, Sergeant
Tomb DatesNov 1975 - Jun 1977
Military DatesJun 1973 - Oct 1977
Society MembershipLifetime Member
Home City / StateChippewa Falls, WI
Current City / StateValparaiso, IN
Tomb ReflectionsI had hundreds of memorable moments at the Tomb because I was privileged to have served in the Presidential Honor Guard and as a tomb sentinel during the Bicentennial year. During that year our country and the Tomb were graced by visits of many of the famous world leaders; i.e. the Queen of England, the Emperor of Japan, and the King of Spain. However, the most memorable visitors to the Tomb for me were the ladies and the old monk.
The Gold Star Mothers had had a scheduled wreath-laying ceremony. A simple affair I had thought. But I didn’t know who they were, so in passing, I inquired what this organization was… I was posted prior to their arrival. They came early… Silent… Respectful… Reverent… The plaza was packed with these “gray-haired” older ladies. As I continued my duty, I realized that these women had already provided the most solemn of sacrifices, the loss of their sons or daughters. I realized during that walk, that just perhaps, I was guarding their children, their sacrifice. My back became straighter, and my resolve became stronger on that day. I also cried with some of those mothers during that tour of duty.
The second was the old monk. It was a cold day! And we know what a cold day means on the plaza. I had seen three small men walking from the lower parking lot area toward the steps. (They were open to the public at that time.) Two of the men were helping the third old man walk and move up the steps. They were dressed in a Buddhist-monk type wear. When the three men reached the top of the steps, the old man knelt in prayerful homage on the granite steps. The other young men retreated to the warmth of the trophy room while the old monk and I prayerfully guarded the Tomb. This Japanese-looking man, one of who had probably been our enemy just thirty years earlier, was helping me pay respect to his fallen adversary. On that cold day, my eyes again watered with respect and honor.
Units & CampaignsCompany C, 1st Battalion, 27th Inf. 25th Division (The Wolfhounds)
Company E, (Honor Guard) 3rd U.S. Inf. (The Old Guard)
Awards & DecorationsNational Defense Service Medal
Good Conduct Medal
Tomb Guard Identification Badge
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Did you know?
Do you guard all night long, even when the cemetery is closed?
The Tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In fact, there has been a Sentinel on duty in front of the Tomb every minute of every day since 1937.