0320 

Dennis J. McMahon III

Tomb Position

Assistant Relief Commander, Sentinel

Tomb Relief

1st

Highest Military Rank

1SG

Tomb Dates

Jan 1987 - Jul 1988

Military Dates

Apr 1984 - Sep 2004

Society Membership

Lifetime Member

Home City / State

Moon, PA

Current City / State

Coraopolis, PA

Tomb Reflections

One day while on the mat early on a Summer morning in 1988, an elderly gentleman stood on the South end of the Plaza, near the chains. Every time I came to a stop and faced DC, he told me portions of a story, which still effects me to this day. He started by telling me that as far as he was concerned, I (and the other Sentinels) was guarding the majority of his family. His father had been missing since WWII while serving in the Army in Italy. His Uncle served in Korea, and never came home and his son served in Vietnam and was listed as missing. He had no other brothers or sons. So as far as he was concerned, the sentinels were watching over his loved ones. He told me bit by bit for my entire one half hour tour, weeping the entire time. After the guard change I returned to the plaza for a wreath laying ceremony, and the man was gone. I still think about him to this day. It gave me the sense of meaning for the small sacrifice I was making in guarding the Unknowns. I am sure there are numerous people who are missing loved ones, who probably feel the same way. I know I can never feel or fully understand their pain, however, I can take solace in knowing I did a good and honorable thing for my country and its citizens.

Contact Information

Units & Campaigns

1st Platoon, Company E (Honor Guard), 3rd US Infantry (The Old Guard), Ft Myer, VA
1st Relief, TUS, Company E (Honor Guard), 3rd US Infantry (The Old Guard), Ft Myer, VA
HHC, 3d Armored Division, Frankfurt, Germany
297th Military Intelligence Battalion, 513th MI Brigade, Ft Monmouth, NJ
202nd Military Intelligence Battalion, 513th MI Brigade, Ft Gordon, GA
500th Military Intelligence Brigade, Camp Zama, Japan
3rd Battalion (Airborne), 3rd Special Forces Group, Ft Bragg, NC
HHD, 525th Military Intelligence Brigade (Airborne), Ft Bragg, NC
Company A, 310th Military Intelligence Battalion, Ft Meade, MD
HHC, 310th Military Intelligence Battalion, Fort Meade, MD
A Company, 524th Military Intelligence Battalion, Seoul, South Korea
HHD, 501st Military Intelligence Brigade, Seoul, South Korea

Awards & Decorations

Legion of Merit
Bronze Star
Tomb Guard Identification Badge (# 320)
Meritorious Service Medal (3 Oak Leaf Cluster)
Army Commendation Medal (3 Oak Leaf Cluster)
Army Achievement Medal (3 Oak Leaf Cluster)
Army Good Conduct Medal (6th Award)
National Defense Service Medal (with Bronze Star)
Korean Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal (3 Bronze Stars)
Kuwait Liberation Medal
Overseas Service Ribbon (with 2 numeral)
Army Superior Unit Award (w/Oak Leaf)
Meritorious Unit Award
NCO Professional Development Ribbon (with 3 numeral)
Army Service Ribbon
Expert Infantryman Badge
Air Assault Badge
Master Driver Badge
Expert Dragon Gunner
German Sch├╝tzenschnur Badge (Bronze)
Member of the Sgt Audie Murphy Club
Knowlton Award (Military Intelligence Corps Association

Support the Society

The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) is able to provide our programs, events, assistance, scholarships, and services due to the generosity of its members, organizations, and individuals. SHGTUS does not receive institutional funding. Note: The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your contributions may be fully tax deductible.