Kevin V. Welker (Grubel)
Tomb PositionAssistant Relief Commander, Assistant Sergeant of the Guard, Commander of the Relief, Sentinel
Highest Military RankStaff Sergeant (E-6)
Tomb DatesFeb 1997 - May 2001
Military DatesMar 1993 - Jul 2001
Society MembershipLifetime Member
Home City / StateCarey, OH
Current City / StateCenterburg, OH
Tomb ReflectionsI think my saddest moment at the Tomb would have to be the disinterment of the Vietnam Unknown. I remember having to walk down on the lower landing of the steps while work was conducted on the plaza. Then the day came. The Sentinels lined the south side of the plaza and watched as the Unknown was placed into the hearse. My heart felt like it was in my throat the entire time. I still get teary eyed when I think of that day or tell others about it. To me there will always be four Unknowns.
Although I have had many memories from the public side of the Tomb, I think my greatest memories are the private ones I shared with the Sentinels that I worked with. They were literally like brothers to me. We all had common bonds…the Unknowns and our dedication to their memory.
I now have an extended Tomb Guard family...those that served before and after me. Through the Society, I have made new, lifelong friends within our circle. I am proud to have served on the Board of Directors for the Society and hope to see it blossom even more in the years to come as we move towards the Centennial Celebration in 2021.
Units & CampaignsC Co. 1/50th Inf., I.T.B., Ft. Benning, GA
B Co. 1/14th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, HI
HHC 1/14th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, HI
E Co., (Honor Guard) 3d US Inf Reg (The Old Guard), Fort Myer, VA
H Co., (Honor Guard) 3d US Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), Fort Myer, VA
Awards & DecorationsArmy Commendation Medal (2nd Award)
Army Achievement Medal (7th Award)
National Defense Service Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal (2nd Award)
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon
NCO Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 2)
Tomb Guard Identification Badge
Expert Infantryman Badge
Air Assault Badge
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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.
Did you know?
Has anyone ever tried to get past the Tomb guards, or attempted to deface the Tomb?
Yes, that is the reason why we now guard the Tomb. Back in the early 1920's, we didn't have guards and the Tomb looked much different. It was flat at ground level without the 70 ton marble 'cap'. People often came to the cemetery in those days and a few actually used the Tomb as a picnic area, likely because of the view. Soon after in 1925, they posted a civilian guard. In 1926, a US Army soldier was posted during cemetery hours. On July 1, 1937 guard duty was expanded to the 24 hour watch. Since then, the ceremony has evolved throughout the years to what you see today. Today, most of the challenges faced by the Sentinels are tourists who are speaking too loudly or attempting to get a better picture (by entering the post).