From the President
9 months ago
Here we are, 2022, welcome, I hope at the end of it we all have something great to talk about. It seems like only yesterday we were gathered together in Arlington for the largest Reunion to date: let me repeat that “the largest Reunion to date.” That certainly has a good ring to it. I’ve been to each one since the first and by far, this past reunion still rings loudest. We should all be very proud of the outcome and the great gathering of our Brother and Sister Tomb Guards, families, and guests. Two years from now and we do it all over again.
With the Centennial behind us, but far from forgotten, we have much to look forward to in the years ahead as a Society. There are many things that need to be done to help continue the growth we have seen in the past 3 years and I hope each member Tomb Guard, reaches out to those you served with, bring them onboard. And Associates, help us find others who have the same values that you carry as well.
A great idea came to mind and we’ve recently started a new initiative to “Debunk the Myth” led by our past President and our former Sergeant of the Guard, Chelsea Porterfield (2020-21). We all know about the “Email” full of Tomb Guard “do’s and don’t’s.” It’s circulated around the net for years and we’ve all had to address it with family, friends, and or co-workers and the answers can be different from one person to another. If you would like join the Zoom meeting and participate, please reach out to email@example.com. The team tries to meet each month to discuss things and answer a few of the myths in your own way.
I travel often for work and recently traveled to Hawaii. Don’t be jealous; it was work, not pleasure. During this time, I had to opportunity to meet up with 3 other Tomb Guards: David McCamis (1976-77); Dallas Kempo (2015-17) and Jeffrey Colwell (2017-18) (both of whom are stationed at Scholfield Barracks) for a Mini Reunion and honor the unselected Unknown Soldiers from WWII and Korea at the National Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the “Punchbowl Cemetery”. We searched high and low, consulted with others who might know the answer but fell short of finding the exact location of the 5 WWII and 3 Korean Unknown candidates. Our efforts resulted in honoring selected Unknowns from areas designated as Korean War and WWII war burials. We placed leis on each and conducted a 21 second moment of silence in their honor. A toast followed and then we moved on to dinner, chat, laughs, and farewells.
I consider it a great bonus when I get the chance to meet up with other Tomb Guards, wherever it might be and share some time to chat. I encourage everyone, when you travel, take the time to reach out prior to going and find out who might be the area where you’ll be working or vacationing.
Lonny LeGrand, Jr
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Did you know?
Is it true a Sentinel must commit for two years to guard the Tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives.
No, this is a false rumor. The average tour at the Tomb is about a 18 months. However, there is NO set time for service there. Sentinels live either in a barracks on Ft. Myer (the Army post located adjacent to the cemetery) or off base if they like. They do have a living quarters under the steps of the amphitheater where they stay during their 24 hour shifts. If they are of legal age, they may drink except while on duty.