Memorial Day is Every Day for One Verizon Volunteer (guest post)
6 years ago
This is a guest post (repost) from the Verizon News Center corporate blog, written by Peter Casale.The true meaning of Memorial Day goes much deeper than a three-day weekend. It’s a day of remembrance for the men and women who have died valiantly for our country. For Verizon employee, Rex Looney (right), honoring our men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice is part of his every day.
A military veteran with a law enforcement background, Rex is a former Military Police, Patrolman and Deputy County Sheriff. At Verizon, Rex works in Legal Compliance. He's responsible for validating and responding to legal requests for subscriber records via a subpoena, search warrant or court orders. Rex is a protector by nature.
In 2005, the avid photographer began taking pictures at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier located on the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The memorial is dedicated to the unidentified soldiers who were killed in war and is guarded continuously 24/7 by specially trained men, of the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment known as The Old Guard.
One day, after taking several photos of the ceremonial Changing of the Guard, Rex knocked on the door of the Tomb Guard Quarters and donated the images. After a few more times, they showed their appreciation for his contributions by granting him unescorted access to specific areas not open to the public. Now, Rex has become “the unofficial official” photographer of the Tomb Guard. Over the years, Rex has captured countless images of the Tomb Guards. He’s become an Honorary “Line Six” Life Member of the Society of the Honor Guard Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Line Six refers to the sixth line of the Sentinel’s Creed – “My standard will remain perfection.”
Rex has access to many intimate moments in the life of Tomb Guards.
And perfection is exactly what Rex captures in his photos. The Tomb Guards say, “Soldiers never die until they are forgotten. Tomb Guard never forget." While Rex may not be a Tomb Guard, he's an American and a veteran and he doesn't plan on forgetting. This Memorial Day take a minute to participate in a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. Think about those who have made the ultimate sacrifice – especially those that are unknown to man.
Verizon Foundation's Matching Gift Program
Through the Volunteer Incentive Program, employees who log a minimum of 50 volunteer hours can earn a $750 grant for the nonprofit where they donate their service. Thanks to Rex's volunteer work, the money was sent to a fund named in honor of SSG Adam L. Dickmyer, a Tomb Guard and personal friend of Rex who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
Rex's work with the Tomb Guards and other interests is proudly on display on Flickr. View here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rexographer
Historians from Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) will be hosted by the National World War I Museum and Memorial on January 26, 2021 at 7:00pm where they will talk about the new educational module on...
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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).