Avatar for Lawrence E. Pathel

The Tomb Guards used to have an annual Christmas tradition during which they gathered on the plaza and participated in their own wreath laying ceremony. Christmas was always a day that guaranteed only a small handful of visitors to the Tomb. The tradition included that the most recently assigned sentinel would assist the longest currently serving sentinel place the wreath before the Unknowns while the remaining sentinels stood and saluted in remembrance and respect. On Christmas morning, 1974, I was the longest serving sentinel and had the solemn honor of placing the Tomb Guard's wreath. I was escorted by the Sergeant of the Guard, MSG William R. Rucker, and I will always remember how humble I felt at the monument to those who had given the ultimate sacrifice and accompanied by those who served to always remember.

  • \"B\" Company, 1st Bn., 3rd US Infantry, The Old Guard, Ft. Myer, VA
  • \"E\" Company (Honor Guard), Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Ft. Myer, VA
  • \"E\" Company (Honor Guard), 1st Marching Platoon, Ft. Myer, VA
  • 2nd Military Intelligence Detachment, 2nd Inf. Division, Camp Casey, Republic of Korea
  • US Army Element of Defense Investigative Service, Fayetteville, NC
  • Army Commendation Medal (two awards)
  • Good Conduct Medal (two awards)
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Tomb Guard Identification Badge
  • Meritorious Unit Citation