“It is a very humbling experience,” said Airman 1st Class Melissa Domingues with the National Air and Space Intelligence Center. “The service member that passed away is ending their Air Force journey and I am taking their place and giving them a proper send off and thank you.”
The Honor Guard has 32 personnel who are assigned on a rotational basis, 12 Air Force Reserve and National Guard members on orders, and six staff members. They average approximately 300 details per month and more than 4,000 per year.
“The Honor Guard teaches you direction while learning new movements,” said Airman 1st Class Jeremy Riviere, a communications specialist with the 88th Communications Squadron. “It can be a struggle but after the ceremony your confidence builds.”
The Honor Guard also performs color guard events, which include retirements, promotions and change of command ceremonies.
In addition, more than 400 community events are performed each year.
“I recommend this job to any military person,” said Master Sgt. Keith Watson, superintendent of the Wright-Patterson Honor Guard. “It gives you the opportunity to broaden the leadership and management skills you learn in Professional Military Education because of the diversity of active, Reserve, National Guard members you encounter within the unit. I believe this is one of the most rewarding ways to serve and give back to the Air Force and those that paved the road for us.”
Despite the long hours and occasional severe weather, each member of the Wright-Patt Honor Guard lives by their creed of representing every member, past and present, of the United States Air Force.
To schedule the Wright Patterson AFB Honor Guard, call 937-257-8964 and request a funeral honors request form.