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Honoring Fallen Veterans Facing New Challenges

Honor Guard flag presentation to Honor Flight veteran
U.S. Army
Army Honor Guard

The playing of taps; the folding of the flag--and presentation of it to next of kin: these are traditions commonly seen at the funerals of veterans.  But, that could be changing.

Debra Cook, Director, Tuscarawas Co., Veterans Services

Debra Cook, Director, Tuscarawas Co., Veterans Services
Credit Tuscarawas County web site
Debra S. Cook

In as little as half a dozen years funeral honor guards may no longer be possible.  So says Debra Cook, Director of Veterans Services in Tuscarawas County.  The problem is too few younger veterans volunteering for honor guard duty.  And she says, that’s often because they’re just too busy; something she believes business owners and managers could help with.    

“We’re finding more and more people working longer.  And I’m hoping that businesses, if you have veterans that are willing to do this, that they are willing to let their employee off for a few hours a month, or so many times a year, to serve on an honor guard.”

Cook says they are also developing a county-wide honor guard group to better recruit and coordinate volunteers.  

Cook on generational differences

The individuals that are still serving on the honor guards are getting up there in age.  And the younger generation’s not joining.  So we’re trying to do in Tuscarawas County form a Tuscarawas County honor guard.  You don’t have to be a member of any of the service organizations.  You just have to be an honorably discharged veteran.”

Cook says there will be a meeting for the formation of a county honor guard committee. It will be March 15th at the VFW Hall in New Philadelphia