OGDEN - Flag Day was busy for members of the Post 1481 Honor Guard. The Guard, made up of veterans from all branches of the military, helps provide military funerals, do flag retirements and perform other military services for events such as Eagle Scouts Courts of Honor.
Three men in crisp, white shirts with yellow scarves and black pants carefully cut the stripes of an American Flag at the George Wahlen Veterans Home as Honor Guard Capt. Clifford Porter read a poem about the flag.
"I never make it through this poem without breaking up," Porter said. The men were somber and respectful as they helped the veterans, many in wheelchairs, carefully lay the stripes of the flag in a small fire.
On Flag Day the group helped conduct four flag retirements and two military funerals. Earlier in the week the group did four funerals and three other ceremonies.
Porter has been working with the other veterans and officiating services for about seven years. "We started out doing Eagle Courts of Honor just in our civilian clothes about once a month," Porter said. Then they started doing military honors at funerals and later donned uniforms.
Porter, who was a Navy senior chief and a Vietnam veteran, said there are honor guards set up all over the United States.
"We want to honor the veterans. They earned it, they deserve it and it is their right," Porter said.
They enjoy all the different events they attend. On Friday they did flag retirements at the veterans home and also at another care center - both places had many veterans present - a treat for the Honor Guard. "It's just tender," Porter said quietly.
David Rusch has been involved with the Ogden guard since its beginnings. "I want to show my appreciation to the other veterans," Rusch said. He served in the National Guard for six years and said he didn't serve like some of his friends, but Porter was quick to point out how important his service was.
"We always tell him that," he said affectionately of Rusch.
Although the men dress in white shirts, when they do military honors at a funeral they always have someone in attendance that is wearing the dress uniform of the branch of military served and follow the Department of Defense's regulations for military funerals.
Porter said he loves the people he interacts with and the families and the respect they have for the military. Some weeks aren't as busy as others, but Flag Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day are particularly busy.
For more information on the Honor Guard or to contact Porter about doing a military service, call him at 801-645-0800.