Honor Guard embodies Air Force image

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Nick Wilson
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
When it comes to ceremonies and funerals, the 509th Bomb Wing Honor Guard's mission is to be ready, sharp and respond to requests with the utmost amount of poise, attention to detail and professionalism.

With a team of 44 Airmen ranking from airman basic to technical sergeant, the 509th Honor Guard represents the military throughout the state of Missouri to include 118 counties.

Their primary duties include honoring veterans at funerals, said Tech. Sgt. Trapper Otto, 509th Honor Guard NCO in charge.

"Last year we participated in 700 funerals total," Otto said. "That includes funerals for active duty servicemembers, retirees and veterans."

It is very honorable and uplifting to be the last individuals in the Air Force that the family members see during funerals, according to Airman 1st Class Hope Pacheco, 509th BW Honor Guard member.

"You feel like you're actually doing something and impacting other people," Pacheco said. "Honor Guard is something meaningful. What we do is very important. The impact we have on people is incredible."

While representing the Air Force, guardsmen must pay attention to detail when it comes to ensuring their uniforms are worn correctly.

"It's definitely a lot of conditioning and making sure that you are really on point with everything that goes on," said Senior Airman Maichelle Ring, 509th BW Honor Guard member. "You have to ensure that you're stepping the right way, and that you're uniform is straight. Even the slightest half inch that's wrong on your uniform makes a difference because attention to detail is something that is very meaningful at the honor guard."

Several 509th BW Honor Guard members say it is not an easy job.

"People think it easy, but I honestly work more at honor guard than I do at my regular job., Ring said. "It's something that everyone should be able to look at and say, 'honor guard is awesome."