Those who wear the silver rope
By Senior Airman Paul Labbe, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 08, 2012
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Air Force Honor Guard is often the first and last opportunities families of veterans have to interact with the military throughout their lives. The Buckley Air Force Base Mile High Honor Guard upholds the Air Force standards in presenting families and veterans with the highest honors.
The Air Force Honor Guard's main mission is to provide final military honors for retired and veteran members. At Buckley this remains true for the Mile High Honor Guard team.
"Because of the major city we live by, we also participate in events such as posting the colors at major sport events and for teams such as the Rockies, Broncos, and the Avalanche," said Tech. Sgt. Wolfram Stumpf, 460th Force Support Squadron Mile High Honor Guard flight chief.
Those who are interested in joining the honor guard need only to speak with their 1st. Sgt. and their supervisor to make sure they are able. After approval, they will sit down with the honor guard leaders to conduct an interview to make sure it's truly something they wish to do, and explain the commitment that is required.
"For the most part our team is an all volunteer team. We do have the luxury of receiving Airman from units such as the 566th Intelligence Squadron and the 2nd Space Warning Squadron who arrive to the base from technical school and have yet to receive the required security clearance," Stumpf said. "They have the opportunity to volunteer to participate in honor guard for around three to four months straight until they receive their clearance."
The team works with Airman from around the base.
"We pull people from all over the base so it's not just like the pride of the 460th Force Support Squadron or like the pride of the 460th Medial Group it's the pride of the base," Stumpf said.
The Mile High Honor Guard also provides support for recruitment of individuals who are maybe thinking about joining into the Armed Forces. The honor guard provides a critical role in community involvement.
When dealing with military honors the honor guard are the ones to present the family with a symbol of appreciation for their service and sacrifice of their loved ones.
"We play the role as the ones to gives thanks to those who served not just for the service member but also to the family members who served along with them," Stumpf said "There is some fear having to deal with the death of another person you may not know and trying to make sure everything goes perfect for them."
Each individual that joins the honor guard team has their own sense of pride and reasoning pushing them to continue to participate in a mentally stressful career.
"As a pharmacy technician I know that I play an important part of the Air Force but I joined the honor guard because it gives me a sense of pride and also allows me to do things that go above and beyond my normal career," said Airman 1st Class Dustin Stevens, 460th Medical Group pharmacy technician.