VFW Pelican Post 1383
Klamath Falls, Oregon

515 Klamath Ave., Klamath Falls, OR 97601
(541) 882-0054
COLOR GUARD

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Pelican Post 1383 is very proud of the tradition and history of its Color Guard. In the military of the United States, the Color Guard carries the National Colors and other flags appropriate to their position in the chain of command. Typically these include a unit flag and a departmental flag (Army, Marines, Navy, or Air Force). In addition to the flag bearers, who are positioned in the center of the color guard, there are two individuals who carry rifles to guard the colors.


Since early history, flags and banners have been used by armies in battle. They served several purposes: to identify units, for signaling and to be a common point of reference for the movements of the soldiers in the unit, enabling them to keep formation. The flag was also a symbol of the unit. The loss of a unit's flag was not only shameful, but losing this central point of reference could make the unit break up. To protect the flag, a detachment of soldiers was assigned to guard the flag.


Our Color Guard participates in many parades, ceremonies, events, and honoring our fallen comrades. We take great pride in what we do, and still look good doing it! Thank you all that have served, and the families that stand by them!

 

The Color Guard is under the direction of Color Guard Commander, Ron Ballard. The Color Guard is comprised of members of VFW Pelican Post 1383 and Marine Corps League Crater Lake Detachment 373.


                Ron Ballard              Rod Schlill Leroy Spiker

                Leroy Spiker              Chet Skrocki Ron Johnson

                Warren Griffith          Roger Pattee Conrad Vande Zandschulp

                Ken Waters                Ben Quen Pete Gomez

   Duane Whitehead Mike Reynolds Dan Williams



MILITARY HONORS

As with the military itself, the VFW final farewell to comrades is steeped in tradition and ceremony.

Military honors at a funeral are available for military members who died while on active duty service or in the Selected Reserve. Additionally, honorably discharged veterans who served on active duty or in the Selected Reserve as well as former military members who completed at least one term of enlistment or term of obligated service in the Reserves are eligible.

FLAG DRAPED CASKET

Prominent in a military funeral is the flag-draped casket. The blue field of the flag is placed at the head of the casket, over the left shoulder of the deceased. The custom began in the Napoleonic Wars of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when a flag was used to cover the dead as they were taken from the battlefield on a caisson.

GUN SALUTE

Graveside military honors include the firing of three volleys each by seven service members. This commonly is confused with an entirely separate honor, the 21-gun salute. But the number of individual gun firings in both honors evolved the same way. However, at most military funerals what many mistake for a 21-gun salute is actually and honor guard firing three volleys from rifles.

The three volleys came from an old battlefield custom. A long-standing military tradition was to honor the dead by showing that their weapons were no longer hostile. The two warring sides would cease hostilities to clear their dead from the battlefield, and the firing of three volleys meant that the dead had been properly cared for and the side was ready to resume the battle.
TAPS

The bugle call "Taps" originated in the Civil War with the Army of the Potomac. Union Army Brig. Gen. Daniel Butterfield didn't like the bugle call that signaled soldiers in the camp to put out the lights and go to sleep, and worked out the melody of "Taps" with his brigade bugler, Pvt. Oliver Wilcox Norton. The call later came into another use as a figurative call to the sleep of death for soldiers. 

Closing and Flag Protocol

At the end of the service, the flag is removed from the casket and carefully folded by the honor guard. Each fold represents something different and at the end only the stars are left showing on the top. Once the flag has been properly folded, a few of the shells may be inserted into the back fold before it is presented to the next of kin with an expression of gratitude for the sacrifice they have made.

"WHY THE AMERICAN FLAG IS FOLDED 13 TIMES"

Have you ever wondered why the Flag of the United
States of America is folded 13 times when it is
lowered or when it is folded and handed to the
next of kin at the burial of a veteran?

Here is the meaning of each of those folds and what it means:

The first fold of our Flag is a symbol of life.

The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.

The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the
veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of
their lives for the defense of our
country to attain peace throughout the world.

The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as
American citizens trusting, it is to Him we turn in
times of peace as well as in time of war for His
divine guidance.

The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the
words of Stephen Decatur, "Our Country, in dealing
with other countries may she always be right; but it
is still our country, right or wrong."

The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is
with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America, and to the
Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for
it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our
country and our flag against all her enemies, whether
they be found within or without the boundaries of our
Republic.

The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered
into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might
see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it
flies on Mother's Day.

The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has
been through their faith, their love, loyalty and
devotion that the character of the men and women who
have made this country great has been molded.

The tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for he,
too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense
of our country since they were first born.

The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen
represents the lower portion of the seal of King David
and King Solomon, and glorifies in their eyes, the God
of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen,
represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in
their eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.


When the Flag is completely folded, the stars are
uppermost reminding us of our Nation's motto, "In God
We Trust." After the Flag is completely folded and
tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat,
ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under
General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines
who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were
followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed
Forces of the United States, preserving for us the
rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.

The next time you see a Flag ceremony honoring someone
that has served our country, either in the Armed
Forces or in our civilian services such as the Police
Force or Fire Department, keep in mind all the
important reasons behind each and every movement.
They have paid the ultimate sacrifice for all of us by
honoring our Flag and our Country.

Author  Unknown