KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – They stand in salute of fellow veterans as their family members say a final goodbye. Honor Guard members from East Tennessee help perform full military honors at veteran’s funerals weekly, sometimes daily. They volunteer their time to make sure their fellow men and women have a service they so greatly deserve.
Veteran Billie Hicks died about a month ago. His daughters, Jolene Matthews and Rhonda Ferguson, said they were so grateful to the Honor Guard members for making the services so special.
“It was amazing. For what they give for their country they deserve a special goodbye something that makes them stand out,” said Ferguson.
Ferguson said her father served nearly 21 years in the Army, but was very humble and quiet about his time in the military.
“If it hadn’t been for the Honor Guard being at the funeral we would have never known how decorated our dad really was,” said Ferguson. “When the Chaplain referred to him as highly decorated it struck a chord. It meant so much.”
Displaying his medals, photos and the flag they were presented at the funeral, Ferguson said they couldn’t be more proud of their dad and the legacy he left behind.
The family was so moved by the efforts of the Honor Guard they did present a donation and in lieu of flowers asked others to give as well.
WATE 6 On Your Side’s Operation Honor Guard Day of Giving is October 11. WATE will be partnering with local businesses and the community to raise donations.