Being the chair for the Funeral/Honor Guard committee, I would like to give everyone an update on what has been achieved over the last year.
The folks on the honor guard have designed, presented to the board and ordered dress uniforms. They have performed at the Iowa State Fair parade, Peace Officer Memorial day ceremonies, funerals for active duty and retired personnel and one that I am personally proud that they stuck to their guns on and accomplished is the opening ceremony of ILEA graduations. They also sponsored a school on honor guard last month that was successful. Upcoming ceremonies include another ILEA graduation, an opening ceremony with the Iowa D.O.T., Jail School opening ceremony and I know of a funeral service in September.
All of this gets done by the dedication of our deputies and the sheriffs that allow them the time and purchases the equipment to perform at these functions. Now this brings me to a critical point. Lately we have been tasked to perform more funerals and other ceremonies which are great, however this has placed a burden on a select few members that are volunteering all the time as other members are not stepping up. I understand that during the summer with vacations and such going on, it is really hard to dedicate yourself or your folks to a function.
We as an association need to set the standard and stick to it. It makes me very proud of the dedicated sheriff’s and deputies that perform these functions or allow their folks to be part of this endeavor. With that being said, unless there is more participation by the honor guard as a whole, I see this failing. Sheriffs are going to get tired of their same personnel time and time again being called upon and will certainly tell them they are done.
So in closing, I would like to thank the existing color guard for the ISSDA and ask their administrators to please allow more flexibility if possible. You never know when you may need the services of the honor guard. You can rest assured that a ceremony performed by some of “our own” is awesome, and takes a lot of pressure off of the sheriff. Also, we are always looking for new members to join the ranks.