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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/29/2005 9:28:44 AM EDT
we are doing a funeral tomorrow for a guy from my unit that was killed in Iraq. He retired, then went to work for a civillian contract company. Last week he was killed by an IED.

My question is this;

In every funeral I have taken part in, we normally polish some 5.56 brass and insert it into the flag that is given to the family. I am unsure though how many rounds are normally inserted. Anyone have an aswer to this?


Link Posted: 8/29/2005 10:43:51 AM EDT
3 rounds, one from each volley. God bless you.
Link Posted: 8/29/2005 10:59:16 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/29/2005 12:29:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/29/2005 12:30:07 PM EDT by Manic_Moran]
Sorry, no longer permitted.

We used to do it ourselves, three rounds of expended brass.


We were given a cease-and-desist by The Powers that Are about eight months ago. Apparently, while it's a nice gesture, it was a tradition started unofficially by veterans' groups, and never officially sanctioned. By reg, the flag is presented 'pure'.

What we do now is go up after the ceremony, when the mourners are leaving, and we offer the brass casings at that point. We'll bring all of them over, so that anyone who wants can have them.

Link Posted: 8/29/2005 1:43:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/29/2005 1:44:54 PM EDT by mushoot]
I was just at a funeral at Ft Sam 2 months ago. The VA rep presented the 3 casings so what you say must be the case. Granted the Air Force conducted the funeral, but I think they know what they are doing
Link Posted: 8/29/2005 11:06:12 PM EDT
Not included in any of the presentations I've been involved in. Including one by the First MarDiv for a relative who had been in the First Marines all through the Pacific and Korea.
Link Posted: 8/29/2005 11:40:11 PM EDT
I have been on numerous funeral details when I was in, when out BN turn came for division support, and we never did that, in fact I have never heard of placing brass in the flag, or presenting brass to the next of kin.
Link Posted: 8/29/2005 11:47:40 PM EDT
At my Dads funeral, they handed me all the casings
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 5:57:05 AM EDT
The Honor Guard at my Dad's funeral in '99 was from Nellis Air Force Base, and they placed the brass in the flag as described.

Link Posted: 8/30/2005 9:13:44 AM EDT
I'll let yous into a secret:

Whilst remaining within the FM for funerals (and there is one), there is still a lot of room for 'interpretation' and embellishment. Not least because no two funerals are the same, you have to be able to go with the flow.

Rule 1: It's theater. A show. Whilst the rendering of honors itself is important, it's also only one reason of many.

Rule 2: The dead guy doesn't know what you're doing. The families and friends are there, and they are the people you are doing it for. It's in the deceased's name, but it's for them. Helps give them closure and pride. And for us, too, that said. We've done one or two funerals for homeless people that the only mourners were the local social workers, but he was still deserving of the honours.

Rule 3: In view of rules 1 and 2, it doesn't matter really what you do as long as the spirit of the ceremony is followed and the few regs are obeyed. Different groups have thus come up with their own little idiosynchrasies.

Rule 4: Ultimately, you wish to have a convincing display that looks professional and which 'satisfies' those present that things honours have been rendered in a respectful, solemn and soldierlike ceremony.

Keeping all this in mind, it's not really surprising that different 'traditions' have sprung up, and so people's understandings of what should and shouldn't happen are varied.

Link Posted: 8/30/2005 10:01:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:
I'll let yous into a secret:

Whilst remaining within the FM for funerals (and there is one), there is still a lot of room for 'interpretation' and embellishment. Not least because no two funerals are the same, you have to be able to go with the flow.

I don't know where you get that "go with the flow"........when we did funerals, we didn't "interprete or embellised" from 22-5, it is all spelled out in black and white excatly what to do, when to do it, how to do it.......and we did not deviate from it. now maybe veterans organization and other patrotic organization might "embellish" the ceremonies, I can't speak for them, but when I was active Army, we didn't 'go with the flow"
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 10:16:45 AM EDT
A little off topic but humor me..

This reminded me of my Grandfathers funeral just a few short months ago. He was a WWII Navy Seabee. No military honors to speak of, just a flag, and a Thank you from the President.

I had nothing to do with the funeral arrangements but was saddened that there was not at least a Representative from the Navy present. I did give him a Salute at the end of the funeral.

In his later years he always spoke of wanting to go back and visit the Islands he had been deployed to during the war.

Sorry for the babble..
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 10:23:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 10:23:42 AM EDT
you have to request in writing for a military funneral .......it just doesn't happen, usually the nearest military base, always rotates that duty to the units located there as a detail. sometimes depending on budget restrant, ot distance from the site that is not always posssible. in which case, patrotic organization will fill in.

but like I said, the family has to request it.
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 10:28:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2005 11:06:32 AM EDT by Manic_Moran]
What would you do if the family requested that you perform the honours in their living room at some gathering that Jewish tradition requires some time after the internment itself?
It's kindof hard to keep to the 22-5 when you are confined by the couch and a coffee table.

How about if the casket with the flag on it is so positioned that you can't actually stand at the head or foot of it?

What do you do if the fallen soldier was also policeman, and the entire Placer County Sherrif's department is out there in stronger numbers than you are, and you have to combine the police force's honours with the Army's at the graveside? We had a flypast by almost every law enforcement agency in the State during the honours, where in the 22-5 does it say when it should happen? Oh, and by the way, think fast, because you've only just been told this, and the casket is arriving with its police escort flashing away.

If you are called to a service and discover the Navy is waiting there as well. The fallen serviceman was in both services, you discover, whose manual do you use? Or do you combine as best you can?

The fallen serviceman has two parents who are divorced. Who gets the flag? Or do you present both? If so, do you fold both separately, or at the same time? If presented at the same time, to whom does the higher-ranking presenter present? Or if the OIC presents to both, who gets it first?

Or the best yet, if pallbearing, and the casket happens to be cheap, wet and the body falls out the bottom, what is the correct manner in which the pallbearers are to act? Really, we had that problem. I'm pretty sure the manual doesn't cover that.

Maybe a more commonplce problem: At a memorial service where there is no casket and the flag starts out folded, what do you do if upon unfolding the flag you discover that it had been initially folded incorrectly (not by the Army) and has now come out 'backwards'. It's not in the manual, but there's a way to do it in a smart, uniform and soldierlike manner.

Even things which are specifically addressed in the FM may not always be practicable. For example, the position of the bugler is specified as being 45 degrees off the foot of the casket or wherever, facing over the casket. In full view of all and sundry. But what do you do if the 'bugler' is in fact a chap with a boom-box and a CD of Taps? (Don't laugh, the Army is chronically short on Buglers). Or if, in more recent times, the bugle is actually one of those electronic things and everybody can see the blinking lights and speaker in it? There are times when it's better to make a conscious decision not to follow the manual at all.

I've clocked up several hundered funerals so far, and whilst we try to follow the official format as best we can, it simply isn't possible in all circumstances.

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