A Soldier Essay

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John Carduff
October 4, 2010
Eng 101

There are very few material things in this world that I consider important to me but the few that are tell a story about my life. I have been awarded several medals from the United States Army; though all are important to me the one medal of seven that bears the most significance is the Army Achievement Medal for my service on funeral detail.

I was put on funeral detail at the end of my contract with the US Army. At the very beginning I felt as though it was more of a burden that I would carry instead of the honor it holds. I have seen many great men put in the ground six feet under and watched as their families wept. This tradition of honoring fallen soldiers will never be lost. The sound of “Taps” being played on the bugle, the sound of the rifles firing in the air and the soldiers that stand tall in front and fold the flag into a neatly folded triangle. We as a brotherhood must honor these men and women. We as an Army family must lift up those near and dear to the departed.

I played a substantial role on the funeral detail. I was given the honor to not only salute those who have died but to present the American flag to their husband or wife, mother or father and even the small children that are left behind. I have seen all their faces and heard them all cry out; though I must maintain my military barring never flinching. I bend down on one knee and tell each of them the same thing every time but it never gets old, “On behalf of the President of the United States and the US Army it was an honor to serve with…” That is when you mention their name. I have never presented the American Flag to a family member with a dry eye. Though I do not personally know these soldiers I feel a bond that is incomprehensible if you have never served. There is no greater honor in our military today than to honor our fallen soldiers and to show their families just how much their lives meant to the Army as a whole. I am proud to say...
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