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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know this post is not about guns but I would appreciate it if the moderators would allow this being it's so close to what we Canadians call "Rememberance Day". It is November 11th., and for me it is a very special day. My grandfather and two uncles died in World War II and I lost two of my very best friends in Vietnam in '68 and '69.

I've been to "The Tomb" and have had the profound honor of witnessing thirty minutes of duty of the most amazing Marines. It is something I will remember for the rest of my life. I felt so proud that day standing there, knowing I was there for my two friends I had lost so many years ago.

Marty a Marine from Wayzata, Minnisota and the other Sgt. Bobby Baker US Army, from Springfield Illinois.


MARTIN JOSEPH BENSON


1LT - O2 - Marine Corps - Reserve
24 years old Single, Caucasian, Male
Born on May 20, 1945
From WAYZATA, MINNESOTA
Length of service 6 years.
His tour of duty began on Nov 29, 1969
Casualty was on Feb 26, 1970
in QUANG DUC, SOUTH VIETNAM
Hostile, died of wounds
HELICOPTER - CREW
AIR LOSS, CRASH ON LAND
Body was recovered
Religion
ROMAN CATHOLIC

Panel 13W - - Line 57
===========================
ROBERT JOHN BAKER

SGT - E5 - Army - Regular
20 years old Single, Caucasian, Male
Born on Nov 14, 1948
From SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS
Length of service 1 year.
His tour of duty began on May 31, 1968
Casualty was on Jul 12, 1969
in BINH LONG, SOUTH VIETNAM
HOSTILE, GROUND CASUALTY
OTHER ACCIDENT
Body was recovered
Religion
ROMAN CATHOLIC

Panel 21W - - Line 105


===========================

ARLINGTON CEMETERY

Crest Label Logo Wall sticker Emblem
Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier



1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?​
Wall Architecture Building Facade Art


21 steps: It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which is
the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.​
Memorial Monument Statue Gesture




2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?


Memorial Security Uniform Monument Official





21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1




Statue Monument Photography Square National historic landmark




3. Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.



4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time
and, if not, why not?

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.



5. How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes,
twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.


6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be
between 5' 10' and 6' 2' tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.



They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the
rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way..

After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on
their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only
400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their
lives or give up the wreath pin.


The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.


There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform.. Guards dress for duty
in front of a full-length mirror.


The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor
watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid
to rest in Arlington National Cemetery . A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are:



President Taft,
Joe Lewis {the boxer}
Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the most
decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.



Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for

guard duty.


In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC, our
US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm.. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the
hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of
the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They
respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin,
marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding
the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be
afforded to a serviceperson. The tomb has been patrolled continuously,
24/7, since 1930.


 

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Thanks for your post, Bud.

I too, lost my BEST friend in the world to that infernal Vietnam War. Greg and I were like brothers. Our parents were close friends and we spent most of our time together all the way through high school. We were both caught in the draft at the same time and both had advanced warning that our number had been called. I rushed out and joined the Navy, but Greg wanted to be a Marine. He will be a Marine for all time.

GREGORY KEITH REEVES
Age: 20
Race: Caucasian
Sex: Male
Date of Birth Nov 14, 1947
From: BENTON, AR
Religion: PROTESTANT
Marital Status: Single
PFC - E2 - Marine Corps - Regular
Length of service 0 years
His tour began on Mar 6, 1968
Casualty was on Jul 7, 1968
In QUANG TRI, SOUTH VIETNAM
HOSTILE, GROUND CASUALTY
ARTILLERY, ROCKET, or MORTAR
Body was recovered

Panel 53W - Line 38
 

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Youtube has many videos of the Guards. You know you are seeing something very special when you watch. They expect complete silence in honor of the fallen. If you are NOT silent...they let you know in no uncertain terms.
 

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When I was in the Marines we were at Aberdeen Proving ground for our MOS school, and several of us took a USO tour to DC.

The changing of the guard at "The Tomp of the Unknown Soldier" was one of the things we did get to see.

I wonder how many people know what Veteran's Day really is. The 11th day of the 11th Month, formally "Armistice Day" and the anniversary of the end of "The Great War."
 

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I wonder how many people know what Veteran's Day really is. The 11th day of the 11th Month, formally "Armistice Day" and the anniversary of the end of "The Great War."
You forgot the 11th hour...It was called Armistice Day but after WWII the USA changed it for Veteran's Day and British Commonwealth countries for Remembrance Day.
 

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Thank you for sharing Bud.

While in military school we were instructed on many military ceremonies. The history of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was impressive though I don't recall the restrictions.
As a veteran I'm especially sensitive to Veteran's Day as some of the day is always spent talking with my fellow vets I served with. Mom's "love of her life" was killed shortly after the Battle of the Bulge and my best friend William Daley, LCPL USMC, died from small arms fire in Viet Nam in '69. I've been to The Wall and every Veteran's Day share a picture of me staring up at Billy's name. Our service, during those difficult times in America, are one reason I'm so adament about our liberties, rights and freedom. God Bless.

Text Cloud Sky Art Meteorological phenomenon
 

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One other point that hasn't been mentioned: The Tomb Guards do not wear their rank on the sleeves of their uniform; this does not mean they are all Privates. It is a traditional display of respect that the guards will not outrank the Unknown Soldiers.
The Sergeant of the Guard that performs the changing of the guard ceremony does wear his rank on his uniform sleeves, but those walking post do not.
 

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You forgot the 11th hour...It was called Armistice Day but after WWII the USA changed it for Veteran's Day and British Commonwealth countries for Remembrance Day.
Well I didn't forget that, but did not post it as you observed, and you are correct in that it was: "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in the year of 1918."

The United States changed 11-11 to Veterans day in 1954 according to my American Heritage Dictionary.
 

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Thank you for sharing Bud.

While in military school we were instructed on many military ceremonies. The history of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was impressive though I don't recall the restrictions.
As a veteran I'm especially sensitive to Veteran's Day as some of the day is always spent talking with my fellow vets I served with. Mom's "love of her life" was killed shortly after the Battle of the Bulge and my best friend William Daley, LCPL USMC, died from small arms fire in Viet Nam in '69. I've been to The Wall and every Veteran's Day share a picture of me staring up at Billy's name. Our service, during those difficult times in America, are one reason I'm so adament about our liberties, rights and freedom. God Bless.
Thank you for posting the photo of the 'Wall'. Like you, I have lost friends in the 'Nam war. I was last stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco in Letterman General Hospital. I was involved with administering soldiers coming in directly from 'Nam or Air-Evac'ed in from Korea after being stabilized.

My worst duty came with administering wounded friends who I served with before their deployment to Vietnam. I appreciate the thoughtful reminder!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi, and thank you for the correction.

I should have checked first but I never gave it any thought.

I am very sorry that I posted incorrect information about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I didn't mean to offend anyone. Please accept my sincere apology

Bud


I have the utmost respect for all Involved and have been to the Tomb myself but I have run across this before and not all the facts about the Guards are true snopes.com: Tomb of Unknown Soldier Honor Guard
 
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