The Florence Veterans Honor Guard needs volunteers!
Who?: The Veterans Honor Guard (VHG) was formed in 2008 to give Pee Dee area veterans the “Final Salute”. There were not then, nor now, enough active duty personnel in the area to support every veteran who passes away in our area proper military funeral rites.
- The VHG is a volunteer, 501(c)3 organization, that is registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State. We do accept donations which generally do not exceed $7000 per year.
- VHG currently has about 25 members of which 16 are considered to be generally active.
- Each VHG member pays his/her own expenses such as gas and uniforms.
- Typically the VHG will perform 160-200 ceremonies during a calendar year in which about 70% are performed in the Florence National Cemetery. The area of “jurisdiction” is a 30-mile radius from the intersection of I-20 and I-95.
HOW?: The VHG works only through the local funeral homes for “call-outs”. Each veteran must have a valid DD-214 form and not had a dishonorable discharge from any branch of the service.
- A full last salute consists of two flag folders, reader, seven person firing party, a caller for the firing party, and a bugler-12 individuals.
- The VHG requires at least a 24 hour notice from the funeral home to commit to a ceremony. Currently, due to manpower restrictions the VHG only performs ceremonies Monday through Friday.
- The VHG also assists the Florence National Cemetery with various ceremonial support throughout the year such as on Memorial and Veterans’ Day.
- The VHG supports veterans in all the services: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, and Coast Guard. We generally always need former Navy and Marine Corps volunteers.
- The VHG does have a constitution and slate of officers but previous rank in the military has no bearing on any duties performed or office assumed.
What We Need?: More volunteers ! Any veteran from any service is needed to help us. The VHG meets at VFW Post 3181 the first Thursday of every month at 6PM. A prospective member only need a valid DD214 form and no dishonorable discharge. All training provided and help with uniforms is available. It is very rewarding and also great comradery with the other VHG members. Contact Col (ret) Wayne Jackson, Commander VHG at (843) 250-8859 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, feel free to call our dedicated honor guard phone at: (843) 430-2372.