DENVER - Each day dozens of people are laid to rest at Fort Logan National Cemetery. And many of those services are handled by a group of aging veterans.
“We struggle in numbers. All of us are getting up in age. I think the youngest guy on my team is 62,” said Morey Smith with the Veterans Honor Guard.
Smith and his team have served their country, and on Wednesday, as they do many days, they served the family of one of their brothers.
"He was 84-years-old. Had served in Korea many years ago. He went on to be a barber, and was in barbering for 62 years, and just decided to retire a few months ago,” said Larry Reynolds, as he watched the service for his father-in-law, Robert Borrego.
The volunteers don’t know Robert. They come together when they’re needed to fill the gaps for active military, when they can't always send a full team.
"It's something that needs to be done and it's not so hard to dedicate yourself to a noble cause. And what we do is a noble cause,” Smith said.
The all Veterans Honor Guard handles more than a thousand funerals at Fort Logan each year. Yet, as the years go by, it's getting tougher. Smith had a small reminder of that just this week, when the team honored one of their own.
“John T. Pogue,” Smith says of his friend. “He was diagnosed with ALS back on the 6th of June and he passed away about 10 days ago. Tough to take.”
They know they won't be able to do this forever.
"As the years roll on, we too will have finished our fight. We'll be laid to rest,” he says.
Even so, the Honor Guard continues on, attending the funerals of their fellow comrades.
“The only payment that we receive is the appreciation of the family. You know when a little elderly widow will take your hand to thank you and won’t let go. That’s happened a time or two.”
The Honor Guard hopes younger veterans will become encouraged to join them. If you or someone you know would like to, call Morey at 303-927-7615.
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