Yesterday the news was full of stories, videos and pictures of Hurricane Sandy. This morning a story caught my eyes that concerned the guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. The guards were offered the opportunity to stand their watch under cover and out of the wind and rain. To a man they said that they were not going anywhere other than their post at the Tomb.
I myself being a wounded combat veteran of the Vietnam war have the highest respect for these men that walk this post, 24 hours a day...seven days a week...365 days a year and have since the guard was set in place. I did a little research and have discovered that the award for walking the post is the second least awarded medal...the Army Astronaut medal being the least. It can be revoked after leaving the military for a number of reasons. There have only been slightly over 500 awarded since 1948.
The guards spend hours each day working on their uniforms and weapons. The list of regulations to even apply for duty is hard and strict and there are very few that pass that list...and even fewer are chosen for the honor to guard those entombed. I have been to Arlington a number of times and always leave with the highest respect for the men that walk the post, not for honor and glory but for their dedication to fallen soldiers known only to God.