In December, the U.S. Air Force announce it can no longer provide the three volley salute for funeral services. Why is one branch of the U.S. military discontinuing what some refer to as the 21-gun salute at military funerals?
A spokesman for the Air Force says it’s because of the lack of funding and personnel and it’s being done across the country. A memo was sent out to all the funeral homes saying the honor guard will reduce retiree and veteran funeral details from a seven-person detail to a three-person detail.
When a veteran or member of the armed forces dies, he or she is entitled to a ceremony that includes the presentation of a U.S. flag to a family member and a bugler blowing Taps. If requested by family members, there will also be a three-volley rifle salute.
Now, those who served in the United States Air Force can only receive two of those honors at funerals.
When discussing the ending of the three-volley salutes, one veteran who served in the Air Force and Air National Guard for more than 36 years said, “Once a veteran passes away, it’s for the family. It shows respect for the veteran to pass it on to the family,” he said. “My family suffered through a lot of the times I was away, when I was deployed, when I was somewhere else. They lived through it so to me, I think they’re the ones that earn it.”
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