Air Force Eliminates Three-Volley Salute at Veteran Funerals

Air Force Eliminates Three-Volley Salute at Veteran Funerals

January 08, 2016

Air Force Eliminates Three-Volley Salute at Veteran Funerals

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.”

Three-Volley Salute Not Same As 21-Gun Salute

A three-volley salute is the correct term for what is commonly (though mistakenly) referred to as a 21-gun salute. There are often seven riflemen, totaling 21. The origin of the three-volley funeral honor lies elsewhere, according to the Tom Sherlock, an Arlington National Cemetery Historian. A 21-gun salute is reserved for Presidents of the United States or visiting heads of state.

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5 Responses

Anita Gonzalez
Anita Gonzalez

February 22, 2016

My dad served 20 years and we can’t spare 7 men for his service. No respect for the fallen.

Paul E. Donahue
Paul E. Donahue

February 22, 2016

I served 20 years including one in Viet Nam. What Obama has done to the country I love makes the funeral ceremony a farce. I do not want any memorial. Thanks “PRESIDENT OBAMA”? but NO THANKS. Maybe some of the billions soon to be spent on so-called Nigerian refugees can be given to help veterans get a proper salute.

Tammy
Tammy

February 22, 2016

This is just plain sad. I blame Obama.

Marcia Fishel
Marcia Fishel

February 22, 2016

I am tired of hearing there is no money. This is the wealthiest nation in the world. If we cannot provide our soldiers with the proper military salute upon their demise, then someone besides the every day person needs to cough up some damn money so that they and their families get their rightful respect and dues. Stop handing us this namby pamby bullshit because we are no longer plowing it. It is their blood in our soil and it will remain open for those who remain to see. If you cannot see, you do not need to be leading this nation.

Estelle Smith
Estelle Smith

February 22, 2016

That would be a shame to stop the military honours for the fallen,I always thought of the beauty of the heart of USA how they look after there dead military people the service was so deserving ,you must not not stop showing this Honour for you Fallen.

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