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If you would like to get involved in veteran’s programs contact your local Chapter or your regional representative from SCI. For further information about the SCIF Veterans Program, please contact Kathy Butler, Assistant Director of the Education Department at (520) 620-1220, ext. 336 or email kbutler@safariclub.org.

Honoring the Fallen – Arlington National Cemetery

SCIF Veterans Committee members and honored guests participated in a wreath ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, May 11, 2017. Five members of the Veterans Committee comprised of Louie Cole, Dick Caillouet, Vicki Swan and Clark and Karen Lincoln were able to represent SCI/F and pay their respects during a very rainy day on, May 11.  Also attending the ceremony were Louie Cole’s parents Raymond and Mary Eunice Cole from Clarksdale, Mississippi. Raymond Cole is a veteran who served the Mississippi National Guard and assisted in establishing the Mississippi SCI Wounded Veteran Deer Hunt that serves Purple Heart recipients annually.  Although the rain never stopped, these members were determined to see that the Committee’s wreath was placed at the tomb to honor the fallen.

Arlington National Cemetery conducts between 27 and 30 funeral services each week day. The grounds of Arlington National Cemetery honor those who have served our nation in a peaceful setting. The rolling hills are dotted with trees throughout the 624 acres of the cemetery. This site serves as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of every individual laid to rest within the hallowed grounds of Arlington.

Veterans Committee members were invited into the Sentinel’s chamber for a special briefing by the guards. The Sentinels guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and in any weather. Sentinels, all volunteers, are considered to be the best of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), and headquartered at Fort Myer, Va. Members were able to ask questions and get behind-the-scenes information that the general public usually doesn’t see or know making this an even more memorable experience. “I think we were especially honored to be briefed by the Guards in their ‘special room’ and understand from them what goes in to becoming a Guard at the Tomb,” said Dick Caillouet, “and to show us their level of patriotism and the fact that it takes about a year of training to become one, once selected for training. Really good stuff!  I am very proud and honored to be a member of the Veterans Committee and will relish this past trip forever.”

The ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery is such a moving experience that it creates a lasting impression of all those that have made the ultimate sacrifice. Caillouet summed up the ceremony as “absolutely well done (even in the rain) and I will never forget it.”