Peace Time: February 28, 2002


Every day, 1,600 veterans of World War II and Korea pass away, and every month, 10,000 of their families ask for a military honor guard at their funerals. But even providing the minimum two-man detail has strained the military, which lacks the manpower to fulfill these missions. Reservists and National Guard troops have increasingly drawn the assignments, counting such duty against their drill requirements. New rules place such troops on active duty status, so if they are injured or killed on such duty the government pays their families the normal death benefits. The new law also authorizes those who volunteer for such assignments a $50 payment to cover the needed uniforms. The new law also opens the door, perhaps, to allowing State militia personnel (e.g., State Guards, State Defense Forces) to perform such duty.--Stephen V Cole


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