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I had the great honor and privilege of laying to rest a good friend, church member, Vietnam vet yesterday; Marine Norris P. Palmer, '69-'75, ( he was just 63, heart attack victim) ,Marine Recon 2 tours. Everything went well except for one glitch, it took the poor young Staff Sgt three times to properly fold the flag! He was no raw E1 mind you, but a Staff Sgt with two hash marks on his sleeve! I'm not being critical as it was painfully obvious the guy was new, or a last minute replacement for the detail. The Sr Staff Sgt of the detail would quietly try to instruct him when he was close,and he would have to unfold it and start over (and I'm sure the young man got a royal butt chewing later). Everyone was gracious, but here is what I told my wife afterwards; if I go before her, a couple days before the funeral, when she requests ( whether she or by the funeral director) my Honor Guard, tell them I said to practice, that I want the right "snap, pop" during the folding and I want that folded, finished flag tight as a drum, enough to bounce a quarter on "before" they present it to my wife! That's not much to ask. I suggest the rest of you vets make that known also, don't assume the Guard will know. ( In my mind, I could just hear Gunny Sgt Ermy eating that Staff Sgt alive later on, lol) As for appearance, gun salute, bugler doing Taps, it was first rate...OoooRah Marines!
 

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Anything you want, Preacher. You've earned it.
 

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Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse...

I've been on both sides of the situation. Rehearsals usually help. Sometimes it doesn't help.

The problem is you only get one chance to do the right thing, the right way for the family. I had a failure once- and it was for a friend- presenting to his wife. We took too long to re-do it. We all remember it. We talk about him and his wife- and not the graveside service. It was 26 years and 7 days ago.

M
 
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