AFSG December 2020 Newsletter

January 10, 2021
Newsletters
Holiday Greetings Everyone,

I hope that this Newsletter finds you and your family safe and sound. If patience was ever a virtue, it is more important now than ever!

It is very easy to think of what we cannot do or have. However, it is just as easy to remember what we can be thankful for. Is your glass half full or half empty? Your choice.

I cannot believe how fast 2021 is approaching! It seems like just yesterday I was reading George Orwell’s novel “1984”. The older I get, the faster the time goes by! At this point all our events have been cancelled until our November 2021 Membership meeting. No golf/raffle event, February Membership Meeting or Veterans Coffee Chats. Hopefully by next November we will begin to get back to a new normal.

The needs of our Veteran’s and families are still here. So I would like to make a suggestion if I may.

Seeing how we will not be able to hold our Annual Veteran Golf Event Fundraiser/Raffle, why not take our usual event registration fee ($60) and the average green fee we would pay ($40) and send a $100 donation to one of our four Veteran Foundations attached above. FYI - they are all 501 C 3 tax deductible foundations!
Village Center Design Update

The Village Design team, which I am a member, is progressing well. Stay tuned for a community Town Hall update in January. At this point there are two areas to the plan. Area #1 will be the open area in front of the Chaparral Center by the Adobe Pool area. Area #2 will be the Sonoran Plaza, Remington Dr. and the front of the Palm Center area.

The Veterans Monument will be in Area #2. Area #1 will hopefully begin construction this Spring/Summer. Area #2 will hopefully be done in Spring/Summer 2022.

I understand that it has been a long process, but I believe it will be well worth the wait! As we get closer to an actual design, I will pass the information on.

Soldiers Best Friend Award

The AFSG was again the title sponsor of Soldiers Best Friend 2020 Golf Event. Thanks to all our members who participated. Below photos, Barry MacKean and myself and the recognition award presented to the AFSG.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Arlington Cemetery A HISTORY LESSON

I have been fortunate to see this ceremony many times. To be selected for the honor of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is truly a high honor. Below are some of the requirements and history.

Know that every minute of every day wherever you are and whatever you may be doing, these guards are honoring the fallen.

1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?

21 steps:  It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?

21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1.

3. Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and, if not, why not?

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

5. How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

 6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5'10' and 6' 2' tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.

They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way.

After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.

There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe Lewis {the boxer} Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.

ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington,DC, our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

Click on the black square below to see a video of the “Weapons Check” for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers which is done before every change of the guard. The video is also in real time!

“Weapons Check”

Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers

Arlington Cemetery

Please remember all our military Men and Women and their families who will be on duty during our holidays and every day of the year!

GOD BLESS AMERICA THE LAND OF THE FREE AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE  WHO KEEP IT THAT WAY!

Stay safe!

Wishing you all Happy Holidays and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Barry Curseaden, Pres./Founder

SCG Armed Forces Support Group

“We shall never forget!

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