Veterans Military Honor Guard of Pigeon Forge History

 

2013

In December, 2013, Steve Holbert & Victor Velle met to discuss establishing a New Honor Guard in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The following items were discussed:

  1. We will seek to establish an Independent New Veteran’s Honor Guard based in Pigeon Forge, TN.
  2. The Honor Guard should build its membership numbers to 30 or more active members for it to be viable.
  3. It was suggested that, at least initially some of the Uniform cost should be funded by the individual members. It was estimated that each member’s Honor Guard Uniform will cost about $ 650.00, (for 30 members $19,500.00)
  4. It was suggested that the Honor Guard be operated by a Board of Directors, (BOD) which will control, oversee & coordinate Honor Guard activities. It is also suggested that the BOD be made up of both Sponsors & Officers of the Honor Guard, & that the BOD should be established in steps, as described below:
    1. Initially, 2 Board Members will be named:
      One (1) Board Member will be the Honor Guard Commander, (Steve)
      One (1) Board Member will be a Sponsor Member, (Victor),
    2. Following Sponsorship approval, 5 additional BOD Members will be appointed:
      Two (2) Sponsor BOD Members representing the Sponsors will be appointed by Victor,
      Three (3) Honor Guard BOD Members will appointed by Steve,
    3. A Chairman of the BOD will be named by the 7 Board Members,
    4. The Honor Guard Commander will name the Honor Guard Command & Support Staff.

      NOTE: It is agreed that Steve’s focus will be primarily on the Honor Guard, whereas Victor will be more ambassadorial in nature, working with the Sponsors & community. However, this is not to imply that he & other Sponsor BOD Members may not become active members of the Honor Guard; they may!
      NOTE: It is agreed the Honor Guard works for & is controlled by the Honor Guard BOD,
      NOTE: The Honor Guard Commander, or in his stead, the Command Staff will Command the Honor Guard,
      NOTE: As much as feasible, the BOD Members named by the Honor Guard Commander should be made up of members from each of the Branches of Service, (BOS).
  5. It was agreed that this Honor Guard is fully capable of beginning operations at this time. However, initial operations & staffing is totally dependent upon the VSVHG. Following Sponsorship approval, the Operation & Staffing of the Honor Guard will evolve from using VSVHG Members, Uniforms, & Equipment to a point where the New Honor Guard will have its own identity & capability, (Membership, Uniforms, Equipment, & Facilities).
  6. Items below were not discussed, but for planning purposes, these will eventually be needed:
    1. Bugle,
    2. M-1 Rifles & ammo,
    3. Flags for the Army, Navy, USMC, USAF, & USCG,
    4. Flag Carrying Parade Belts,
    5. Flag Display Stands/Supports for MFHS,
    6. Secure storage for the above items needs to be approved & prepared,
    7. Keys to the Building, offices, uniform closet, and gun closet need to be made available,
    8. Agreement upon & acquisition of a Uniform & Uniform Items,
    9. History of Honor Guard establishment & activity should be maintained.
  7. Lastly, it was agreed that we want this New Honor Guard “TO BE AS GOOD AS WE CAN MAKE IT”. For this to be possible, a strong & aggressive plan must to be developed & implemented. To insure everyone stays informed & understands what & how things will be done within the Honor Guard, an Honor Guard Standard Operating Procedures, (SOPs) document must be written. We believe that we have a GOOD BEGINNING DOCUMENT for the development of the Honor Guard. It is recognized that any plan is imperfect, & modifications to this document will be necessary on a continuing basis. When modifications are deemed necessary, we should error on the side of making the plan stronger & clearer, while avoiding any attempts that might be made to weaken or dilute it.

It is intended that everything the Honor Guard does, & how it is done should be covered in the Honor Guard SOPs.

Recognizing there are jobs which require a higher degree of personal sacrifice and risk, perhaps including injury and/or death, recognizing that these jobs require the family of the individual to also make sacrifices, we and others who participate in Honor Guards give of ourselves. We do this because it’s important to us to do it, and because it’s the right thing to do. We do this because both they and their family deserve it. In fact, the Federal Government has promised certain things to them as well, but they provide little or no financial support to those who provide these government mandated services. With the exception of Ceremonial M-1 Rifles and associated blank ammo which is provided free of charge by the US Army, everything else must be paid for by those who provide the services

We provide our services free of charge; our volunteers receive no pay. We depend solely on the generosity of the public to cover the cost of our required Honor Guard equipment, uniforms, and expenses

Asking a Veteran to participate in an Honor Guard, asking him/her to take time away from work and family, with no pay, asking his/her employer to understand and agree to this, makes it difficult to staff an Honor Guard. Since WW2, a declining number of Americans have served in our Armed Forces. Now, less than 1 in 200 have served in our Armed Forces. So, with a shrinking supply of Veterans available to volunteer for these services, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to staff an Honor Guard.

Because of this shrinking supply of Veterans to serve in Honor Guards, and in recognition that there are others besides those of us who have served in our nation’s Armed Forces who also make similar sacrifices and assume similar risks, we made the decision to include some others in our Honor Guard. We are recruiting family members who are directly related to a Veteran, and First Responders, (Police Department, Fire Department, Sheriff’s Department, THP, and Rescue Squad).

2014

On Jan 2nd, we had our 1st group meeting at Shoney’s Sevierville.

On Feb 11th, we had our 2nd group meeting at Shoney’s Sevierville.

On Mar 11th, we had our 3rd group meeting at Shoney’s Sevierville.

During late winter & early spring, we considered working with the Marine Corps League to share in the development of an Honor Guard that could meet their & our needs, but discussions produced nothing of consequence.

On Mar 30th, we participated in THE SPIRIT OF AMERICA (Stage Production) at the Smokey Mountain Opry Theater in Pigeon Forge.

On May 2nd, we participated in The Dolly’s HOMECOMING PARADE in Pigeon Forge.

We have a SPONSOR, “All Things Veterans”! They paid for our supper after the parade, ($400.00). Victor & Gina Nelson who are working with Pigeon Forge City & Community Governments to acquire funding for Vets projects, including among other things “Smoke Free Vacations for Vets, & sponsorship & funding for our New Honor Guard.

On May 5th, we had our 4th meeting at Shoney’s Sevierville. At the meeting, “All Things Veterans” & Gina Nelson’s group changed their minds due to a controversy concerning one of our members, the city planners, & Gina’s group.

During late spring, we considered working with the “AM VETS”. This too produced nothing of consequence.

After the AM VETS plan was abandoned, even though it would require more time, work, and expense, we eventually decided it would be best to build an organization from scratch, independent of any other established Veteran’s Organization, and do so for a single purpose. We wanted to build an Honor Guard and nothing more. From this time forward, we knew we would need all the support we could find, so we began

On Jul 10th, Carl McCarter & Steve met with Pigeon Forge City Manager Earline Teaster & Assistant Eric Brackins. The meeting went very well. Follow-on meetings were planned.

On Jul 22nd, the core group met at Shoney’s.

On Jul 30th, Vic & Steve met with Leon Downey. He is a Veteran of the Army & with the city of Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. The Meeting went very well.

On Aug 13th, Vic & Steve met with the Pigeon Forge Rotary Club. The President of this club is David Wear, who is also the Mayor of Pigeon Forge. Caleb Whaley is the Speaker Chair for the Rotary Club. Throughout the Lunch & Business Meeting, we showed a DVD of the VSVHG Funeral for Harry Colley of last April. That DVD was a good backdrop throughout the whole affair, as it repeated over & over. It showed people who know very little about what we do a great deal, without any talking. During the meeting, we again met with the Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear, (also President of the Pigeon Forge Rotary Club). He inquired about Steve’s & Carl’s meeting with Earlene & Eric Brackins a few weeks ago; he seemed pleased when we told him that both indicated support for our effort.

We also met with Johnny Hill. He is the President of the Pigeon Forge Hospitality Association, (PFHA). The PFHA has 230 members & is the largest hospitality association in the state. We will be meeting with their group ASAP, but likely not before the winter. Mr. Hill is also the Manager of the Holiday Inn, where today’s events occurred. We met many other new people who will likely provide some support.

Following the official part of the meeting, Johnny Hill provided us with FACILITIES, which we used for Manual of Arms Training later that day. His facilities will meet our needs for the foreseeable future.

Earlier, Amelia Sweeney indicated we could possibly use facilities where she works. Also, I had asked Carl if we could use his Church

On Sep 2nd, the Interim BOD Met. Herb Kraehmer, Victor Velle, Carl McCarter, Amelia Sweeney, & Steve Holbert were named to that BOD.

On Oct 31st, the BOB met & administratively disbanded itself, & opted for the possibility of a fresh start

After this, Vic & Steve continued to work informally & independently from a formal BOD.

In mid-November, Vic & Steve I met with Leon Downey to schedule a “PRACTICE PRESENTATION”.

On Dec 16th, Victor, Carl, & Steve met with Leon. Leon agreed to speak to Earlene Teaster, the Police Department, & Johnny Hill concerning our next steps forward.

2015

While awaiting a second meeting with Earlene Teaster, & her assistant, Eric Brackins, in addition to our work on the items mentioned above, we have been devoting our attention to “becoming known & gaining additional support throughout the community”.

On Jan 13th, Steve met with Jacob Anderson of the Sevier County Rescue Squad

On Jan 22nd, Vic & Steve met with Pigeon Forge Middle School Principal Scott Hensley, Pigeon Forge High School: Principal, Ben Clabo & Coach Scott Meadows. Also there was the Athletic Director, Jim Lethco & Band Director, Molly Brackins.

On Jan 23rd, Vic, Herb, & Steve met with Pigeon Forge Fire Department Honor Guard Member Matt Lovitt & Pigeon Forge Police Department Honor Guard Member Brett Maggard at the Pigeon Forge Fire Department.

On Jan 28th, Vic & Steve met with Pam Smith, the President of the Pigeon Forge Hospitality Assn, (PFHA).

On Jan 30th, Steve met again with Jacob Anderson of the Sevier County Rescue Squad.

On Feb 2nd, Steve met with Paul Lambert to discuss the possibility of the Fire Department & Rescue Squad members participating in the HG.

On Feb 3rd, Steve met with the Rescue Squad. He talked with Captain Shane Cogdill & Honor Guard Captain, Robert Phillips. He then met with the group. The Chief is Scott Sutton. He had a longer talk with Robert Phillips, leader in their Honor Guard.

On Feb 4th, Sevier County Sheriff’s Department: Carl & Steve met with Chief Deputy Michael Hodge. They will receive & store weapons if necessary. We will meet with their officers at shift start times, (4 meetings). They have 10 Veterans in the Department.

On Feb 5th, Vic & Steve met the General Manager of the Rocky Top Chrysler Dealership, Ryan Burgin

On Feb 12th, Carl, Vic, & Steve met with Earlene Teaster, Eric Brackins, & Leon Downey to present our Budget Funding Request Document. In that presentation, we emphasized the importance of this Honor Guard being sponsored primarily by the City. The presentation was received well enough for us to now believe the city will become our sole sponsor, & that funding will become available perhaps by late spring or early summer.

During the winter, Steve established a relationship with the Soldiers at the National Guard Armory on Ridge Road. They will permit us to train there during their normal duty hours.

On Mar 10th, the core members met.

On Apr 27, Vic, Leon, & Steve met with Jack Baldwin, Chief of Police for the Pigeon Forge Police Department.

On May 14th, Vic & Steve met with the PFHA Executive Committee to ask for support & follow-on meetings.

On Jun 8th, Vic & Steve met with newly elected Pigeon Forge Councilman Kenny Maples & Leon Downey.

On Jun 11th, Vic & Steve made a presentation to the Pigeon Forge Budget Work Shop. Those present were David Wear, Jay Ogle, Kenny Maples, Joyce Brackins, Earlene Teaster, & Leon Downey. The meeting went very well!

On Jul 1st, Vic & I meet with the Pigeon Forge Rotary Club.

On Sep 17th, we received the following mailing: Dear Steve, On behalf of our president, Sue Carr, the Rotary Club of Pigeon Forge supports your efforts to establish a Military Honor Guard. Our Rotary Club approved a goal of $1,000.00 for the Honor Guard for the year 2016. The funds are contingent on the success of our Craft Fair project during the month of October, 2015, and the success of the Military Honor Guard set up. All other funds from the Pigeon Forge Rotary Club will be considered yearly as our budget is approved. May God bless you and thank you for what you are doing for Sevier County. Sincerely, Betty Robertson, Secretary, Pigeon Forge Rotary Club

On Oct 20th, we received the following mailing: I am happy to inform you that at our last PFHA meeting on Oct 15th, the Board recommended we commit $500 per year, beginning 2016, for the next 5 years to the Pigeon Forge Honor Guard. This commitment is based on each year's incoming president's willingness to continue and as the budget will allow. The board also recommended Tom Headla, a Marine Veteran and past president of PFHA, to serve on your board if you so desire. We are happy to be a part of your endeavors. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. (signed) Pam

On Dec 3rd, our Charter was approved. This event is what we say: The Honor Guard was "Founded on December 3, 2015".

2016

On Feb 3rd, we met the new President of the Rotary Club Breckenridge S. Morgan, & Sevier County Sheriff Deputy Andrew Byrd, who agreed to get us before the Sherriff soon.

On Feb 26th, with Tyler Huskey’s continued assistance, we filed our 501-c-19 Application to the IRS.

On Apr 22nd, our 501-c-19 Application for Federal Tax Exemption was approved. We’ve now completed all our necessary founding documents, including our Constitution and Bylaws and SOPs. We have our FEIN, State Charter, (Articles of Incorporation), Federal 501-c-19 Tax Exemption, and State Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption. We’ve established ourselves on “Facebook”; we have a “GoFundMe” account, but our experience with these assets is limited. You can view some of these items & documents, find contact information, and other items of interest on our website at PFHG.ORG. Now, we’re fully prepared & involved in the Pigeon Forge area for Color Guard Events. Here’s what we’ve been doing:

On Apr 29th, our first service was at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge. Before that event, we set-up a “Missing Man Table”, then introduced Colonel Lee Ellis, (a USAF POW for 5 ½ years during the war in Vietnam). After Colonel Ellis’s presentation, we presented a POW-MIA Flag to the City in Colonel Ellis’s honor. Accepting for the City was Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear. Those present then proceeded to the Flag Pole area, where the Honor Guard dedicated that new POW Flag which now flies between the parking lot and the LeConte Center.

On May 21st, in support of the 5th Communications Squadron Reunion, (USAF) at the Music Road Resort Hotel, Inn and Convention Center, we posted the Colors, and then following dinner, provided the full presentation of the Colors ceremony, including the National Anthem, a presentation of the history of the POW-MIA Missing Man Table and its accompanying Ceremony, followed by the playing of TAPS, and the USAF Theme Song, and lastly the bugle call Retreat was sounded.

On May 29th, we set up our Missing Man Table, & had members present to interact with the public all day & into the evening in support of Operation Community Salute at The Island in Pigeon Forge.

We got this email: Hello. This is Rochelle from WoodmenLife. I will provide your team a set of Flags and harnesses for the Honor Guard. Rochelle Cordova.” Later in the year, she & her organization gave us an American Flag & a State Flag & 2 sets of Flag equipment.

On May 30th, at the Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, we provided a Memorial Day Program, which included a traditional “ceremonial noon raising of the Flag”, with the sounding of “To the Colors”.

On Jun 27th, the Pigeon Forge City Council approved its next year’s budget, which will include meeting some of our funding needs, and based on the belief that will soon follow suit, we took the next steps to further commit ourselves to this Honor Guard…

On Jun 29th, we ordered our ceremonial US Army M-1 Rifles and Blank Ammo and our Ceremonial Bugle. We begin training our newer members in July. We are working to organize and reseat the Honor Guard BOD. We are now “In Business” for Color Guard events similar to those mentioned above. As soon as we have a sufficient number of trained members, we will acquire additional uniforms, and then be able to provide “Military Funeral Honors” for America’s fallen Veterans, plus because we’ve structured this Honor Guard the way we have, we’ll be able to work with the First Responder groups to provide similar funeral honors services for their members as well.

On Jun 29th, we submitted our proposed “Going Public Announcement” to the Mountain Press, & was soon thereafter interviewed by their reporter, Jeff Farrell. It was hoped that this will produce a higher level of interest in this Honor Guard, which will result in bring us additional members & other additional support.

On Jul 5th, our first “Going Public Announcement” appeared in the Mountain Press

On Jul 11th, we began training our newer members. Steve will do the first session of training, & Glenn Miller will take training from that point forward. Pete Jucker, April Ogle, Andy Walters completed their first phase of training. Lester Huntley, Judy Crompton, & Tom Crompton began training, but they still need to complete their first phase.

On Jul 28th, in support of the National Miss Teen, Miss. Ms. & Mrs. Pageants, we presented the Colors in conjunction with the bugle call “To the Colors” at the Music Road Resort Hotel, Inn and Convention Center.

On Aug 8th: Vic & Steve attended a meeting with the PFHA membership in Pigeon Forge.

On Aug 10th, in support of a “VIP Press Luncheon for the Pearl Harbor Exhibit at the Gatlinburg Aquarium Event”, (Dee Lundy & Karl Thomas), we Presented the Colors in conjunction with the bugle call “To the Colors” for a service recognizing 2 Pearl Harbor surviving Veterans & to introduce the Pearl Harbor Exhibit there. Also, there was a Wolld Record established for the number of people involved tin that event.

On Aug 17th, in support of the Pigeon Forge Chamber of Commerce, at the Smoky Mountain Opry Theater, we participated in the “Salute to Veterans”. We Presented the Colors, (7 Flags with 2 Rifle Guards) in conjunction with the bugle call “To the Colors”. It is hoped that we will be able to build a permanent relationship with not only the Pigeon Forge Chamber of Commerce, but also the Chambers in Sevierville & Gatlinburg as well.

On Aug 27th, we “Led” the 4th Annual Veteran’s Homecoming Parade, which was proudly presented by the City of Pigeon Forge. The Color Guard fielded 2 Flag Guards & carried the American Flag & these additional Flags: POW-MIA, Army, USMC, Navy, USAF, & USCG. We were assisted by a member of the Volunteer State Veterans Honor Guard & several members of an USAF Tuy Hoa Air Base, RVN Reunion group.

On Aug 17th, in support of the Pigeon Forge Chamber of Commerce, at the Smoky Mountain Opry Theater, we participated in the “Salute to Veterans”. We Presented the Colors, (7 Flags with 2 Rifle Guards) in conjunction with the bugle call “To the Colors”. It is hoped that we will be able to build a permanent relationship with not only the Pigeon Forge Chamber of Commerce, but also the Chambers in Sevierville & Gatlinburg as well.

On Aug 27th, the following members joined our BOD: BG Jim Mungenast, USAF Retired, Colonel James Baker, Army Retired, & Sgt Maj Steven Teague, USMC Retired. These members joined Colonel Steve Holbert, USAF Retired, Vic Velle, USAF, Leon Downey, Army, & Tom Headla, USMC, who were previously on the BOD

On Sep 14th, The BOD presented revisions to the Honor Guard Constitution & Bylaws to the Membership at a General Combined Membership Meeting. Those present approved the two, (2) revisions.

On Sep 23th, we mailed an “Addendum to our previously submitted Weapons Application” to the Army.

On Oct 4th, Ms. Rochelle A.C. Cordova of the Woodman Life presented a Tennessee State Flag to the Honor Guard. This gift completes the package of gifts from the group. Their complete gift to the Honor Guard was an American Flag, Tennessee Flag, 2 Flag Poles, 2 Flag Parade Belts, an Eagle Top, and a Spear Top. A sincere thanks to Ms. Cordova and her group.

On Oct 6th, we emailed an “Additional Clarification & Proposed further Revision to our Bylaws” to our previously submitted Weapons Application & Addendum to the Army.

On Oct 11th, Tom Headla & Steve Holbert attended the Marine Corps League’s Monthly Meeting at the King Family Library in Sevierville. This opportunity was initiated by them.

On Nov 6th, Herb Kraehmer, Carl McCarter & Steve Holbert Presented the Colors for the Second Baptist Church in Sevierville.

On Nov 8th, James Baker, Bud Cassidy, Michelle Eberlie, Herb Kraehmer, & Carl McCarter joined Steve Holbert at Patriot’s Park in Pigeon Forge for the “27th Annual Winterfest Kickoff”. We did a great job, which was observed by several City Officials & the general public.

On Nov 10th, the Honor Guard was presented a $1,000.00 donation which was facilitated by the PFHA at their Veteran’s Tribute Joint Meeting at the Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge. Our sincere thanks goes to the AARP Tennessee State for this donation.

On Nov 11th, Pete Jucker, Herb Kraehmer, & Carl McCarter joined Steve Holbert at “The Incredible Christmas Place” in Pigeon Forge. Herb provided the Invocation, Carl & Steve Posted the Colors, & then Carl, Herb, & Steve presented the “Meaning of the 13 Folds”, as Carl & Herb Folded the Flag.

On Nov 16th, the US Army approved our request for Ceremonial M-1 Garand Rifles. This approval was made based on our agreement to make a minor revision to the Honor Guard Bylaws.

On Nov 17th, the Honor Guard BOD approved Revision 2 to the Bylaws.

On Nov 22nd, the Honor Guard membership ratified Revision 2 to the Bylaws.

On Nov 23rd, all required documents were emailed to the US Army. This completes all requirements of the Army. It is hoped that we will receive our Rifles in December.

On Dec 12th, Carl, Herb, & Steve visited Pharmacists Mate 3rd Class Frances Ostergren for her 105th Birthday Cake Party Celebration at Mountain Brook Retirement Village in Sevierville. She is the oldest living WW2 Veteran in Tennessee.

On Dec 19thJim Mungenast & Carl McCarter participated with the ceremonies for “Wreaths Across America” at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery.  

On Dec 20th, we received fifteen (15) US Army M-1 Rifles.

On Dec 22nd, the BOD met at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge to revise the Honor Guard SOPs & complete plans to become fully operationally capable by March 31, 2017. All BOD members were in attendance, either in person or conference call.

2017

On Jan 13th, we received our US Army M-1 "blank" ammo for the rifles we received earlier. We now have everything we need - - except, we still need 10 - 15 more members who will join those of us already on board so we can begin providing Military Funeral Honors to our fallen Brothers & Sisters.

On Jan 27th, the recently revised Revision # 3 to our SOPs was posted on our website, & if you are registered with an Honor Guard "USERNAME" & "PASSWORD", are now available for viewing on the Documents dropdown.

On Mar 13th, a telephonic meeting was held which included all 7 members of the BOD, & the Honor Guard Officers Carl McCarter & Glenn Miller.

On Mar 14th, it was announced that the Honor Guard will resume monthly "Info Sharing/Dinner Meetings" at Shoney's, 339 Forks of the River Parkway, Sevierville. We plan to meet on the last Tuesday of the month. Our next meeting in on Tuesday, March 28th at 1700 - 1900, but call Shoney's at 865-453-7106 to verify a particular date.

On April 10th, the Honor Guard held its first group "Manual of Arms Training Session" at the Army National Guard Armory in Pigeon Forge. Glenn Miller instructed the rest of the group which included Jim Mungenast, Vic Velle, Carl McCarter, Michelle Eberle, Tom Headla, April Ogle, & Steve Holbert.

On April 10th, it was agreed that we will continue our monthly "Information Sharing Dinner Meetings". The next dinner meeting is at the Shoney's in Pigeon Forge on April 25th.

On Apr 17th, we got our Honor Guard cell phone, (865-314-3915).

On Apr 19th, Jim Mungenast, Carl McCarter, & Herb Kraehmer attended in uniform the interment ceremonies for the six homeless Veterans at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery. While there, Jim met a couple of NCOs from the 134th Air Refueling Wing who are working on a small Honor Guard there; we plan to try to coordinate our activities & capabilities.

On Apr 20th, we got our Honor Guard Business Cards, (courtesy Andrew Byrd of The Thomas Group, in Sevierville).

On Apr 25th, Steve Teague, Herb Kraehmer, Glenn Miller, Tom Headla, Michelle Eberle, April Ogle, Gayle Thomas, Maria Teague, Debbie Lynch, & April’s Daughter, & Steve Holbert attended our monthly Information Sharing Supper Meeting at Shoney's in Pigeon Forge. Our next Supper/Meeting will be at Shoney’s in Pigeon Forge on May 30th.

On May 4th, we resumed Manual of Arms, Flag Folding, & Military Funeral Honors Training at the Army National Guard Armory. Those attending were Glenn Miller, Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, Michelle Eberle, & Steve Holbert.

On May 5th, we Posted the Colors for the Tennessee Lions Club State Convention at the Music Road Convention Center's Duet Ball Room; those participating were Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, Michelle Eberle, Pete Jucker, & Steve Holbert.

On May 5th, we led the 32nd Annual Dolly Parton's Homecoming Parade in Pigeon Forge; those participating were Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, Michelle Eberle, Pete Jucker, & Steve Holbert.

On May 11th, Jim Mungenast attended the monthly ETMAC meeting at the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce; while there, Jim made a pitch for recruits.

On May 15th, we “Posted the Colors”, & provided a program on Folding the Flag during Military Funeral Honors for the residents & staff at the Life Care Center of Blount County in Louisville, TN. Carl McCarter, Tom Headla, Michelle Eberle, & Pete Jucker represented our Honor Guard very professionally for this event. Following our presentation, the group joined the residents & staff for refreshments at the facility.

On May 29th, we “Posted the Colors”, & provided a program on Folding the Flag during Military Funeral Honors for the residents & staff at the Sevier County Health Care Center in Sevierville. Jim Mungenast, Tom Headla, Michelle Eberle, & Steve Holbert were the participants for this event. Following our presentation, the group joined the residents & staff for refreshments at the facility.

On May 30th, Tom Headla, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert attended our monthly Information Sharing Supper Meeting at Shoney's in Pigeon Forge. 

On Jun 27th, Leon Downey & Steve Holbert attended our monthly “Info Sharing Supper Meeting” at Shoney's in Pigeon Forge.

On Jul 1st, Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, & Steve Holbert set up our Missing Man Table & 8 Flags, & interacted with the public all day & into the evening, assisting Sandy Inbody in a fundraiser for Operation Community Salute at The Island in Pigeon.

On July 25th, a very successful Board of Directors Meeting, (BOD) was held at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. Our BOD has gained considerable strength & determination in the last several months, & it showed at the meeting. All seven (7) BOD members plus Honor Guard Sgt-at-Arms Glenn Miller were present & actively participated in this meeting. There was one exception to the good news, BOD Member James Baker will be stepping down due to his moving to Charleston SC.

On Jul 27th, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Michelle Eberle, Glenn Miller & Steve Holbert attended our monthly “Info Sharing Supper Meeting” at TGI Friday’s in Pigeon Forge. 

On Aug 19th, we were given the privilege of leading the "5th Annual Veteran's Homecoming Parade" in Pigeon Forge. Those who participated were members Jim Mungenast, Steve Teague, Pete Jucker, Michelle Eberle, Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headly, & Amelia Sweeney. Joining our members were recent Navy recruits McKayla Floyd & Will Rowell. Also joining us were CPL Parker Teague, USMC & 2 additional local volunteers.

On Aug 31st, Tom Headla, Leon Downey, Herb Kraehmer, Carl McCarter, Michelle Eberle, Tom Marsh, Randy Tipton, Debbie Lynch, & Steve Holbert attended our monthly “Info Sharing Supper Meeting” at the Local Goat – New American Restaurant in Pigeon Forge. 

On Sep 11th, members of the Honor Guard attended the Pigeon Forge City Council Meeting to extend our thanks for their support, provide an update of the progress the Honor Guard is making, & inform the City of our plans for the future. Those attending included Board of Director members Jim Mungenast, Leon Downey, & Tom Headla; also attending was member Tom Marsh & Mrs. Mungenast.

On Sep 13th, Honor Guard Board of Director members Jim Mungenast, Leon Downey, Vic Velle, & Tom Headla visited Rawlings Funeral Home in Sevierville, & Mr. Jesse Inman, the Sevier County Veterans Service Officer, as well as a member of our Honor Guard to provide an “Honor Guard Progress & Plans Update”, which included an announcement that the Honor Guard will soon be offering our availability to provide Military Funeral Honors in the community. Then, Jim, Leon, & Mrs. Mungenast visited the Pigeon Forge Rotary Club to provide a similar “info update”. The groups made a pitch for active members with both Mr. Inman & at the Rotary Club. The Honor Guard plans to finalize its date of availability after it receives its ordered uniform pins & patches, gets them to the members, completes a revision to the SOPs, completes some review training, coordinates to complete & distribute an “open for business announcement” for the media & others. If all this goes as hoped, we’ll be in business in October.

On Sep 26th, Herb Kraehmer, Michelle Eberle, Pete Jucker, Randy Tipton, Kelly Ogle Wolfe, (our newest member), & Steve Holbert attended our monthly “Info Sharing Supper Meeting” at the Local Goat – New American Restaurant in Pigeon Forge. 

On Oct 1st, the Honor Guard SOPs, Revision # 4 was completed & disseminated.

On Oct 24th, Carl McCarter, Glenn Miller, Michelle Eberle, Randy Tipton, Tom Marsh, Herb Kraehmer, Jeanette Kraehmer, Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, & Steve Holbert attended our monthly “Info Sharing Supper Meeting” at the Local Goat – New American Restaurant in Pigeon Forge. In addition to the good turnout, the enthusiasm of the group was also excellent. The most significant issue discussed & agreed to was that because we are nearing the very busy season ending around Veterans Day, & because five (5) of our Operational Members are also members of the Volunteer State Veterans Honor Guard, & because we are still in the process of completing a few important items, we plan to announce our availability to provide Military Funeral Honors shortly after November 11th. Additionally, Flag Folding & Presenting Training was scheduled for October 30th at the National Guard Armory, plus our two (2) upcoming scheduled events in Pigeon Forge & Alcoa were staffed. 

On Oct 30th, Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, Michelle Eberle, Randy Tipton, & Steve Holbert completed training in Flag Holding, Folding, & Presenting at the National Guard Armory in Pigeon Forge. Additionally, they fired our M-1 rifles for the first time. 

On Nov 9th: Prior to the 2017 Pigeon Forge Hospitality & Tourism Joint Association Meeting that was once again held at Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge to honor all Veterans, Herb Kraehmer, Leon Downey, & Pete Jucker completed their Flag Folding & Presenting Training with Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear observing the training. They then joined Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, & Michelle Eberle who were all awarded their Honor Guard “Tri-Fold Pins”. Herb Kraehmer & Carl McCarter were re-awarded their new Ribbon Racks. All members present were issued their new Honor Guard “Breast Badges”. With the addition of all these pins, & most members present wearing their new Honor Guard patches, a great deal of pride within the group was evident. All of this resulted in an excellent “Presentation of our Nation’s Colors”, provided by Herb Kraehmer, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, Michelle Eberle, Pete Jucker, & Steve Holbert.

On Nov 10th: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, Pete Jucker, & Steve Holbert “Posted the Colors”, & provided a program on “Folding & Presenting the Flag” during Military Funeral Honors for the residents & staff at the Life Care Center of Blount County in Louisville, TN.

On Dec 13th: The Honor Guard Board of Directors, (BOD) met at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. Vic Velle, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, & Steve Holbert were present at the meeting; Jim Mungenast & Steve Teague attended via telephone conference call.

On Dec 14th: Board of Directors, (BOD) members Jim Mungenast & Steve Teague were recommended & nominated for reelection to the Honor Guard (BOD). All current members were asked to vote. Results of the election will be announced on January 1, 2018.

On Dec 15th: The Honor Guard Finance Committee met at the LeConte Center; members in attendance were Vic Velle, Leon Downey, & Tom Headla. A preliminary budget for next year was agreed to. It must be agreed to before the end of the year.

On Dec 17th: The Mountain Press printed an article from an interview the paper’s editor Jason Davis did with Steve Holbert. The article showed a photo of Steve with our “promotional circular”, which says “ARE YOU A VETERAN? If so… WE WANT YOU FOR THE PIGEON FORGE HONOR GUARD".

On Dec 21st: The 2018 Budget was completed & sent to the BOD for its approval.

On Dec 22nd: All BOD members voted to approve the 2018 Annual Budget.

On Dec 22nd: Steve Holbert, Jim Warpool, Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, & Carl McCarter attended a Memorial Service for Pharmacist Mate 3rd Class Frances C. Ostergren, a WW2 Navy “WAVE” at MountainBrooke Village in Sevierville. Prior to her death on December 18th, she was the oldest living Veteran in Tennessee. This Honor Guard will provide Military Funeral Honors for her at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier in Mid-January, (date & time to be announced). It is noted that this service will be the first Military Funeral Honors provided by this Honor Guard.

On Dec 30th: Military Funeral Honors, (1st)Only by chance & luck, we provided our 1st MFH. Because the Daughter of a deceased Veteran called on December 28th, after she had been turned down by 3 other Honor Guards, we scrambled & provided a much appreciated MFH service for a CIA member who served in the conflict in SEA, (Laos), when he was only 14 years old. Those who participated were Dave Caldwell, Herb Kraehmer, Leon Downey, Michelle Eberle, & Steve Holbert.

On Dec 31st: It was announced that Jim Mungenast & Steve Teague have been reelected for a 3 year term of office to serve on the Honor Guard Board of Directors. Their terms are from January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2020.

2018

On Jan 8th: Steve Holbert along with Leon Downey attended the Pigeon Forge City Council Meeting. We updated those present on the recent happenings of the Honor Guard. We invited the City Council Members & Earlene Teaster to attend our upcoming first regularly scheduled MFH on January 12th. While there, we gave “Gift Honor Guard Lapel Pins” to the newest member to the City Council, Tony Watts, as well as Pigeon Forge Police Chief Jack Baldwin & Pigeon Forge Fire Chief Tony Watson as a token of our appreciation for all the support they have given us since the beginning, more than four (4) years ago.

On Jan 12th: Military Funeral Honors, (2nd): The Honor Guard achieved its goal which was established more than four (4) years ago. It provided its 1st regularly scheduled MFH Memorial Service for Pharmacist Mate 3rd Class Frances C. Ostergren, a WW2 Navy “WAVE” at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, on John Sevier. The following members participated: Herb Kraehmer served as Chaplain; assisting Herb inside were four (4) person Navy team led by CPO Wendy Wyman & members Jim Warpool, who Presented the Flag to the NOK & Jeff Hosfeld who served on the Flag Detail. Jim Mungenast hosted the greeting & seating; he organized photography & introduced the service. Working outside was Bud Cassidy, the OIC; participating on the Firing Line were Carl McCarter, Pete Jucker, Steve Holbert, Dave Caldwell, Parker Teague, Tom Headla, & Michelle Eberle. Leon Downey served as photographer. Other members present were Tom Marsh & Denver Thomas. The Bugler was USAF ROTC Cadet Colonel Emily Thieert. Working outside was Bud Cassidy, the OIC; participating on the Firing Line were Carl McCarter, Pete Jucker, Steve Holbert, Dave Caldwell, Parker Teague, Tom Headla, & Michelle Eberle. Leon Downey served as photographer. Other members present were Tom Marsh & Denver Thomas. The Bugler was USAF ROTC Cadet Colonel Emily Thieert.

On Jan 29th, these seven (7) members met with Steve Holbert at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge & completed their “Initial Training Session”: Leon Downey, Army, Jeff Hosfeld, USAF, John Perry, USAF, Dinnis Pippin, USAF, Jerry Sandifer, Civilian, Denver Thomas, Navy, & Jennifer Torres, USAF.

On Jan 30th: New members Dennis Pippin & Tony Rash joined Carl McCarter, Herb Kraehmer, Jeanette Kraehmer, Michelle Eberle, Randy Tipton, Glenn Miller, Tom Marsh, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, & Steve Holbert at our monthly “Info Sharing Supper Meeting” at the Local Goat – New American Restaurant in Pigeon Forge. Another great turnout! Of consequence, the following has happened since our last meeting in October:

  • The Honor Guard has provided two (2) MFH, with one planned for this coming Saturday.
  • We have gained three (3) new members.
  • Seven (7) members have just completed their Initial Training Session,
  • Two (2) members have ordered their uniforms.

The group seemed pleased that it appears we will soon be what we set out to be more than 4 years ago.

On Feb 3rd: Military Funeral Honors, (3rd): was provided for LCPL Joseph E. Carr, USMC at the family home in Sevierville. Herb Kraehmer was the Chaplain. Joining Steve Holbert on the firing Line were Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, & Jeff Hosfeld. Also present was Tom Marsh. The Marine Corps provided the Flag Folding, Flag Presentation, plus a Bugler.

On Mar 1st: The following members attended the monthly Supper Meeting: Herb Kraehmer, Michelle Eberle, Randy Tipton, Jeff Hosfeld, Tom Marsh, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, & Steve Holbert at our monthly “Info Sharing Supper Meeting” at the Local Goat – New American Restaurant in Pigeon Forge. Great turnouts are becoming the norm. Tom Headla will host the next Supper Meeting on March 29th, at 1730 – 1830. Jeff Hosfeld will host the April Supper Meeting.

On Mar 7th: We Posted Colors, then gave a program on the Thirteen (13) Folds of the Ceremonial Flag to the Pigeon Forge Rotary Club. These members participated for the first time in full uniform: Jeff Hosfeld, Leon Downey, & Tom Marsh. They were joined by Randy Tipton, Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, & Steve Holbert. After the event, the Rotary Club gave each of the participants a Ceremonial Rotary Club Challenge Coin.

On Mar 29th: The following members attended the monthly Supper Meeting: Herb Kraehmer, Tom Marsh, Steve Holbert, Pete Jucker, Randy Tipton, Michelle Eberle, Debbie Lynch, Tom Headla, John Perry, Leon Downey, Jerry Sandifer, Denver Thomas, & Helena Thomas at the Local Goat – New American Restaurant in Pigeon Forge. Another Great Turnout. Jeff Hosfeld will host the next Supper Meeting at the Local Goat on Monday, April 30th, at 1730 – 1830.

On April 5th: We Posted the Colors for the Great Smoky Mountain Association of Realtors in Sevierville; then provided a program on the 13 Folds during Military Funeral Honors. Participants were: Jeff Hosfeld, Leon Downey, Carl McCarter, Tom Headla, Tom Marsh, Pete Jucker, Herb Kraehmer, John Perry, & Steve Holbert.

On April 7th: Military Funeral Honors, (4th)for Yeoman 3rd Class William Francis Smith, US Navy, WW2; at the Louisville Cemetery, 2965 West Old Topside Road, Louisville, TN 37777. Participants were: Jim Mungenast, Herb Kraehmer, Leon Downey, Carl McCarter, Tom Marsh, John Perry, & Steve Holbert.

On April 19th: The Honor Guard Board of Directors, (BOD) voted to approve:

  1. The Nomination of Jeff Hosfeld to become Vice Commander.
  2. The nomination of John Perry to become Quartermaster.
  3. Revision # 2 to the Honor Guard Constitution.
  4. Revision # 3 to the Honor Guard Bylaws.
  5. An amended procedure addressing how the Honor Guard deals with assisting those members who need financial assistance in acquiring their uniform. Details of this will be forthcoming when we release Revision # 5 to the SOPs, which will be completed in the next few days.

Congratulations to Jeff & John, who are now our newest Honor Guard Officers as of tonight.

The Revisions to the Constitution & Bylaws require membership ratification. You will be hearing form either Jim Mungenast or Vic Velle concerning how you can participate in that process ASAP.

On Apr 30th: The following members & guests attended the monthly Supper Meeting: Jeff Hosfeld, Rebecca Hosfeld, Steve Teague, Maria Teague, Herb Kraehmer, Tom Marsh, Steve Holbert, Pete Jucker, Randy Tipton, Michelle Eberle, Debbie Lynch, Tom Headla, John Perry, Glenn Miller, Kathryn Bonner & Greg Rothberg at the Local Goat – New American Restaurant in Pigeon Forge. Another Great Turnout. Jeff Hosfeld hosted the meeting.

At 1800, Steve Holbert called the business part of the meeting into session:

  1. Jeff Hosfeld was introduced as the new Vice Commander.
  2. John Perry was introduced as the new Quartermaster.
  3. The membership voted to ratify the Revision to the Honor Guard Constitution.
  4. The membership voted to ratify the Revision to the Honor Guard Bylaws.

Other items discussed included:

  1. Preparation for the Parade on May 4th,
  2. Preparation for Survivor Day at Dollywood on May 19th,
  3. Vote for Operation Honor Guard at http://www.foodcitycharitychallenge.com/knoxville,
  4. Share and Like the PFHG Facebook & website with friends/family; let Pete know if changes or issues are encountered with the site.
  5. Our new video camera,
  6. A pending announcement concerning our availability to begin providing Military Funeral Honors locally.
  7. The next meeting date, location, & host will be announced when it is set.

On May 4th: Led by, joined by, & followed by several members of the Cocke County High School Navy JROTC, we participated in the Music in the Mountains Spring Parade in Pigeon Forge. Steve Teague, John Perry, Denver Thomas, Jennifer Torres, Dennis Pippin, Kathryn Bonner, Tom Headla, & Steve Holbert represented our Honor Guard.

On May 19th: The Honor Guard Posted the Colors, our Bugler sounded TAPS during the program, & we Retired the Colors for the Survivor Outreach Appreciation Day at Dollywood’s Showstreet Palace Theater. The following members participated: John Perry, Michelle Eberle, Tom Marsh, Dennis Pippin, Kathryn Bonner, Carl McCarter, Denver Thomas, Pete Jucker, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert.

On May 27th: Military Funeral Honors, (5th)for PFC Otis L. Turpin, US Army, WW2, at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Knoxville. The following members participated: Herb Kraehmer, John Perry, Michelle Eberle, Carl McCarter, Denver Thomas, Tom Marsh, & Steve Holbert.

On May 28th, the Honor Guard was at two (2) places:

     1. At 0930, our Bugler, Steve Holbert accompanied by Faye Holbert sounded TAPS at 3 cemeteries, & the “Pearl Harbor Memorial Tree” in Cades Cove. Faye & Steve were accompanied by the group who requested Honor Guard services as they visited relatives’ grave sights & decorated all graves with Veteran's markings at the Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, & the Methodist Church Cemetery.

     2. At 1030, Denver Thomas, Dennis Pippin, Tom Marsh, Herb Kraehmer, & John Perry met at Sevier County Court House in Class A Uniforms to assist Gold Star Mothers place a wreath in their honor. Later, Dennis Pippin & John Perry led the attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance. This was the Honor Guard's first appearance at this annual event which also included the VFW, American Legion, Marine Corps League, & DAV.

On May 29th: The following members & guests attended the monthly Supper Meeting at Calhoun’s in Pigeon Forge: Michelle Eberle, Michelle’s Daughter Jade, Randy Tipton, Steve Teague, Maria Teague, Herb Kraehmer, Tom Marsh, Steve Holbert, Leon Downey, Debbie Lynch, Tom Headla, Dennis Pippin, Dennis’s Daughter Bethanie, & Dennis’s Son Reuben. The next Supper Meeting will be on Tuesday, June 26th at Holston’s, 639 Dolly Parton Pkwy, Sevierville, TN 37862, & will be hosted by Herb Kraehmer.

On Jun 1st: SOPs Revision # 5 was released. It’s available for viewing on the documents dropdown on our website for those who have registered with a username & password. (for those who have registered with a username & password).

On Jun 5th: Military Funeral Honors, (6th)for Perry Ownby, Jr., Army, Korea; at the Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery, Bethel Church Rd, Townsend, TN 37882; Miller Funeral Home of Maryville coordinated the graveside funeral service; Jeff Hosfeld & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the Honor Guard. The following members participated: Herb Kraehmer, Kathryn Bonner, Randy Tipton, John Perry, Michelle Eberle, Carl McCarter, Denver Thomas, Pete Jucker, & Steve Holbert.

On Jun 7th: A telephonic Honor Guard BOD meeting was held on Thursday night. The following members participated in the meeting: Jim Mungenast, Tom Headla, Leon Downey, Steve Holbert, Kathryn Bonner, & Jeff Hosfeld. Kathryn Bonner & Jeff Hosfeld were elected to become new members of the BOD; they join current BOD members listed above plus Vic Velle & Steve Teague, who were not available to participate in the meeting. Congratulation & thanks to Kathryn & Jeff for agreeing to accept this important additional duty & responsibility.

On Jun 9th: Military Funeral Honors, (7th): for SP5 Michael A. Burns, Army, RVN; at the East Walland Baptist Church Cemetery in East Walland, TN; McCannon – Ammons – Click Funeral Home of Maryville coordinated the graveside funeral service; Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the Honor Guard. The following additional members participated: Kathryn Bonner, John Perry, Denver Thomas, Tom Headla, Tom Marsh, Leon Downey, & Dennis Pippin.

On Jun 16th: Military Funeral Honors Memorial Service, (8th)for SN Randal D. Wright, Navy; at the Restoration International Outreach, (RIO), 370 South Long Hollow Road in Maryville, TN; the family coordinated the funeral service; Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the Honor Guard. The following additional members participated: Kathryn Bonner, John Perry, Tom Marsh, Leon Downey, & Pete Jucker.

On Jun 18th: We Posted the Colors at the Black Bear Inn & Suites in Gatlinburg for the Travelers Protective Association Annual Meeting. The following members participated: Jeff Hosfeld, Kathryn Bonner, John Perry, Tom Marsh, Dennis Pippin, & Pete Jucker.

On Jun 21st: Jeff Hosfeld, Carl McCarter, Glenn Miller, John Perry, Kathryn Bonner, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, & Steve Holbert met at the LeConte Center to address operational issues as the Honor Guard continues its progress toward becoming truly GREAT. On the following day Jeff Hosfeld, John Perry, & Steve Holbert met again to complete the plans initiated the previous day. A short, but important clarification & modification to our SOPs was the most significant issue addressed in these meetings. Consequently, the SOPs will be revised again ASAP.

On Jun 26th: The following members & guests attended the monthly Supper Meeting at Holston’s in Sevierville: Michelle Eberle, Randy Tipton, Herb Kraehmer, Jeanette Kraehmer, Debbie Lynch, Tom Headla, Tom Marsh, & Steve Holbert. The next Supper Meeting will be hosted by Herb Tom Headla.

On Jul 7th: Military Funeral Honors, (9th)for Army PFC Freddie L. Bennett at Highland South Cemetery. Unity Funeral Home coordinated the service. Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The following additional members participated Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Tom March, John Perry, Pete Jucker, Carl McCarter, Jerry Sandifer, Denver Thomas, & Jeff Hosfeld.

On Jul 16th: Military Funeral Honors, (10th)for Army Veteran Willie M. Newman at the Grandview Cemetery in Maryville. Smith Funeral Home of Maryville coordinated the service. Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The following additional members participated: Kathryn Bonner, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Tom Marsh, John Perry, & Denver Thomas.

On Jul 21st: Military Funeral Honors Memorial Service, (11th)for Army SGT Stanley M. Russell at the Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church in Townsend. The family coordinated the Memorial Service. Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The following additional members participated: John Perry, Leon Downey, Kathryn Bonner, Tom Headla, Tom Marsh, Denver Thomas, Dennis Pippin, Jim Mungenast, & Jerry Sandifer.

On Jul 24th: The following members & guests attended the monthly Supper Meeting at the Local Goat – New American Restaurant in Pigeon Forge: Jeff & Becky Hosfeld, Denver & Helena Thomas, Debbie Lynch, Tom Headla, Jerry Sandifer, Julie Ellis, Kathryn Bonner, Tom Marsh, John & Elaine Perry, & Leon Downey.

On Jul 26th: The Honor Guard BOD met at the LeConte Center. All eight (8) members were present, which includes Jim Mungenast, Vic Velle, Steve Holbert, Jeff Hosfeld, Kathryn Bonner, Steve Teague, Leon Downey, & Tom Headla. Among other issues discussed, it was announced that:

  • The City of Pigeon Forge will provide funding for last year’s commitment from the City sometime after the first of August. Additionally, they have approved funding for the current year,
  • The Pigeon Forge Hospitality Association, (PFHA) has now fulfilled their financial commitment to the Honor Guard,
  • Many thanks to these organizations for their very important support; without their support, where would we be?

Following the above meeting, an official Operational Members Business Meeting was held to inform the members, & ask for their continued participation & support. In addition to the BOD members, the following members attended this meeting: Dennis Pippin, Pete Jucker, Denver Thomas, Jerry Sandifer, & Debbie Lynch.

On Jul 28th: Military Funeral Honors, (12th) for Navy SN Earl Brownlow Jordan at the Graveston Baptist Church Cemetery in Corryton, TN. Bridges Funeral Home of Knoxville coordinated the service. Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The following additional members participated: John Perry, Leon Downey, Kathryn Bonner, Tom Headla, Tom Marsh, & Denver Thomas.

On Jul 31st: We provided a program for the Sevier County Right to Life Association on the Meaning of the 13 Folds of the Flag during Military Funeral Honors at the Sevier County Court House: The following members participated: John Perry, Dennis Pippin, Jeff Hosfeld, Tom Marsh, & Steve Holbert.

On Aug 18th: The following members participated in the 2018 Pigeon Forge Veterans Homecoming Parade: Kathryn Bonner, Tom Marsh, Tom Headla, Leon Downey, Herb Kraehmer, Amelia Sweeney, Pete Jucker, John Perry, Dennis Pippin. Jeff Hosfeld coordinated the event & drove the Pigeon Forge Trolley which carried some of our members & their families during the parade.

On Aug 28th: The following members & guests attended the monthly Supper Meeting at the at Black Fox Lodge in Pigeon Forge: Carl McCarter, Vic Velle, Tom Marsh, Ginny Marsh, Dennis Pippin, Ruben Pippin, Bethany Pippin, Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, & Leon Downey, who hosted the evening’s activity.

On Sep 13th: Military Funeral Honors, (13th) for LCPL David L. Jackson, Sr., USMC at the New East Tennessee Veteran’s Cemetery in Knoxville. Patton Funeral Home Coordinated the service. Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. These additional members participated: Leon Downey, Michelle Eberle, Pete Jucker, Tom Marsh, Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, & Denver Thomas.

On Sep 25th: Military Funeral Honors, (14th) for Captain Mark E. Moody, Army; at the Sherwood Memorial Gardens in Alcoa. Berry Funeral Home Coordinated the service; Chuck Sayne, (VSVHG) & Steve Holbert Coordinated the MFH. These additional members participated: Tom Headla & Denver Thomas. 

On Sep 27th: The following members & friends attended the Monthly Supper Meeting at the Local Goat in Pigeon Forge: Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, Denver & Helena Thomas, Jeff & Becky Hosfeld, Michelle Eberle, & Randy Tipton. Let us know if you want to plan & host the meeting in October.

On Oct 4th: Along with 3 other Honor Guards in the area, we participated for the first time in Operation Honor Guard. The combined effort netted $46,885.81, which will be distributed to the 4 Honor Guards later this year. Thanks to the following Members & Family members who participated: Tom Headla, Tom Marsh, Pete Jucker, Glenn Miller, Jeff Hosfeld, Carl McCarter, Herb Kraehmer, Debbie Lynch, Tim Barr, Vic Velle, Sandi Velle, Michelle Eberle, Denver Thomas, Jim Mungenast, John Perry, Dennis Pippin, Bethanie Pippin, Reuben Pippin, & Steve Holbert.

On Oct 10th: Military Funeral Honors, (15th):for PVT Jeffery L. Brodie, Sr., Army; at the New East Tennessee Veteran’s Cemetery in Knoxville; Unity Funeral Home Coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert Coordinated the MFH. These additional members participated: Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, Tom Marsh, Carl McCarter, Jim Mungenast, & Denver Thomas.

On Oct 17th: The Honor Guard BOD met at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. All 7 BOD Members were present. Among other items of importance, the BOD recommended both Leon Downey & Tom Headla for follow-on 3 year terms as members of the BOD. The membership will be given the opportunity to nominate other members, & then a BOD Member election will be held to name 2 BOD members to serve beginning on Jan 1, 2019. Also, Revision # 6 to the Honor Guard SOPs was approved; it will be finalized & posted on November 1st. Lastly, Steve Holbert was named to continue as Honor Guard Commander; he will be naming his list of assisting officers ASAP.

On Oct 19th: The Honor Guard Posted the Colors for a naturalization citizenship ceremony at the Pigeon Forge High School. The OIC was Steve Holbert; the Detail Commander was John Perry. Others participating included Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, Dennis Pippin, Tom Marsh, & Denver Thomas.

On Oct 24th: Following the Pigeon Forge Police & Fire Departments’ Presentation of the American Flag & Tennessee Flag, the Veterans Military Honor Guard of Pigeon Forge Presented the 5 Service Flags along with the Service Songs, & the POW-MIA Flag for the Phil Waldrep Ministries Celebrators Conference at the LeConte Center. The following members participated: Leon Downey, Herb Kraehmer, Denver Thomas, Dennis Pippin, Tom Headla, & John Perry. Steve Holbert coordinated & observed a great performance by those above! Also, the following Family Members attended: Marjorie Downey, Debbie Lynch, Faye Holbert, Bethanie Pippin, & Reuben Pippin. FYI, this event included the presence of President George W. Bush, & before the above  members appeared, President Bush met with them back stage, shook their hands, & apologized to them for the way many Vietnam Veterans were treated as a result of their experiences in Vietnam! It is noteworthy that the public was not informed, (except by this submitted article to the Mountain Press), of President Bush’s gracious & warm meeting with the members of the Honor Guard.

On Oct 30th, three (3) items took place:

     1. The Honor Guard Uniform Committee, consisting of Tom Headla, Leon Downey, Jim Warpool, & Steve Holbert met at the LeConte Center.

     2. The Honor Guard Finance Committee, consisting of Tom Headla, Leon Downey, & Steve Holbert met at the LeConte Center.

    3. The following members & friends attended the Monthly Supper Meeting at the Black Fox Lodge in Pigeon Forge: Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, John Perry, Elaine Perry, Jerry Sandifer, Julie Ellis, Faye Holbert, Steve Holbert, Leon Downey, Michelle Eberle, Randy Tipton, Dennis Pippin, Reuben Pippin, Bethanie Pippin, & Tom Marsh. Reuben Pippin & Bethanie Pippin submitted their application to become Honorary Members of the Honor Guard; which was gladly accepted. So far, we have now sold 15 Honor Guard Polo Shirts. John Perry & Jerry Sandifer will host the meeting in November.

On Nov 8th: The Honor Guard Presented the Colors. Then, as each Service Song was played, the Service Flags were Presented; the Honor Guard concluded with a special introduction & Presentation of the POW-MIA Flag at the at Sevier County Hospitality Association’s Annual Veteran's Appreciation Event at the Dolly Parton Stampede in Pigeon Forge. Those participating were Scott Isbell, Tom Marsh, Tom Headla, Herb Kraehmer, Dennis Pippin, Denver Thomas, & Carl McCarter. Detail Commander was John Perry; the OIC was Steve Holbert. Family members present were Jeanette Kraehmer, Helena Thomas, Faye Holbert, Crystal Pippin, Reuben Pippin, & Bethanie Pippin.

On Nov 9th, the Honor Guard was at two (2) places:

     1. In the morning: The Honor Guard participated in Veteran’s Day activities at the Pigeon Forge High School. Following a brief introduction & description of “2 Pieces of Cloth”, known as our American Flag & our POW-MIA Flag, the Honor Guard Presented the Colors, (American Flag & POW-MIA Flag). This was followed by the Presentation of the Service Flags as each Service Song was played. At the conclusion of the program, we retired the Colors. Those participating were John Perry, Herb Kraehmer, Carl McCarter, Denver Thomas, Jerry Sandifer, & Steve Holbert.

     2. In the afternoon, Herb Kraehmer, Faye Holbert, & Steve Holbert attended a reception at WATE-TV studios, & were presented a check for $5,500.00 for the Honor Guard’s participation in Operation Honor Guard in October.

On Nov 10th: The Honor Guard sounded TAPS at 4 Cemeteries in Cades Cove. Steve Holbert was the Bugler; Faye Holbert was present in support.

On Nov 11th: The Honor Guard provided a Rifle Salute & TAPS at the Resthaven Memorial Gardens for their 27th Annual Veterans Day Celebration at 2642 E. Hwy 25/70 between Dandridge & Newport. Those participating were Randy Tipton, Michelle Eberle, John Perry, Herb Kraehmer, Dennis Pippin, Jerry Sandifer, & Steve Holbert. Other members & family members present were Julie Ellis, Elaine Perry, & Crystal Pippin.

On Nov 12th: The Honor Guard participated at the Annual Veteran’s Day activities at the Sevier County Court House. The guest speaker was our own Board Chairman BG Jim Mungenast, USAF (RET). Jim recognized those Veterans present who served in America’s Armed Forces between 1959 & 1975 by giving them a Vietnam War Era lapel pin, in recognition of that service. Tom Marsh, Herb Kraehmer, & Carl McCarter escorted Gold Star Mothers Gayle Thomas & Julie Ellis as they brought forward & dedicated a wreath in honor of the sacrifices made by Gold Star Mothers & Families. Both Gayle & Julie are honorary members of the Honor Guard. Other members & family members present were Tom Headla, Denver Thomas, John Perry, Elaine Perry, & Steve Holbert..

On Nov 27th: The Honor Guard held its monthly Supper Meeting at Harpoon Harry's Crab House in Pigeon Forge. John Perry & Jerry Sandifer hosted the meeting; others present were Debbie Lynch, Tom Headla, Jeanette Kraehmer, Herb Kraehmer, Carl McCarter, Tom Marsh, Julie Ellis, & Elaine Perry.

On Dec 1st: The Honor Guard participated in Sevierville’s 56th Annual Christmas Parade. John Perry & Jerry Sandifer drove their Honor Guard LOGO & Flag draped & decorated Jeep & Hummer near the front of the Parade. Others riding with John & Jerry’s were Tom Marsh, Carl McCarter, Herb Kraehmer, Denver Thomas, Tom Headla, & Steve Holbert.

On Dec 10th: Revision # 6 to the Honor Guard SOPS was posted on the website’s “Documents” drop-down tab. This document is available for viewing for those who are registered.

On Dec 15th: The Honor Guard was asked to assist the ETVHG with the annual National Wreaths Across America Day program at the New East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knoxville. Herb Kraehmer assisted in coordination & participated in the program. Additionally, John Perry, Scott Isbell, Tom Marsh, Leon Downey, Denver Thomas, & Steve Holbert Held the Flags for the service. Joining our members was Roger Apel of the VSVHG.

Jim Mungenast attended & participated in this program at the Knoxville National Cemetery.

The following Family members attended these services & participated in the Laying of the Wreaths: Wendy Isbell, Jeanie Mungenast, Faye Holbert, Helena Thomas, plus much of the rest of the Thomas family were present.

Attendees were reminded that when laying a wreath, to solemnly place each wreath & then stand & say the Veteran’s name out loud. It has been said that a person actually dies twice. The first time is when they take their last breath. Then again later, when their name is no longer spoken.

On Dec 27th: The Honor Guard held its Christmas & New Year’s Supper Meeting at Calhoun's in Pigeon ForgeJohn Perry & Jerry Sandifer hosted the meeting; others present were Scott & Wendy Isbell, Debbie Lynch, Tom Headla, Tom & Ginny Marsh, Leon Downey, Steve & Faye Holbert, Dennis, Rubin & Bethanie Pippin, & Denver & Helena Thomas. The January Supper Meeting will be hosted by Tom Marsh.

2019

On Jan 4th: The Finance Committee met to prepare & present the 2019 Honor Guard Budget. Those attending were Tom Headla, Leon Downey, James Warpool, & Steve Holbert.

On Jan 11th: The following members of the Honor Guard Board of Directors, (BOD) met at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge: Jim Mungenast, Steve Holbert, Leon Downey, & Tom Headla. Vic Velle & Steve Teague were absent. Also attending was Randy Tipton. The most important items announced, addressed, & approved follows:

  • It was announced that Tom Headla & Leon Downey were re-elected by the membership to the Honor Guard Board of Directors effective January 1, 2019,
  • Honor Guard Officers for the current term were approved; they include Steve Holbert: Commander & Historian, Herb Kraehmer: Vice Commander & Chaplain, John Perry: Adjutant, Glenn Miller: Sgt-at-Arms, & Quartermaster: Jim Warpool,
  • The Budget for this year was discussed & approved,
  • Numerous other items & plans were discussed.

Following the above BOD Meeting, an Operational Members Meeting was held. Those attending included all those above who attended first meeting, plus James Warpool, Denver Thomas, John Perry, Scott Isbell, Herb Kraehmer, Jerry Sandifer, & Tom Marsh.

All members will be sent complete meeting minutes for both of the above meetings ASAP.

On Jan 12th: Military Funeral Honors, (16th); SSG Robert William Breazeale, Army; at the Tuckaleechee Methodist Church Cemetery in Townsend. Miller Funeral Home of Maryville coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. These additional members participated: John Perry, Randy Tipton, Tom Headla, Michelle Eberle, Denver Thomas, & Jerry Sandifer..

On Jan 30th: The Honor Guard held its January Supper Meeting at The Local Goat in Pigeon ForgeTom & Ginny Marsh hosted the meeting; others present were Scott & Wendy Isbell, Debbie Lynch, Tom Headla, Leon Downey, Steve Holbert, Dennis, Rubin & Bethanie Pippin, & Denver & Helena Thomas, Jeff & Beckey Hosfeld, & Jim Warpool; a great turnout for a very cold evening. The February Supper Meeting will be hosted by Steve Holbert & held at the Shoney’s in Sevierville.

On Feb 5th: Military Funeral Honors, (17th); at the New Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier; Berry Funeral Home coordinated the service; Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. Participants: Jim Mungenast, Herb Kraehmer, John Perry, Scott Isbell, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Michelle Eberle, Dennis Pippin, Jerry Sandifer, Tim Barr, & Steve Holbert. Other members & family members attending were Cary Kreahmer, Faye Holbert, Crystal, Rubin, & Bethanie Pippin. The service was for these 7 Veterans & 1 Spouse:

  • Sp4 Ronnie Joe Lundy, US Army, (Sevier County)
  • Sgt Frank Harmon Wilson, US Army, (Knox County)
  • Sp4 James David Ellis, US Army, (Knox County)
  • Sp4 Stephen Sebastian Cunningham, US Army, (Knox County)
  • PFC James Michael Farrar, US Army, (Knox County)
  • SA Robert Lee Baker, Jr. US Navy, (Knox County)
  • Sp5 Charles Joseph Burnett, US Army, (Knox County)
  • Mrs. Angela Marie Konieczki Burnett, spouse of Sp5 Charles Joseph Burnett, (Knox County)

On Feb 7th: Military Funeral Honors, (18th); SSGT Horace Lee Kent, Army; at the Howard’s View Baptist Church, 4575 Henry Town Road, Sevierville. Atchleys coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, OIC: John Perry, Scott Isbell, Leon Downey, Denver Thomas, Dennis Pippin, Tom Headla, Jerry Sandifer, Pete Jucker, Bugler: Steve Holbert, & Bugler’s Assistants: Honorary Member Rubin Pippin & Bethanie Pippin.

On Feb 9th: Military Funeral Honors, (19th) PFC Roy E. Teeffeteller, Army; at the East Maryville Baptist Church Cemetery, 1150 East Brown School Road, Maryville; McCammon Ammons Click Coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, OIC: John Perry, Leon Downey, Denver Thomas, Tom Headla, Jerry Sandifer, & Bugler: Steve Holbert.

On Feb 14th: We Presented the Colors at the State of the City program at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. Herb Kraehmer coordinated & participated. Other participants were Jeff Hosfeld, Tom Headla, Denver Thomas, Carl McCarter, Pete Jucker, & Steve Holbert. Tom Marsh also attended, but was not in uniform.

On Feb 16th: Military Funeral Honors, (20th) CMSGT Thomas Eugene Rolen, USAF, Retired; at the Atchley’s Smoky Mountain Chapel in Pigeon Forge; Atchleys Coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert Coordinated the MFH. Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, OIC: John Perry, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Scott Isbell, Carl McCarter, Jerry Sandifer, Denver Thomas, & Steve Holbert

Please recall, PM 3 Frances C. (Wade) Ostergren, Navy, WW II died on Dec 18, 2017, & her body was transported to UT Memphis for study. We then provided a MFH Memorial Service for her on Jan 12, 2018.

On Feb 17th: Following her cremation & return home, she was laid to rest beside her Husband at Alder Branch Baptist Church Cemetery in Sevier County. The following members participated in the informal burial: Steve Holbert, Herb Kraehmer, Carl McCarter, & Denver Thomas. Additionally, Mike Ailey of the Cemetery coordinated & attended the burial.  

Another MFH will be provided for her late Husband, who served in both World Wars, but never received Military Horors following his passing in 1960. This will be scheduled following the securing of Frances’ Bronze Veteran Grave Marker in mid-May.

On Feb 22nd: The Honor Guard Presented the Colors for the 49th Annual Southeast Region of American Driver Traffic Safety Education Association Conference at the Black Fox Lodge in Pigeon Forge. The following members participated: John Perry, Herb Kraehmer, Pete Jucker, Tom Headla, Denver Thomas & Steve Holbert.

On Feb 23rd: Due to lengthy & heavy rain, a scheduled Military Funeral Honors, (21st) for Ted Arnold Carver, Navy was changed to an abbreviated service at Atchley Funeral Home instead. Carl McCarter & Herb Kraehmer Folded & Presented the Flag. Others attending the Funeral were Steve Holbert, Tom Headla, & Denver Thomas.

On Feb 26th: The Honor Guard held its February Supper Meeting at Shoney’s in Sevierville.  Steve Holbert hosted the meeting; others present were Pete Jucker, Leon Downey, John Perry, Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, Tom Marsh, & potential new member Darrell L. Guth, a Navy Vet. The March Supper Meeting will be hosted by Tom Headla. Additionally, it was agreed to acquire a 2nd State Flag & a City Flag, extra stands, poles, points, tassels, etc. We will submit a funding request to the BOD to purchase 15 White Rifle Slings & rifle storage bags, & lastly, we will seek participation from Pigeon Forge High School to identify someone to assist in managing our social media.

On Feb 27th: It’s truly rewarding to be challenged & then not fail: Between 0900 & 1000 yesterday, I got a call from Crest Lawn Funeral Home of Cookeville. They were misinformed, & had no Honor Guard available. Even though I was unable to establish contact with most of our members, within 2 hours, I was able to contact enough participants to get it done. We were at the cemetery at 1300, & provided Military Funeral Honors, (22nd) for CW3 Douglas Bruce Harvey, Army, Retired; at the New Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier; Crest Lawn Funeral Home of Cookeville Coordinated the Funeral; with less than a 5 hour notice, we accomplished our mission. Participants: OIC: John Perry, Tom Headla, Denver Thomas, & Steve Holbert, plus Dave Caldwell & Roger Apel from the Volunteer State Veterans Honor Guard… So far, we have never failed to answer the call. This is indeed rewarding! Our personal THANKS & APPRECIATION to those who met our needs yesterday!

On Mar 13th: Military Funeral Honors, (23rd) for SP4 Jerry B. Kooch, Army; at the Alice Bell Baptist Church in Knoxville; Family coordinated the Funeral with Bridges Funeral Home assisting; Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert Coordinated the MFH. Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, OIC: John Perry, Carl McCarter, Jerry Sandifer, Tom Headla, & Denver Thomas. NOTE: The Family requested NO Rifle Salute nor TAPS. Instead, we provided Casket Guards during visitation, escort services for the family at the beginning of the service, & assisted with four (4) Flag Presentations.

On Mar 16th: Military Funeral Honors, (24th) for SP 3 (T) Henry Joseph Armerding, Jr, Army; at the Wears Valley United Methodist Church, 3110 Wears Valley Road in Sevier County; Atchley’s & our members John Perry, Jerry Sandifer, & Steve Holbert coordinated the Funeral & MFH. Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, OIC: John Perry, plus Carl McCarter, Jerry Sandifer, & Tom Headla.

On Mar 16th: Surprise Birthday Party & Celebration for SCPO Albert Paul Yeager, Jr., Navy at RJ’s Courtyard Restaurant in Alcoa; Mr. Yeager served in the Army for 1 year & then served in the Navy for 37 years as a machinist on submarines. Initial Participants: Steve Holbert, Leon Downey, Denver Thomas, & Tom Marsh. Following the MFH mentioned above, Herb Kraehmer, John Perry, & Jerry Sandifer joined those mentioned above.

On Mar 19th: Military Funeral Honors, (25th) for PFC (T) Ronald Claude McPherson, Army; at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Knoxville; Bridges Funeral Home Coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. Participants: Chaplain Herb Kraehmer, OIC John Perry, Jerry Sandifer, Steve Holbert, Denver Thomas, Carl McCarter, Leon Downey, & Michelle Eberle.

On Mar 28th: The Honor Guard held its Monthly Supper Meeting at The Local Goat in Pigeon Forge. Tom Headla & Debbie Lynch hosted the meeting; others present were Tom & Ginny Marsh, Denver & Helena Thomas, Leon Downey, Pete Jucker, & Wes Jones. The April Supper Meeting has not yet been scheduled.

On Apr 8th: Military Funeral Honors, (26th) for PFC James C. McKenzie, Army; at the New Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier; Unity Mortuary Coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH & served on the Firing Line. Other participants: OIC John Perry, Tom Headla, Denver Thomas, Carl McCarter. Wes Jones attended as an observer. Assisting were these members of the VSVHG: Chaplain Ed Layman & Bud Cassidy.

On Apr 17th: Herb Kraehmer, Wes Jones, & Steve Holbert attended a new VFW Post organizational business meeting in Sevierville to establish a relationship with that group. We were received cordially. While there Wes joined the new post, & Steve transferred his VFW membership into their post. Additionally, we invited their members to participate with us in the May 3rd parade in Pigeon Forge. Several of their group agreed to do so. It is hoped that we can gain mutual support & a few members from them as well.

On Apr 22nd: A “Recent Activity & Items of Concern Meeting” was held at the LeConte Center. The following Members attended: Wes Jones, Pete Jucker, Herb Kraehmer, Jerry Sandifer, Jeff Hosfeld, John Perry, Leon Downey, & Steve Holbert. Because the items discussed were important, Meeting Minutes will be forwarded to all members ASAP.

On Apr 25th: The Honor Guard held its Monthly Supper Meeting at The Smoky Mountain Brewery in Pigeon Forge. Jerry Sandifer & Julie Ellis hosted the meeting. Others present were Tom & Ginny Marsh, Pete Jucker, Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, Steve & Faye Holbert, Herb & Jeanette Kraehmer. The May Supper Meeting will be hosted by Herb & Jeanette Kraehmer; the date & location has not yet been scheduled.

On Apr 30th: Military Funeral Honors, (27th) for RM1 (E-6) John Fredrick Allen, Navy; at the Allen Family Cemetery in Sevier County; Kiser-Rose Hill Funeral Home of Greeneville Coordinating the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. Others participants: OIC: John Perry, Tom Headla, Wes Jones, Carl McCarter, Denver Thomas, Jerry Sandifer, Michelle Eberle, Pete Jucker, Randy Tipton, & Steve Holbert.

On May 3rd: The following members & friends participated in the Music in the Mountains Spring Parade in Pigeon Forge: Steve Teague, Herb Kraehmer, Denver Thomas, & Pete Jucker plus Parker Teague, (USMC) & the New Sevier County VFW Post Commander George McKinney, plus 2 members of the Boy Scouts carried our Parade Banner.

On May 17th: Herb Kraehmer, John Perry, Carl McCarter, Tom Headla, & Steve Holbert, plus Ed Layman of the Volunteer State Veterans Honor Guard “Visited the Kids”; at Seymour Primary School.

On May 27th, Memorial Day: Herb Kraehmer, John Perry, Dennis Pippin, Denver Thomas, Jerry Sandifer, & Tom Marsh placed the Gold Star Mother’s Wreath at the Sevier County Court House.

On May 27th, Memorial Day: Steve & Faye Holbert played TAPS in Cades Cove along with American Flags being placed at 4 cemeteries + the “Pearl Harbor Tree”.

On May 30th: The Honor Guard held its Monthly Supper Meeting at Holston’s Kitchen in Sevierville. Herb & Jeanette Kraehmer hosted the meeting. Others present were Tom & Ginny Marsh, Pete Jucker, Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, Steve & Faye Holbert, Jeff & Becky Hosfeld, Denver & Helena Thomas, Wes Jones, & Leon Downey. The June Supper Meeting will be on Thursday, June 27th at 1700 - 1900 at Geppettos Italian Restaurant, 3250 Wears Valley Road, Sevierville, TN 37862, (Wears Valley) & hosted by Steve & Faye Holbert.

On Jun 9th: Military Funeral Honors, (28th) CS3 (E-4) Robert Charles Morgan, Navy; at 329 River Place in Sevierville. Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. Participants: Chaplain: Chuck Sayne, (VSVHG member), OIC: John Perry, Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, Denver Thomas, Jeff Hosfeld, Tom Marsh, Jerry Sandifer, & Steve Holbert.

On Jun 27th: The Honor Guard held its Monthly Supper Meeting at Geppettos Italian Restaurant in Wears Valley; Steve & Faye Holbert hosted. Others present were Herb & Jeanette Kraehmer, Dennis, Crystal, Reuben, & Bethanie Pippin, Tom Marsh, Jerry Sandifer, Jullie Ellis, Carl McCarter, Pete Jucker, Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, Jeff Hosfeld, Wes Jones, & Leon Downey. Also present was Naomi Haynes, (High School Classmate of Carl McCarter & Steve Holbert). The July Supper Meeting will be on Thursday, July 25th & hosted by Debbie Lynch & Tom Headla.

On Jul 11th: Military Funeral Honors, (29th) SGT (E-5) Kimberly E. Pelszynski, Army; at the Deep Springs Cemetery in Dandridge, TN. Click Funeral Home of Lenoir City Coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, OIC: John Perry, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Wes Jones, Tom Marsh, Jerry Sandifer, Denver Thomas, & Steve Holbert.

On Jul 25th: Instead of our Monthly Supper Meeting, the following members & friends joined Hosts Tom Headla & Debbie Lynch at a Smokies Baseball Game: Craig Stephenson, Tom & Ginny Marsh, Jerry Sandifer, Dennis, Reuben, & Bethany Pippen, Jeff Hosfeld, Denver & Helena Thomas, & their Daughter Shelly Cato, Grandson Jared Cato.

On Aug 1st: Military Funeral Honors, (30th) MM3 (E-4) Billy Frank Robinson, Navy; at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier; Unity Mortuary coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert coordinating MFH. Participants: Chaplain: US Navy member, OIC: John Perry, Leon Downey, Wes Jones, Denver Thomas, & Steve Holbert.

On Aug 2nd: Military Funeral Honors, (31st) CAPT (0-6) Navy & SP4 (E-4) Army Deberall A. Valentine; at the Maryville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Maryville. Jackson Funeral Services of Oliver Springs & Pastor Ed Santana Coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert coordinated MFH. Participants: Chaplain: Civilian Pastor Ed Santana, OIC: Steve Holbert, Leon Downey, Pete Jucker, Denver Thomas, Tom Marsh, Paul Mattson, Carl McCarter, Jerry Sandifer, & Craig Stephenson.

On Aug 5th: Military Funeral Honors, (32nd); SSGT (E-6) Everett A. Keeton, Army; at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier; Atchley’s is Coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer are coordinating MFH. Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, OIC: John Perry, Michelle Eberle, Steve Holbert, Tom Marsh, Paul Mattson, Carl McCarter, Jerry Sandifer, & Craig Stephenson.

On Aug 10th: The City of Pigeon Forge sponsored, & we the led the 5th Annual Veterans Homecoming Parade in Pigeon Forge. The following members & friends participated: OIC: John Perry; Flag bearers: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, Dennis Pippin, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, Driving or riding: Steve Holbert, Jeff Hosfeld, Tom Marsh, Bethanie Pippin, Reuben Pippin, Debbie Lynch, & Herb Kraehmer. Last, but certainly not least, we had 7 members of the Oak Ridge High School Navy JRROTC to carry our Parade Banner & Service Flags.

On Aug 10th: Military Funeral Honors, (33rd) GYSGT (E-7) Ernest Eugene Hall, Jr. USMC; at the New Grey Cemetery in Knoxville; Unity Mortuary coordinating the Funeral; Steve Holbert coordinating the MFH. Participants: Chaplain Herb Kraehmer, OIC John Perry, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Wes Jones, Pete Jucker, & Tom Marsh.

On Aug 16th: Military Funeral Honors, (34th) MAJ (0-4) George D. Hey, Army; at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on Lyons View; Atchley’s coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinated MFH. Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, OIC: John Perry, Michelle Eberle, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Tom Marsh, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, Denver Thomas, & Randy Tipton.

On Aug 18th: Military Funeral Honors, (35th) MSGT (E-7) Consuelo A. Heath, USAF; at the Appalachian Clubhouse in Gatlinburg. Lynda Parker & Click Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinated MFH. Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, OIC: John Perry, Flag Folding & Presentation: USAF, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Jeff Hosfeld, Pete Jucker, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, & Denver Thomas. Also present was Debbie Lynch & Helena Thomas.

On Aug 21st: Herb Kraehmer & Tom Headla attended a planning meeting for this year’s Operation Honor Guard at WATE TV studios in Knoxville, which will be held on October 2nd.

On Aug 26th: The Honor Guard BOD met at the LeConte Center. The following BOD members were present: Jim Mungenast, Steve Holbert, Vic Velle, Steve Teague, Tom Headla, and Leon Downey. Also present for the combined part of the meeting was Jeff Hosfeld, Pete Jucker, Herb Kraehmer, Glenn Miller, Jerry Sandifer & Craig Stephenson. Significant items agreed to at the meeting included the naming of Herb Kraehmer & Jerry Sandifer to the BOD, the purchase of additional Uniform Breast Badges, additional Service Flags with their associated flag equipment, & slings & protective bags for our rifles.

On Aug 28th: The following members Posted the Colors for the Tennessee Correctional Association at Music Road Convention Center: Herb Kraehmer, John Perry, Scott Isbell, Carl McCarter, Tom Headla, & Pete Jucker.

On Aug 29th: The Honor Guard held its August Monthly Supper Meeting at the Smoky Mountain Brewery in Pigeon Forge. Jerry Sandifer hosted the meeting. Others present were Julie Ellis, Pete Jucker, Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, Steve Holbert, Leon Downey, John & Elaine Perry, Jim & Jeanie Mungenast, Carl McCarter, & Craig Stephenson. The September Supper Meeting has not yet been scheduled.

On Sep 13th: Military Funeral Honors, (36th) CPL Ballard Ira Walker, Jr., Army; at the New Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier; Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel coordinating the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinating MFH. Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, OIC: John Perry, Flag Folding & Presentation: Army, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, & Carl McCarter.

On Sep 13th: We Presented the Colors during pre-game activities at their first Friday home football game against Sullivan Central (Blountville, TN). Participants: Jeff Hosfeld, Lead Rifle Guard, Dennis Pippin, American Flag Bearer, Herb Kraehmer, Tennessee Flag Bearer, Leon Downey, Pigeon Forge Flag Bearer, Pete Jucker, POW-MIA Flag Bearer; Steve Holbert, Trail Rifle Guard. Also present were other members Reuben & Bethany Pippen.

On Sep 16th: Military Funeral Honors, (37th) SA Paul Arnold Lacy, Navy; at the Greenwood Cemetery in Knoxville; Mynatt Fountain City coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, OIC: Steve Holbert, Flag Folding & Presentation: Navy, Leon Downey, Tom Marsh, Carl McCarter, Craig Stephenson, Denver Thomas, & Jennifer Torres.

On Sep 23rd: John Perry & Steve Holbert Presented the Colors for “Freedom – Debra Perry & Jaidyn’s Call” at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge.

On Sep 24th: Military Funeral Honors, (38th) LTC Thomas J. Stafford, III, USMC, RVN; at the Shiloh Cemetery in Pigeon Forge. Miller Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. Participants: Flag Folding & Presentation: USMC, Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, OIC: Steve Holbert, Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, Carl McCarter, & Denver Thomas.

On Sep 26th: The Honor Guard held its August Monthly Supper Meeting at Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant in Pigeon Forge. Tom Headla hosted the meeting. Others present were Debbie Lynch, Faye & Steve Holbert, Elaine & John Perry, Jeanette & Herb Kraehmer, Tom & Ginny Marsh, Jerry Sandifer, Helena & Denver Thomas. The October Supper Meeting will be hosted by Jerry Sandifer.

On Sep 29th: Military Funeral Honors, (39th) SP5 Jack Elmer Monday, Army, RVN; at the Berry Highland South Cemetery in Knox County. Berry Coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert Coordinated the MFH. Participants: Flag Folding & Presentation: Army, Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, OIC: John Perry, Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, Jerry Sandifer, Denver Thomas, & Steve Holbert.

On Oct 2nd: The following members withstood an unusually hot day participating in this year’s Operation Honor Guard at Pigeon Forge’s Smoky Mountain Opry: Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, Debbie Lynch, John Perry, Tom Marsh, Denver Thomas, Herb Kraehmer, Carl McCarter, Jim Mungenast, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, Leon Downey, Jennifer Torres, Julie Ellis, Jeff Hosfeld, & Steve Holbert. It is noted that this year we were joined by several member of Sevier County’s American Legion Post 104 who participated in Operation Honor Guard for the first time.

On Oct 3rd: The following members participated in a program that describes the meaning of the 13 Folds of the Flag during Military Funeral Honors for the Great Smoky Mountain Association of Realtors in Sevierville: Pete Jucker, John Perry, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, Tom Headla, Herb Kraehmer, Denver Thomas, & Steve Holbert. Also attending was Supporting Member Julie Ellis & Elaine Perry.

On Oct 12th: The following members & family attended & participated in a Flag Ceremony at a Tennessee Helping Hearts Fund Raiser, Dinner & Ball at the Sevierville Community Center: Herb & Jeanette Kraehmer, Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, Steve & Faye Holbert, Denver Thomas, & Carl McCarter.

On Oct 14th: The following members participated in a very productive “What’s Instore Beginning in November Planning Meeting” at the LeConte Center: John Perry, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert.

On Oct 18th: The following members met in Wears Valley to continue the process begun on Oct 14th: Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, & Steve Holbert.

On Oct 21st: John Perry & Steve Holbert met at City Hall in Pigeon Forge to continue the process begun on Oct 14th.

On Oct 25th: The Honor Guard held a Telephonic BOD Meeting, with the following BOD Members participating: Jim Mungenast, Steve Holbert, Herb Kraehmer, Jerry Sandifer, Leon Downey, & Tom Headla. BOD Members Vic Velle sent his proxy, & Steve Teague was absent. Also attending were the following Committee Chairs: Jeff Hosfeld, Chairman of the New Member Committee, Glenn Miller, Co-Chair of the Arms Committee, & previously mentioned BOD Member above, Tom Headla, who also is Chairman of the Finance Committee.

On Oct 28th: The following members met at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge to continue the process begun on Oct 14th: Herb Kraehmer, John Perry, Jerry Sandifer, & Steve Holbert.

On Oct 30th: The following members met at the Bluff Mountain Realty in Pigeon Forge to continue the process begun on Oct 14th: Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, Leon Downey, & Steve Holbert.

On Oct 31st: The Honor Guard held its October Monthly Supper Meeting at the Smoky Mountain Brewery in Pigeon Forge. Jerry Sandifer hosted the meeting. Other members present were Craig Stephenson, Julie Ellis, John &

Elaine Perry, Herb & Jeanette Kraemer, Tom Headla, & Debbie Lynch, & guests Jo & Dennis Rombola. The next Supper Meeting will be on December 5th at the Cracker Barrel in Pigeon Forge, hosted by Dennis, Reuben, Bethany, & Crystal Pippin.

On Nov 5th: The following members met at the Ramsey Hotel in Pigeon Forge to continue the process begun on Oct 14th: Herb Kraehmer, John Perry, Jeff Hosfeld, Denver Thomas, & Steve Holbert.

On Nov 7th: The Honor Guard participated in a Salute to Veterans event at D P Stampede, which included the presentation of the US flag, service flags, & POW flag. The performance was flawless in Class A uniforms.  Afterwards a table for recruitment was available where several Veterans showed interest in joining. Members attending were Jeff Hosfeld & Craig Stephenson, rifle guards; Steve Holbert, US flag; Pete Jucker, bugler & POW flag; Scott Isbell, Army flag; Denver Thomas, Navy flag; Jennifer Torres, Coast Guard flag, Carl McCarter, Air Force flag, Tom Headla, Marine Corp flag, & Herb Kraehmer, escort of the featured speaker.

On Nov 8th: Steve & Faye Holbert represented the Honor Guard at WATE TV in reference to this year’s Operation Honor Guard which was held on October 2nd.

On Nov 9th: Bass Pro Event coordinated by Herb Kraehmer; other participants were Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Denver Thomas, Carl McCarter, Craig Stephenson, Dennis Pippin, John Perry, and Reuben Pippin. It was very cold with a small attendance, but we made a friend there, Emily, & we will be called on again. 

On Nov 9th: Military Funeral Honors, (40th) SGT Franklin Delano Key, USMC, RVN; at the Friends Station Cemetery in New Market. Rose Mortuary coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. Participants: Flag Folding & Presentation: USMC, Chaplain: Ed Layman of the VSVHG, OIC: Steve Holbert, Bugler: Craig Stephenson, shooters: Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, & Denver Thomas.

On Nov 11th: We did three (3) things on this Veterans Day:

  • At the Sevier County Court House: Herb Kraehmer coordinated; others participating were Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, John Perry, Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, & Denver Thomas gave to Gold Star family members: Gold Star Honorees & family members Gail Thomas, April Ogle, & Crystal Thomas.
  • In Cades Cove, Jeff & Becky Hosfeld played TAPS at 3 churches, cemeteries, & the Pearl Harbor Memorial Tree.
  • At WATE-TV in Knoxville: The following members attended the proceeds distribution resulting from this year’s Operation Honor Guard: Herb & Jeanette Kraehmer, Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, Faye & Steve Holbert.

On Nov 13th: Partial Military Funeral Honors, (41st) Two of our members attended grave side ceremonies for a fellow church member & friend, W. M. (Dub) Gann. Although not part of the presiding honor guard, Herb Kraehmer & Carl McCarter rendered honors on our behalf, & presented our Honor Guard Honors Folder to the family.

On Nov 18th: We presented the Colors at the semiannual convention of Quality Home Health at the Park Vista Hotel in Gatlinburg. Members present were John Perry, lead guard, Steve Holbert, US flag, Pete Jucker, POW flag, Carl McCarter, trail guard, & Herb Kraehmer, chaplain. Contact person was well pleased, & said that we would be contacted again in the future.

On Nov 25th: A “final coordination meeting” was a somewhat difficult, but it did clear the way for us to proceed as previously hoped & planned. Those listed below participated: Herb Kraehmer, John Perry, Jim Warpool, Glenn Miller, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Jerry Sandifer, Carl McCarter, & Steve Holbert.

On Nov 26th: Tom Headla & Steve Holbert met to begin the work associated with this year’s Member’s Honor Guard Expense entitlement. This work will be completed at year’s end, & members’ expense checks will be available at that time.

On Nov 29th: John Perry, Glenn Miller, & Steve Holbert met to begin the process of developing the Honor Guard’s General Training Program. This led to Manual of Arms Training for new member Chuck Kimbell meeting with Glenn on Monday, December 2nd, followed by Glenn Miller, John Perry, Tom Headla, Chuck Kimbell, & Steve Holbert attending both Manual of Arms & Marching training on Dec 3rd, the Honor Guard’s next training day is scheduled for December 12th..

On Dec 5th: Military Funeral Honors, (42nd) SGT Johnny Mac Hardin, Army, at the Shiloh Cemetery in Pigeon Forge. Atchley Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. Participants: Flag Folding & Presentation: Army, Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, OIC: John Perry, Steve Holbert, shooters: Carl McCarter, Tom Headla, & Denver Thomas, plus Bud Cassidy & Ed Layman of the VSVHG. Our newest member, Chuck Kimbell observed. The deceased was a personal friend of 3 members of the Honor Guard.  Flags were presented as follows: Herb Kraehmer presented to the Wife; Carl McCarter, Ed Layman, & Steve Holbert presented to the three (3) Sons.

On Dec 5th: The Honor Guard held its Annual Thanksgiving & Christmas Supper Meeting at the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, 2285 Parkway in Pigeon Forge. Dennis Pippin hosted the meeting. Attendees were Leon Downey, Julie Ellis, Jerry Sandifer, Denver & Helena Thomas, Faye & Steve Holbert, Dennis, Reuben, Bethanie, & Crystal Pippin, Debbie Lynch, Tom Headla, & Herb Kraehmer. The January Supper Meeting will be on January 30th hosted by Tom Headla & Debbie Lynch.

On Dec 7th, (Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day): The Honor Guard participated in the annual Christmas Parade in Sevierville. We led the parade for the third year. Participants were Dennis Pippin, US flag, Jacob King, POW flag, Herb Kraehmer, TN flag, Craig Stephenson, Army flag, Tom Headla, USMC flag, Denver Thomas, Navy flag, Carl McCarter, Air Force flag, and Jennifer Torres, Coast Guard flag. Three vehicles trailed; Steve Holbert with Tom Marsh & Helena Thomas; Debbie Lynch with Julie Harris, Reuben Pippin, & Bethany Pippin, followed by Curtis Kraehmer with guests Heather Tomasello & daughter.

On Dec 14th: The Honor Guard provided four (4) services:

  • Steve Holbert attended & spoke at a Vietnam Veterans of America Breakfast Meeting at the Pathways Church in South Knoxville.
  • Assisting Tracie Widner of the Spensor Clack Chapter of the DAR, the Honor Guard participated in a very cold morning’s “Wreath Placement Ceremony & Flag Event” at Sevier County Court House. This was in conjunction with the “Wreaths Across America” events being held at many National Cemeteries. The following members participated: John Perry, OIC; Jerry Sandifer, US flag; Carl McCarter, TN flag; Denver Thomas, POW flag, Rifle guards: Tom Headla & our newest member Gene Shelton; Herb Kraehmer was the bugler.
  • Military Funeral Honors, (43rdMSGT Donald R. Bowers, USMC, at the Sherwood Memorial Gardens in Alcoa.  McCammon-Ammons-Click Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. Participants: Flag Folding, Presentation, & Bugler: USMC. The Flag recipient was a Navy SCPO. Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, OIC: John Perry; shooters:Steve Holbert, Carl McCarter, Tom Headla, Denver Thomas, Scott Isbell, & Gene Shelton. Wes Jones rendered Honor.
  • Herb Kraehmer represented the Honor Guard at the placing of wreaths at New State Veterans Cemetery. While there he presented Honors Folders to Joyce Overstreet, spouse, & Kathy McCrosky, spouse, whose family member received MFHs by other Honor Guards.

On Dec 26th: Finance Committee members Tom Headla, Leon Downey, Jim Warpool, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert completed the 2020 Budget. Separately, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, John Perry & Pete Jucker completed the Annual Inventory of Honor Guard Physical Assets. These documents were then submitted to the BOD. By December 29th, all eight (8) BOD members voted to approve these submissions.

On Dec 29th: Military Funeral Honors, (44th) TSGT Fred M. Mulkey, Jr., Army, at the Berry Highland South Cemetery in Knox County. Berry Coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. Participants: Flag Folding & Presentation: Army; Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC & shooter: Steve Holbert; Bugler: Jerry Sandifer; Detail Commander: Craig Stephenson; Other shooters: John Perry, Carl McCarter, Tom Headla, Denver Thomas, & Carey Kraehmer. Debbie Lynch & Jr ROTC Cadet Jacob King observed.

2020

On Jan 2nd: Tom Headla & Steve Holbert met to finalize Expense Reimbursement calculations which will be provided to our members who participated in uniformed events between January 1st & December 31st of 2019. Tom Headla will make these distributions ASAP.

On Jan 3rd: Steve Holbert, Herb Kraehmer, & John Perry met for breakfast to discuss planning for the New Year.

On Jan 8th: Military Funeral Honors, (45th) HN Raymond E. Lowe, Navy, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. Berry Coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. Participants: Flag Folding & Presentation: Army; Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: John Perry; Bugler: Chuck Kimbell; Shooters: Bud Cassidy, Tom Headla, Jeff Hosfeld, Steve Holbert, Carl McCarter, Gene Shelton, & Denver Thomas.

On Jan 11th: Herb Kraehmer, Chuck Kimbell, & Larry Fox represented the Honor Guard at a Veterans Breakfast at the Pathways Church in South Knoxville.

On Jan 14th: The Honor Guard conducted Military Honors for two Veterans & attended a function:

  • Military Funeral Honors, (46thPFC George Alonzo Appling, Jr., Army, at the Berry Highland West Cemetery in Knoxville. Berry Coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard participants: Flag Presentation: Jim Mungenast; Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; Bugler: Tom Marsh; OIC & Shooter: John Perry; Other Shooters:   Leon Downey, Steve Holbert, Tom Headla, Jeff Hosfeld, Scott Isbell, & Denver Thomas. Members of the Army folded the Flag.
  • Military Funeral Honors, (47th) SGT Cecil Harold Blair, Army, at the Berry Highland South Cemetery in Knox County. Berry Coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; Bugler: Chuck Kimbell; OIC: John Perry; Shooters: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Jeff Hosfeld, Scott Isbell, Tom Marsh, & Denver Thomas. Members of the Army folded & presented the Flag.
  • Jim Mungenast represented the Honor Guard at the Vietnam Veteran of America Supper Meeting in Knoxville.

On Jan 19th: Military Funeral Honors, (48th) CPL Bill David Lawson, Army, at the Berry Highland South Cemetery in Knox County. Berry Coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC & Shooter: John Perry; Other Shooters: Steve Holbert, Tom Headla, Denver Thomas, & Carey Kraehmer. Members of the Army played the Bugle, Folded & Presented the Flag.

On Jan 27th: Leon Downey, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert attended the Pigeon Forge City Council Meeting to thank the city leadership for their continuing support, & provide a brief update of Honor Guard activity.

On Jan 30th: The Honor Guard held its Monthly Supper Meeting at the JT Hannah's Kitchen in Pigeon Forge. Tom Headla & Debbie Lynch hosted the evening. Others present were Glenn & Drucilla Miller, Julie Ellis, Jerry Sandifer, Denver & Helena Thomas, John & Elaine Perry, Leon Downey, Doug & Libby Cunha, Larry & Maggie Fox, Faye & Steve Holbert, Wes Jones, Gabe & Shalyn Stone, Chuck Kimbell, Tom & Ginny Marsh, Herb & Jeanette Kraehmer, & Craig Stephenson. This was a SPECIAL MEETING for 2 reasons. The Honor Guard paid tribute to retiring Charter Member & Sgt-at Arms Glenn Miller. Glenn was presented a plaque for his devoted service to the Honor Guard since before its inception in 2013. An additional item of note was through Chuck Kimbell’s coordination efforts, the Honor Guard attracted 4 new members & 3 spouses who attended this meeting for the first time. Next month’s meeting will be on February 27th, hosted by Herb Kraehmer, but the location is not yet determined.

On Feb 11th: Steve Holbert, John Perry, Jeff Hosfeld, Chuck Kimbell, plus Jim Warpool participated via telephone to establish improved procedures in our dealings with new members.

On Feb 12th: The Honor Guard BOD met via telephone conference to re-consider how the Honor Guard extends financial assistance to its members for uniform expenditures. It was agreed that the Finance Committee will prepare a proposal based on the consensus reached at this meeting, & then submit it to the BOD for additional discussions if necessary, followed by a new final agreement.The following members of the BOD participated Jim Mungenast, Vic Velle, Steve Holbert, Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, & Leon Downey.

On Feb 13th: The following members Presented the Colors at the State of the City Address & Luncheon held at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge: Coordinator & videographer: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: John Perry; Lead Guard: Tom Headla; American Flag: Jeff Hosfeld; Tennessee Flag: Jerry Sandifer; City Flag: Carl McCarter; POW Flag: Pete Jucker; Trail Guard: Gene Shelton; Bugler: Chuck Kimbell, & Steve Holbert led the Pledge of Allegiance. After the meeting, Earlene Teaster once again told Leon Downey, who was participating as an employee of the city, how proud she, the Mayor, & City Commissioners are of our Honor Guard.

On Feb 15th: Military Funeral Honors, (49th) SN Roger “Tennessee” Creswell, Navy, at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Kodak. Mynatt of Knoxville coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: John Perry; Bugler: Chuck Kimbell; Shooters: Leon Downey, Steve Holbert, Jeff Hosfeld, Carl McCarter, Dennis Pippin, Denver Thomas. Additionally, Bethanie & Reuben Pippin assisted the Bugler. Members of the Navy Folded & Presented the Flag.

On Feb 17th: Partial Honors, (50th) PFC Fred L. Duncan, Army, at the Grandview Cemetery in Maryville. McCammon-Ammons-Click of Maryville coordinated the Funeral; upon receiving a very late request, Herb Kraehmer joined a member of the ETVHG to Fold & Present the Flag to the Daughter & Sister. This was all the family requested.

On Feb 20th: We joined the VSVHG & the ETVHG with Berry Funeral Home’s Dignity Memorial Homeless Veteran Burial Program at the East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. Herb Kraehmer assisted with coordination. Service Chaplain was Ron Polis of Berry Funeral Home. A Flag Line was provided by members of the Partiot Heart Riders. Members of the USMC & USAF Folded & Presented the Flags... On a cold & snowy day, this group came together to provide two (2) MFH ceremonies:

  • Military Funeral Honors, (51stPVT William Garr Boyd USMC
  • Military Funeral Honors, (52ndA1C Joell DeHavilland Goerndt, USAF

Our participants: Herb Kraehmer & Jim Mungenast assisted inside & outside. Tom Headla & Denver Thomas was part of the USMC Pallbearer Detail. John Perry, (OIC), Leon Downey, Steve Holbert, Jeff Hosfeld, & Tom Marsh provided our Flag Line. Carl McCarter assisted members of the VSVHG who provided the Bugler & Rifle Salute.=

On Feb 25th: Military Funeral Honors, (53rd) PVT John Haynes, Army, at the Headrick’s Chapel Cemetery in Wears Valley. Atchley Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. The family requested no Rifle Salute. Before this service, Herb Kraehmer, Carl McCarter, & Steve Holbert attended the Funeral in Sevierville, then accompanied the Hearse to the cemetery. Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, OIC: John Perry, Bugler: Jerry Sandifer, Carl McCarter & Steve Holbert Folded & Presented the Flag.

On Mar 2nd: At the direction of the BOD, the Finance Committee, consisting of Steve Holbert, Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, Leon Downey, & Jim Warpool met to re-word a BOD agreed to change in policy concerning how the Honor Guard provides Financial Assistance to its members for uniform acquisition. They completed & submitted their work to the BOD. A few days later, the BOD approved a revised policy for future uniform purchases.

On Mar 3rd: Military Funeral Honors, (54th) T-4 Henry M. Cooper, Army at the East View Memorial Gardens in Strawberry Plains. McCarty Funeral Directors of Sevierville coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC Steve Holbert; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Shooters: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, & Denver Thomas. The Army Folded & Presented to Flag.

On Mar 5th: The Honor Guard held its Monthly Supper Meeting at Shoney’s in Sevierville. Steve & Faye Holbert hosted the evening. Others present were Jerry Sandifer, Denver & Helena Thomas, Leon Downey, Larry & Maggie Fox, Chuck Kimbell, Tom & Ginny Marsh, Herb Kraehmer, Craig Stephenson, Carl McCarter, Debbie Lynch, Tom Headla, Bethanie, Reuben, & Dennis Dennis Pippin, Barbara Kalter. Before the meeting Tom Marsh, Chuck Kimbell, Steve Holbert, John Perry, & Jeff O'Brien practiced Flag Folding at Shoney’s. Our next Supper Meeting will be on March 26th at Calhoun’s in Pigeon Forge & hosted by Tom & Ginny Marsh.

On Mar 14th: Military Funeral Honors, (55th) SP3 Emanual Martin, Jr., Army, at Sherwood Memorial Gardens in Alcoa. Unity Mortuary of Knoxville coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC John Perry; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Shooters: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Jeff Hosfeld, Steve Holbert, Carl McCarter, & Denver Thomas. The Army Folded & Presented to Flag.

On Mar 15th: Military Funeral Honors, (56th) S1C Robert Milton Webb, Navy, at Berry Highland South Cemetery in Knox County. Berry coordinated the Funeral; Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC John Perry; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Shooters: Chuck Kimbell, Tom Headla, Jeff Hosfeld, Steve Holbert, Carl McCarter, & Denver Thomas. The Navy Folded & Presented to Flag.

On Mar 15th, in 44 BC: A soothsayer told Julius Caesar "BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH".

On Mar 16th: This was sent to all members: Due to the uncertainties associated with the virus, the Honor Guard’s participation, (practice & actual event) at the new Pigeon Forge Food City Grand Opening is canceled. Additionally, the Monthly Supper Meeting on March 26th is postponed. All members are asked to evaluate their own & their family’s risk tolerance associated with the current virus situation, & then act accordingly. For now, let us know how you feel concerning your participation with the Honor Guard, (MFH, Flag Events, any other activities).

On Mar 24th: This was sent to all members: As a result of the coronavirus, yesterday the Honor Guard Board of Directors, (BOD) voted to suspend Honor Guard services including Military Funeral Honors & Color Guard Events until, at least April 6, 2020. However, this suspension does not include activity of individual BOD members, Officers, & other members who can continue to meet their individual responsibilities pertaining to the Honor Guard. This activity can be done at home via phone or email, or in some individual cases, within controlled small groups. Additionally, this exception applies to each member’s personal situation, & just as always, no member is ever expected or asked to do anything that adversely affects themselves or their family! Rest assured, this decision was made solely as a safety precaution for both our members as well as those they interact with. We will keep you updated of future plans. For now, be smart, stay safe, & stay healthy.

On May 2nd: Following a series of earlier meetings Steve Holbert held with Scott Isbell, Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, & Steve Teague, new Uniform Tables for the upcoming revision to the SOPS were finalized.

On May 5th: The Honor Guard BOD conducted a Telephone Meeting, & unanimously voted to resume providing Honor Guard services, but will do so with some “virus related” safety precautions. Those participating at the meeting included Jim Mungenast, Steve Holbert, Herb Kraehmer, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, & Jerry Sandifer. Lastly, Revision # 8 to the SOPS which was released to the BOD on April 25th, was approved at the BOD Meeting. Vic Velle & Steve Teague were absent.

On May 6th: Revision # 8 to the SOPS was released to the membership, & posted on our website.

On May 8th: A communications effort was initiated directed to all funeral homes we’ve worked with in the past to inform them of our resumed, but modified operation, & to ensure that our plans mesh with their own, the family in question, & the cemeteries. Additionally, we will be communicating with many families who have lost Veterans during this time, & because of the “virus”, these families were unable to obtain MFH in a timely manner. It is hoped we’ll be able to provide a number of Memorial MFH for these families in the near future.

On May 25th, (Memorial Day, 2020): The Honor Guard provided its 1st official coordinated event since being cleared to resume Honor Guard activity. On this day, Jeff Hosfeld, John Perry, Jerry Sandifer, & Craig Stephenson, along with Rod Law, a Navy Veteran, & a few of his family & friends began their day in Cades Cove. Cades Cove was once a community of people, churches, schools, general stores, as well as boys who went off to war. When these boys came home & later passed away, they were buried in cemeteries at the churches or in a family cemetery nearby. As years passed, their being honored & their graves being visited by family members wasn’t happening as often as before. Their immediate family were passing away or had moved away... That is, until Rod Law began honoring & paying his respects to them. In 2017, Rod began placing flags on Veterans’ graves in honor of their service to our country. He also placed a flag at the “Pearl Harbor Tree” located at the home site of Golman Myers, a previous Cades Cove inhabitant. In 1941, Golman planted a tree in honor of the servicemen who were at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked by Japan. In 2018, Rod began organizing a full ceremony by enlisting the help of his relatives, friends, & a Bugler from our Honor Guard to place flags on grave sites. Each Veteran’s name is read aloud as a flag is placed at the headstone, then TAPS is sounded concluding the ceremony. This is done at the 3 churche cemeteries, the “Pearl Harbor Tree”, & at the Cable Family Cemetery. Rod retired from the Navy in 1993 after a 22 year career. Upon his passing, he will be buried in Cades Cove with his family of Veterans. 

Later that day, Herb Kraehmer, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, & Denver Thomas provided a Rifle SaluteTAPS at Smokey Mountain Memory Gardens & Shiloh Memorial Cemetery in Pigeon Forge. Additionally, they sounded TAPS at the LeConte Center & Patriot’s Park. They concluded on the front yard of the Sevier County Court House next to the Service Flags Display where they again sounded TAPS. A more complete record of the day’s activity plus 3 photos were given to the Mountain Press, & on June 3rd, these appeared in the paper.

On Jun 6th: Military Funeral Honors, (57th) CPL B. J. Delius, Army, at the Highland South Memorial Park in Knox County. Atchley’s coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Jerry Sandifer coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC John Perry; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Shooters: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Jeff Hosfeld, Pete Jucker, Chuck Kimbell, Dennis Pippin, & Denver Thomas. The Army folded & Carey Kraehmer presented the Flag. Debbie Lynch took photos. Also in attendance were Dennis’s Children Bethanie & Reuben Pippin & Chuck’s Daughter Autumn Kimbell.

On Jun 16th: Military Funeral Honors, (58th) SSGT Alton Gene Lewis, Army, at Smoky Mountain Memory Gardens in Pigeon Forge. Atchley’s coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert, Herb Kraehmer, & Jerry Sandifer coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC Tom Headla; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Shooters: Leon Downey, Jeff Hosfeld, Pete Jucker, Carl McCarter, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, & Denver Thomas. The Army folded & Bud Cassidy of the VSVHG presented the Flag. Debbie Lynch took photos.

On Jun 18th: Our Color Guard was present as the Gary Sinise Foundation Presented a Home to Army SSGT Casey Jones in Wears Valley. Casey is a Purple Heart recipient, who lost both legs to an IED in Afghanistan in May of 2013. This was the 63rd home presented by the Gary Sinise Foundation, but Gary was not present for this one. Our Color Guard standing in single file at Attention greeted Casey as he arrived at his new home. Our Bugler sounded To the Colors as an American Flag & Army Flag were raised at the residence. Our participants included OIC: John Perry, Bugler: Jeff Hosfeld, American Flag Bearer: Carl McCarter, Army Flag Bearer: Tom Marsh. Other participants in the Greeting Line were Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, Herb Kraehmer, Jerry Sandifer, Gene Shelton, & Craig Stevenson. Also present were Gold Star Mother & Honorary Member Julie Ellis, plus Rebecca Hosfeld, who took photos & Elaine Perry. About 12 members of the Patriot Guard Riders were also present, plus two Sevier County Sheriffs, & several other attendees.

On Jun 20th: Military Funeral Honors, (59th) SPC-4 Ralph Edward Lee, Army, Vietnam Vet, at Woodlawn Cemetery in Knoxville. Berry Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Chuck Sayne of the VSVHG; OIC John Perry; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Shooters: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, Carl McCarter, & Denver Thomas. Also attending was Denver’s & our newest Member Jared Cato.

On Jun 21st: Military Funeral Honors, (60th) TEC-5 Ira V. Foust, Army, WW2 Vet, Bronze Star recipient, at the East Maryville Baptist Church Cemetery in Maryville. Smith Funeral Home of Maryville coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: not available; OIC John Perry; Bugler: Donald Booker of the VSVHG; Shooters: Leon Downey, Jeff Hosfeld, Scott Isbell, Chuck Kimbell, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, & Denver Thomas. Also attending were Jeff’s Daughter Emiley & Wife Rebecca, who took photos + Chuck’s Daughter Autumn.

On Jun 30th: Two (2) meetings were held:

  • Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Jeff Hosfeld, Chuck Kimbell, John Perry, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, & Denver Thomas joined Steve Holbert at the LeConte Center for a Leadership Info Update & Planning Meeting held at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. Scott Isbell, Herb Kraehmer, & Jim Warpool called into the meeting by telephone.
  • Following the above meeting, Tom Headla, Leon Downey, & Steve Holbert conducted a short Finance Committee Meeting.

On Jul 23rd: Military Funeral Honors, (61st) SPC-4 (Tim) Richard T. Wilson, Army at the Smoky Mountain Memory Gardens in Pigeon Forge. Berry Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC Tom Headla; Bugler: Pete Jucker; Shooters: Tim Barr, Leon Downey, Jeff Hosfeld, Carl McCarter, Gene Shelton, & Denver Thomas. Also attending was Debbie Lynch taking pictures.

On Jul 25th: Military Funeral Honors, (62nd) John Perry & Jerry Sandifer escorted the body of A1C Thomas Edison Sandifer, USAF to Mississippi for Funeral & Burial Services, where they participated with the Columbus AFB, Mississippi Honor Guard in providing Military Honors for Jerry’s Father.

On Aug 4th: Military Funeral Honors, (63rd) SGT Marvin C. Ogle, Army, WW2, at the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery in Maryville. Smith Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert, Herb Kraehmer, & Craig Stephenson coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplains: Herb Kraehmer & Craig Stephenson; OIC John Perry; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Shooters: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Jeff Hosfeld, Scott Isbell, Pete Jucker, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas.

On Aug 8th: Because Josh & April Harris of the United States Jeep Association – TN wanted to do something after the Annual Pigeon Forge Veterans Homecoming Parade was canceled, Pete Jucker & Jeff Hosfeld represented the Honor Guard by leading their “Salute to Veterans Liberty Caravan” through Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, then into the National Park stopping at the Sugarland Visitor Center. From there, the caravan broke into two groups, one of which continued on to Townsend, & the other returned through Gatlinburg & then to Wears Valley.

On Aug 10th: Veteran’s Funeral for PVT Jerry Lynn Murrell, Jr. USMC at the East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier. Berry Highland South coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the Honor Guard’s participation which included Herb’s Chaplain Service. Pete Jucker & Leon Downey Folded the Flag, & Tom Headla presented it to the Next of Kin. Also attending was John Perry.

On Aug 10th: The following members participated in a Leadership Info Update Meeting held at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Jeff Hosfeld, Pete Jucker, Tom Marsh, John Perry, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas.

On Aug 25th: Military Funeral Honors, (64th) CPL Robert D. Nipper, Sr., Army, Korea, at the Thorngrove Cemetery in Strawberry Planes. Bridges Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. Army National Guard Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC John Perry; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Shooters: Tim Barr, Tom Headla, Denver Thomas, & Jerry Sandifer.

On Aug 27th: Two (2) meetings were held at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Herb Kraehmer, John Perry, & Jerry Sandifer participated in a Leadership Info Update & Planning Meeting. Following that, our newest member Jared Cato joined Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Tom Marsh, John Perry, Dennis Pippin, & Denver Thomas in Manual of Arms & Marching Training. Bethanie Pippin & Rubin Pippin also attended & participated.

On Aug 29th: In support of Tennessee Helping Heard, Honor Guard members Posted the Colors for their Beauty Contest & Fund Raiser at the Evergreen Smoky Mountain Convention Center in Pigeon Forge. Participants: Tim Barr, Tom Headla, Herb Kraehmer, Pete Jucker, Tom Marsh, & Carl McCarter. Paul Lambert, SFD, and Ryan Cleveland, SCSD assisted.

On Sep 1st: Military Funeral Honors, (65th - 71st) for ‘Unclaimed’ Veterans listed below at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier. Berry Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer & Tom Headla coordinated our participation. Participants: Tim Barr, Tom Headla, Herb Kraehmer, & Denver Thomas represented our Honor Guard, who joined members of the Volunteer State Veterans Honor Guard & the East Tennessee Veterans Honor Guard for this Service. Berry Funeral Home donated 2 Flags for our use in Flag Folding Training. For this we are most thankful.

  • SP4 Lonnie Dewey Buckner, Army
  • PVT Thomas Allen Freeland, Jr., Army
  • SP4 Richard Allan Blehar, Army
  • SP5 David Lee Williams, Army
  • PVT Billy Dayral Johns, USMC
  • AMN Michael Pierce Wright, USAF
  • SSGT Allen Ray Haynes, USAF

On Sep 21st: In preparation for an upcoming BOD Meeting, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, & Herb Kraehmer met at the LeConte Center to discuss issues & advise the whole BOD concerning recommendations in upcoming Honor Guard Leadership changes.

On Sep 28th: We Presented the Colors for the Quartet Convention at the LeConte Center. Leon Downey & Steve Holbert coordinated the event. The American Flag & all Service Flags were presented. Participants: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Herb Kraehmer, Tom Marsh, & Denver Thomas. An event attendee played the Bugle.

On Oct 1st: For the second time this week, we Presented the Colors for the Quartet Convention at the LeConte Center. Leon Downey & Steve Holbert coordinated the event. The American Flag, Tennessee Flag, all Service Flags, & the POW-MIA Flags were presented. Tom Marsh played the Bugle; other participants were Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Pete Jucker, Herb Kraehmer, Carl McCarter, Dennis Pippin & Denver Thomas. Bethanie Pippin & Rubin Pippin also attended.

On Oct 5th: All members of the Honor Guard Board of Directors participated in a telephonic meeting. Among other items discussed, these two (2) items of note were addressed & agreed to:

  1. The Board agreed to begin funding the Honor Guard website retroactively to September 1, 2020. Prior to that time, Vic Velle & a former business partner did the necessary work to make it available to the Honor Guard at no cost. For that, we are most appreciative.

  2. These Members will hold the indicated leadership positions effective of November 1, 2020:

  • Jim Mungenast: Chairman of the Board
  • Leon Downey: President & Vice Chairman of the Board
  • Tom Headla: Secretary & Treasurer of the Board
  • Herb Kraehmer: Board Member & Honor Guard Commander… Herb is now identifying his staff of ‘helpers’, (Vice Commander, Adjutant, Sgt-at-Arms, Quartermaster, & Historian) which Herb will submit to the Board of Directors for its approval.
  • Steve Holbert: Board Member
  • Jerry Sandifer: Board Member
  • Steve Teague: Board Member
  • Vic Velle: Board Member

On Oct 8th: Military Funeral Honors, (72nd) SFC James O. Rowans, Sr., Army Retired, Vietnam, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier. Jarnigan & Son Mortuary coordinating the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinating the MFH. Army National Guard Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC Steve Holbert; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Shooters: Tim Barr, Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, Craig Stephenson, & Denver Thomas. Also attending was our newest member, Jared Cato.

On Oct 15th: Military Funeral Honors, (73rd) S1C William D. Phelps, Sr., Navy, WW2, at the Sherwood Memorial Gardens in Alcoa. McCammon – Ammons – Click coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. The Navy Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC Tom Headla, (as well as a shooter); Bugler: Pete Jucker; Other Shooters: Steve Holbert, Tom Marsh, Carl McCarter, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas. Also, our newest member, Jared Cato assisted.

On Oct 17th: The Honor Guard Presented & Posted the Colors at the annual gala for Tennessee Helping Hearts at the Sevierville Community Center.  Additionally, we assisted the East Tennessee Veterans Honor Guard in the Presentation & Posting of the service flags. Participants were Jerry Sandifer, John Perry, Tom Marsh, Pete Jucker, Tom Headla, & Herb Kraehmer. Wives/guests present were Julie Ellis, Debbie Lynch, & Elaine Perry.  

On Oct 18th: Military Funeral Honors, (74th) MSG Carroll Dean Enos, USAF, at the Grandview Cemetery in Maryville; Smith Funeral Home of Maryville coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. The USAF Folded & Steve Holbert Presented the Flag & was also a shooter. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC Tom Headla & was also a shooter; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Other Shooters: Leon Downey, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas. Also, attending were Julie Ellis & Debbie Lynch.

On Oct 21st: Military Funeral Honors, (75th) SN Robert Guss Hubbard, Jr., USCG, at the New Providence Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Blount County; Miller Funeral Home of Maryville coordinating the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinating the MFH. The USCG Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC Steve Holbert; Bugler: Jared Cato; Shooters: Tom Headla, Scott Isbell, Carl McCarter, John Perry, & Denver Thomas.

On Oct 26th: Military Funeral Honors, (76th) SSGT George O. Watson, USAF, (Retired), at the Bell’s Campground Cemetery in Powell; Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. The USAF Folded the Flag. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC Steve Holbert + he presented the Flag; Bugler: Jared Cato; Shooters: Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, Carl McCarter, & Denver Thomas, + Ed Laymon of the VSVHG.

On Nov 2nd: Military Funeral Honors, (77th) PFC Harold Agnew, Army, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on Lyons View; Jarnigan & Son coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC John Perry; Bugler: Craig Stephenson; Shooters: Tim Barr, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Carl McCarter, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas + our newest member Mike Robison observed.

On Nov 2nd: Military Funeral Honors, (78th) AN Michael T. Jackson, Navy at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier; Allen Funeral Home of Morristown coordinated the Funeral; Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. The Navy Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard Participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC John Perry; Bugler: Chuck Kimbell; Shooters: Tim Barr, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Carl McCarter, Jerry Sandifer, Denver Thomas + our newest member Mike Robison observed.

On Nov 6th: Military Funeral Honors, (79th) SGT Stanley R. Mink, USAF, at the Grandview Cemetery in Maryville; Smith Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer & John Perry coordinated the MFH. The Air Force Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard participants:  Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; Bugler: Chuck Kimbell; OIC: John Perry; Shooters: Steve Holbert, Tom Headla, & Denver Thomas.

On Nov 7th: TAPS was played in Cades Cove at the Primitive Baptist Church, Missionary Baptist Church, & Cades Cove Methodist Church in honor of Veterans interred.  Members present were Dennis Pippin, Bugler; Herb Kraehmer, Rifle Guard; Reuben Pippin, American flag, & Bethany Pippin, photographer.

On Nov 9th: The following members took phone calls at Operation Honor Guard’s WATE-TV studios phone bank in Knoxville: Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, Chuck Kimbell, Carl McCarter, & Denver Thomas, & Debbie Lynch. 

On Nov 9th: With less than 12 hours’ notice, the following members Presented the Colors at the Tennessee Police Officers Association in Gatlinburg: Tom Headla, Denver Thomas, & John Perry was OIC.

On Nov 11th: On Veterans Day at the Sevier County Courthouse, the following members Escorted Gold Star family members Gail Thomas & her daughter Crystal: Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, John Perry, Jerry Sandifer, & Herb Kraehmer was OIC.   

On Nov 30th: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Herb Kraehmer, Steve Holbert, John Perry, & Jerry Sandifer met at the LeConte Center to address a few operational issues, & how the New Leadership can & should continue its pursuit of Excellence for the Honor Guard.

On Dec 1st: The Honor Guard BOD met at the LeConte Center to consider Commander Kraehmer’s nominations to fill his staff. John R. Perry, Sr. was approved to become Vice Commander & Sgt-at-Arms. Herbert C. Kraehmer was approved to continue as Chaplain. The positions of Adjutant, Quartermaster & Historian will be filled ASAP. Those in attendance were Jim Mungenast, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert; Vic Velle & Jerry Sandifer participated via telephone. Also, Mrs. Jim Mungenast was in attendance as an observer.

On Dec 1st: The Honor Guard had a celebration of Christmas Supper Meeting at the Five Oaks Farm Kitchen in Sevierville. Herb Kraehmer hosted our first Monthly Meeting since the COVID-19 virus caused us to suspend them earlier this year. Those in attendance were Carl McCarter, Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, John & Elaine Perry, Dennis, Reuben, & Bethany Pippin, Chuck Kimbell & his Daughter Autumn Kimbell, Jerry Sandifer, Julie Harris, Jeff & Becky Hosfeld, Jim & Jeanie Mungenast, Craig Stephenson, Herb & Jeanette Kraehmer, & guests Ron & Judy Ward.

On Dec 5th: The Honor Guard participated in a well-attended, cool but sunny 58th Annual Sevierville Christmas Parade. Our 4 Marines let the parade: Steve Teague, Scott McGee, Logan Moody Paraded the Colors, & Tom Headla served as Rifle Guard. Because of Covid-19 social distancing restrictions, the following additional members, guests, & friends participated in vehicles: Pete Jucker & Steve Holbert (driving) with Service Flags & our HG Parade Banner; (guests); Curt Kraehmer with Holly & Addie Cusick (driving); John Perry & Craig Stevenson (driving); Chuck Kimbell (driving); & Herb Kraehmer (driving). Herb Kraehmer coordinated this event.

On Dec 16th: Military Funeral Honors, (80th) SP4 Norman R. Lane, Army Green Beret, RVN, at the Hills Union Cemetery in Dandridge; Farrar Funeral Home of Dandridge coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer & John Perry coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & a member of the family, also an Army Green Beret Vietnam Veteran Presented the Flag. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; Bugler: Army; OIC & Shooter: John Perry; Other Shooters: Tim Barr, Leon Downey, & Tom Headla.

On Dec 19th: The Honor Guard assisted the DAR, Sarah Hawkins Chapter, Sevier County TN, in placing wreaths at the Sevier County Courthouse in honor of Wreaths Across America. Members participating were John Perry, US flag, Herb Kraehmer, POW flag, & visiting bugler Chuck Sayne. Also, Jim Mungenast participated with Wreaths Across America services at Knoxville National Cemetery.

2021

On Jan 2nd: Military Funeral Honors, (81st) SP-3 Dallas A. McCroskey, Army, Korean War Veteran, at the Shiloh Memorial Cemetery in Pigeon Forge. Atchley Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer, John Perry, & Carl McCarter coordinated the MFH. Dallas was a lifelong friend of Carl, & a 40+ year friend of Herb. Dallas has supported this Honor Guard since day one, & we have performed several events at his church. Because of this relationship, the family requested us, & a slightly different ceremony from the traditional MFH. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: John Perry; Bugler: Chuck Kimbell. Herb Kraehmer & Carl McCarter Folded & Presented the Flag; Shooters: Tim Barr, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Jeff Hosfeld, Denver Thomas, Michelle Eberle, (VSVHG), & Ed Layman, (VSVHG). Other members & friends in attendance: Craig Stephenson, Debbie Lynch & Becky Hosfeld + Joyce Scarbrough, of the VSVHG & Carl’s Son, Randy McCarter.

On Jan 11th: Military Funeral Honors, (82nd) PO3 Jimmy L. Clemons, US Navy Retired, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier; Jarnigan & Son Mortuary coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Steve Holbert; Bugler: Chuck Kimbell. Craig Stephenson & Carl McCarter Folded & Herb Kraehmer Presented the Flag; Shooters: Leon Downey, Carl McCarter, Craig Stephenson, Denver Thomas, & Gene Shelton, (ETVHG).

On Jan 27th: Military Funeral Honors, (83rd) PO3 Joseph R. Prueitt, US Navy, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier; Cremation Options of Knoxville coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer & John Perry coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: John Perry; the Navy Folded & Presented the Flag; Bugler: Jerry Sandifer. Shooters: Tim Barr, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, Denver Thomas, plus David Caldwell & Mike Church of the VSVHG.

On Feb 1st: Military Funeral Honors, (84th) SGT Darrell L. Cooper, USMC, at Smith Funeral Home in Maryville. Herb Kraehmer coordinated this small & private ceremony with Herb acting as Chaplain; Carl McCarter provided Bugler duties, & they Folded & Presented the Flag.

On Feb 6th: Military Funeral Honors, (85th) SGT David C. Ward, US Army, at the Shiloh Memorial Cemetery in Pigeon Forge. Atchley Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral. The family requested us. Herb Kraehmer & John Perry coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: John Perry; Herb Kraehmer & Carl McCarter Folded the Flag; Steve Holbert Presented the Flag; Craig Stephenson stood Casket Guard; Bugler: Chuck Kimbell. Shooters: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas. Also attending was Mike Robison, Julie Ellis, & Debbie Lynch.

On Feb 9th: Tom Headla, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert met to finalize Expense Reimbursement calculations which will be provided to our members who participated in uniformed events between January 1st & December 31st of 2020. Tom Headla will make these distributions ASAP.

On Feb 10th: Military Funeral Honors, (86th) SP4 James L. Wilson, US Army, at Greenwood Memorial Cemetery in Knoxville. Weaver Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer & John Perry coordinated the MFH. US Army Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: John Perry; Bugler: Mike Robison. Shooters: Tom Headla, Chuck Kimbell. Carl McCarter, Denver Thomas.

On Feb 11th: The following members participated in Manual of Arms & Flag Folding Training at the LeConte Center: Tim Barr, Tom Headla, Herb Kraehmer, Tom Marsh, John Perry, Mike Robison, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, & Denver Thomas.

On Feb 12th: Military Funeral Honors, (87th) PFC Lewis J. Modesty, USMC, at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Alcoa. Family coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer & John Perry coordinated the MFH. The USMC Folded & Presented the Flag; Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: John Perry, Bugler: Steve Holbert. Shooters:  Tom Headla, Mike Robison, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, & Denver Thomas.

On Feb 21st: Military Funeral Honors, (88th) SSGT Jack Dale Duggan, US Army Retired, at the Smoky Mountain Memory Gardens in Pigeon Forge. Atchley Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer & John Perry coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & Presented the Flag; Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer, with Craig Stephenson in training; OIC: John Perry, Bugler: Jerry Sandifer; Shooters: Tim Barr, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Chuck Kimbell, Carl McCarter, & Denver Thomas. Tom Marsh served as Flag Guard. Larry Fox, Julie Ellis, & Debbie Lynch also attended.

On Mar 17th: Military Funeral Honors, (89th) SP4 Carl L. Worth, US Army, at the Hills Chapel Cemetery in Dandridge. Atchley Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer & John Perry coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & Presented the Flag; Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: John Perry; Bugler: Pete Jucker; Shooters: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Carl McCarter, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas. Tom Marsh served as Flag Guard.

On Mar 24th: On Mar 24th: John Perry provided Manual of Arms Training for Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Tom Marsh, Mike Robison, & Denver Thomas.

On Apr 16th: In the presence of an unusually large crowd, the following members Presented the Colors prior to the National Anthem at a ground breaking event for a new house being built for DHS in Sevierville. Herb Kraehmer coordinated the service. OIC was John Perry. Participants: American Flag: Tom Headla. Tennessee Flag: Herb Kraehmer. POW Flag: Pete Jucker. Bugler: Tom Marsh. Flag Guards: Carl McCarter & Jerry Sandifer. Leon Downey brought the Flags & wore the Honor Guard polo shirt representing Pigeon Forge. 

On May 7thThe Honor Guard BOD met at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. Those attending were Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, Leon Downey, & Steve Holbert. Jim Mungenast, Vic Velle, & Jerry Sandifer participated by telephone. Operational Member, Tim Barr also attended. The purpose of this meeting was to address & approve a plan going forward & Revision # 9 to the SOPS. Even though the meeting was time constrained, considerable progress was agreed to. The SOPS revision will be distributed & posted on our website ASAP.

On May 7thThe Honor Guard had its Monthly Supper Meeting at the Golden Corral in SeviervilleDennis, Rubin, & Bethanie Pippin hosted our first get together since December. Those in attendance were Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, John Perry, Dennis, Reuben, & Bethany Pippin, Jerry Sandifer, Julie Harris, Craig Stephenson, Leon Downey, Tim Barr, Tom & Jinny Marsh, Larry Fox, Herb Kraehmer, Faye & Steve Holbert, & our newest member Mike Hall, his Wife Cheryl, & his Son Preston Beasley.

On May 25th: The Honor Guard was videotaped for a Memorial Day presentation at Rocky Top Mountain Coaster in Pigeon Forge to be shown at their location. The taping consisted of TAPS with a Rifle Salute (no volley) & Flag presentation to a guest. Members present were Steve Holbert, John Perry, Pete Jucker, Carl McCarter, & Herb Kraehmer. Event was coordinated by Blair Retckin (RTMC) & Herb Kraehmer.

On May 26th: Military Funeral Honors, (90th) CPL Danny Ray Norton, Sr., USMC at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier. Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel & Crematory of Knoxville coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer & John Perry coordinated the MFH. The USMC Folded & Presented the Flag; Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: John Perry; Bugler: USMC; Shooters: Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Carl McCarter, & Denver Thomas. We were assisted by Daniel Booker, Bob Bridges, Gary Post, Bud Cassidy, Randy Tipton, & Michelle Eberle of the VSVHG.

On May 29th: The Honor Guard participated in a Memorial Day service at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg. Herb Kraehmer coordinated the service; the OIC was John Perry. Steve Holbert & Pete Jucker Folded the American Flag, Denver Thomas & Tim Barr stood Flag Guards. Anakeesta’s Bugler played TAPS. Herb’s presentation included a history of Memorial Day & meaning of the 13 Folds of the Flag. After the service, we were treated with Lunch.

On May 31st: The Honor Guard participated in Memorial Day services at the Sevier County Court House. Herb Kraehmer & Jesse Inman coordinated the service; the OIC was John Perry. Tim Barr, Denver Thomas, & Ron Ward of the VSVHG carried the Gold Star Honor Wreaths forward; Steve Holbert escorted Gayle Thomas, & Jerry Sandifer escorted Julie Ellis. We were led by the Sevierville Police Department Honor Guard. Michael Hall & Helena Thomas observed. Over 180 names were called out as passing this last year.

On Jun 3rd: Tim Barr joined John Perry for Manual of Arms practice.

On Jun 5th: Military Funeral Honors, (91st) SGT Erma L. Gladden, US Army, at the Chilhowee Primitive Baptist Church near Tallassee, TN. Once again we were the only HG able to accept this MFH. The family coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer & John Perry coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & Presented the Flag; Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: John Perry; Bugler: Tom Marsh. Shooters: Mike Robison, Jerry Sandifer, Tim Barr, Steve Holbert, Leon Downey, Denver Thomas, & Tom Headla. Afterward, Leon Downey took photos of our Firing Line for our SOPS.

On Jun 11th: Military Funeral Honors, (92nd) CPL Ralph N. Campbell, Jr., USMC, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier. Farrar Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral. MG Leslie Purser, US Army, (Retired) & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. The USMC played TAPS, Folded, & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; Flag Bearers: Steve Holbert, Detail Leader & American Flag Bearer; other flag Bearers: Craig Stephenson, Tennessee Flag; Denver Thomas, USMC Flag; Leon Downey, POW-MIA Flag. The All USMC Firing Line consisted of Detail Commander Larry George, (ETVHG), Keith Kregel, (VSVHG), Tony Joyce, (ETVHG), Gene Shelton, (ETVHG), & Tom Headla of our Honor Guard. Also in attendance were members of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, Patriot Guard Riders, Vietnam Veterans of America, & the Marine Corps League. Following MFH, Chelsea Ivens, a representative of Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn, presented a flag that was flown over the Capitol to the NOK on her chosen date.

On Jun 14th: The Honor Guard Presented the Colors at the TN State School Resources Officers Convention at the Music Road Convention Center in Pigeon Forge. Over 500 registered guests were present. Brad Lowe, Brett Maggart, & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the event. Members present were Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, OIC and US flag, Craig Stevenson, TN flag, Mike Robison, POW flag, & Carl McCarter, bugler. 

On Jun 15th: The Honor Guard Presented the Colors at the Annual SCHTA Mayors Luncheon at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. Chris Massie, SCHTA representative & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the event. Members present were Herb Kraehmer, bugler, John Perry, OIC & rifle guard, Steve Holbert, US flag, Denver Thomas, TN flag, Leon Downey, POW flag, & Tom Headla, rifle guard. Over 500 guests were present.

On Jun 19th: The Honor Guard sounded To the Colors & Presented the Colors at the "Honoring Our Veterans" celebration at the Elkmont Amphitheater in the GSMNP. The service was in honor of Veterans buried in the national park & female Veterans. There was also a pinning of Vietnam Era Veterans. Several VSO’s participated in this event coordinated by Marilyn Childress, Veteran Heritage Site Foundation. Herb Kraehmer & John Perry coordinated for the Honor Guard. Participates were John Perry, OIC & rifle guard; Steve Holbert; US Flag; other Flags: Denver Thomas, Mike Robison, Herb Kraehmer, & Tom Headla, rifle guard. We were assisted by Coleen Scott, USN CPO, VFW member, & Bill Henry of American Legion Post 104 was our Bugler. Debbie Lynch observed. At the conclusion of the service, TAPS was sounded. Approximately 100 visitors observed the event.

On Jun 23rd: Military Funeral Honors, (93rd) SSGT Edmond Joseph George Davis; he served in multiple Branches of Services at different times from 1966 – 1994, USMC, Army, & then again in the USMC, Vietnam War Veteran, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier. SGT Davis along with his Grand Daughter perished in a Gatlinburg house fire recently. Atchley Funeral Home & the Family coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer & John Perry coordinated the MFH. The USMC Folded & Presented the Flag; Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: John Perry; Bugler: Pete Jucker. Shooters: Mike Robison, Denver Thomas, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stevenson, Tom Headla, Leon Downey & Gene Shelton. Steve Holbert observed. Several members of the Patriot Guard Riders & Rolling Thunder, plus Sevier County Veterans Service Officer, Jesse Inman attended the MFH.

On Jun 25th: Military Funeral Honors, (94th) PFC (Sam) Carlo Sametini, USMC, Vietnam War Veteran with three (3) Purple Hearts, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier. Gloria Sametini, (the spouse), Herb Kraehmer, & John Perry coordinated the MFH. The USMC provided the Bugler & Folded the Flag; Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: John Perry; Gene Shelton Presented the Flag; Shooters: Mike Robison, Craig Stevenson, Pete Jucker, Steve Holbert, & Denver Thomas.

On Jul 3rd: Military Funeral Honors, (95th) SP4 David Alan Edwards, Army, Vietnam War Veteran, at a personal residence near Pitman Center. Patty Carey, (Daughter), Herb Kraehmer, & John Perry coordinated the MFH on the one year anniversary of her Father’s passing. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: John Perry; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Herb Kraehmer & Ben Stiles, (Brother-in-Law) Folded the Flag; Ben presented & Herb spoke. Shooters: Mike Robison, Jerry Sandifer, Pete Jucker, Steve Holbert, & Tom Headla.

On Jul 3rd: The Honor Guard Presented the Colors & participated in activities at the Annual Patriot Festival at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge. Pete Jucker coordinated the service. Honor Guard participants were Tom Headla, OIC & Rifle Guard. Flag presenters were Mike Robison, US Flag; Tom Marsh, TN Flag; Herb Kraehmer, PF Flag; & Pete Jucker, POW – MIA Flag. Tom Headla & Tom Marsh assisted Pete with tent, tables, chairs, & displays set-up. Leon Downey & Mike Robison assisted Pete with securing everything at day’s end. All those above were present to interact with the public during the festival. Jeanette Kraehmer & Debbie Lynch were also present. Seven (7) people signed up expressing an interest in possible membership. Pete followed up with phone calls to interested parties.

On Jul 10th: Military Funeral Honors, (96th) SGT James Edward Welch, Army, at the Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church in the GSMNP. Miller Funeral of Maryville coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer & John Perry coordinated the MFH. Without the assistance of the Army, we provided a near flawless MFH. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: John Perry. Steve Holbert & Carl McCarter Folded the Flag. Herb Kraehmer Presented the Flag. Bugler: Support Member Reuben Pippin participated in his Civil Air Patrol Uniform. Shooters: Mike Robison, Dennis Pippin, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, Denver Thomas, & Tom Headla. Tom Marsh was Flag Guard. Dennis’s Daughter Bethanie, also a Support Member, Dennis’s Wife, Crystal, & Craig Stephenson's Wife, Robyn were also present.

On Jul 15th: Herb Kraehmer, John Perry, & Denver Thomas conducted Vice Commander & Adjutant Officer training at John’s home in Wears Valley.

On Jul 16th: Tom Headla, Leon Downey, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert attended a Finance Committee meeting at the LeCounte Center in Pigeon Forge.

On Jul 17th: Military Funeral Honors, (97th) Robert Paul Stebler, (Rank unknown), Army, Korean War Veteran, at the Sevierville Christian Church. Service was coordinated by the family, Herb Kraehmer, & Carl McCarter. Honor Guard participants: Herb Kraehmer, Chaplain & Flag Folder; Carl McCarter, Flag Holder & Presenter. Bugler was Tom Marsh. The Stepson received the Flag. NOTE: Military service was determined by conversations with the family, friends, & Pastor.

On Jul 19th: The Honor Guard Presented the Colors for the Convention of Public Safety Cadets at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Pigeon Forge Police Department representative Donnie Mashburn & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the event. Honor Guard participants: John Perry, OIC; Tom Headla & Carl McCarter, Rifle Guards; Steve Holbert, US Flag; Tom Marsh, TN Flag; Pete Jucker, POW - MIA Flag; Herb Kraehmer, Bugler; & Debbie Lynch, Photographer.

On Aug 7th: The Honor Guard participated in & led the 2021 Veterans Homecoming Parade in Pigeon Forge.  Participants were Steve Teague, OIC; Craig Stevenson, US flag; Denver Thomas, TN flag; Leon Downey, Pigeon Forge flag; & Pete Jucker, POW flag; Tom Headla & Scott Magee were Rifle Guards. The Oak Ridge High School Junior NROTC carried the HG banner, & the service flags.  Participating drivers were Joy Jucker with 9 flags displayed, Steve Holbert with Mike Robison riding, Herb Kraehmer driving, & Curt Kraehmer drove his USA themed Jeep. Weather was warm & humid; crowd was small.

On Aug 7th: Military Funeral Honors, (98th) SGT Thomas William Wallace, USMC, Vietnam War Veteran, at the Lynnhurst Cemetery in Knoxville. Allen Funeral Home of Morristown & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. USMC Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Tom Headla; Bugler: Tom Marsh. Shooters: Mike Robison, Steve Holbert, Gene Shelton, Denver Thomas, & Leon Downey. The service was held during rain downpour.       

On Aug 12th: Military Funeral Honors, (99th) PO3 George J. Massaras, Navy, at 240 Pigeon River Road in Sevierville. Herb Kraehmer & a family friend coordinated the MFH. Navy Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Tom Headla; Bugler: Tom Marsh. Shooters: Mike Robison, Steve Holbert, Denver Thomas, & Pete Jucker. Additionally, Mike & Cheryl Hall observed.

On Aug 14th: Military Funeral Honors, (100th) SGT Mickey Lee Varner, Sr., Army, Vietnam War Veteran at Lynnhurst Cemetery in Knoxville.  Mynatt Funeral Home & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Steve Holbert; Bugler: Tom Marsh. Herb Kraehmer & Daniel Booker of the VSVHG Folded & Presented the Flag. Shooters: Denver Thomas, Leon Downey, & Steve Holbert.

On Aug 20th: ~ ~ IN MEMORIAM ~ ~ John R. Perry, Sr., USAF, served our Honor Guard, always with a dedicated pursuit of excellence, as Quartermaster, Adjutant, Sgt-at-Arms, OIC, & Vice Commander. John passed away this afternoon as a result of complications from Pneumonia & the Covid Virus. Our most sincere Condolences to his Wife Elaine & the rest of his family… Honor Guard night skies are now missing one of its brightest stars, & the Honor Guard Flag is flying at Half Staff. Welcome Home John; you are irreplaceable, & you will be missed ~ ~ REST IN PEACE ~ ~

On Aug 25th: Visitation, Casket Guards, & Funeral for John R. Perry, Sr., USAF, at the Atchley Funeral Home in Sevierville. Atchley Funeral Home, Jerry Sandifer, Steve Holbert, & Tom Headla coordinated the Funeral & service. Honor Guard participants: Jim Mungenast, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, Steve Holbert, Tom Headla, Tom Marsh, Leon Downey, Pete Jucker, Logan Moody, Mike Robison, & Denver Thomas.

On Aug 27th: Military Funeral Honors, (101st) John R. Perry, Sr., USAF, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. Atchley Funeral Home, Jerry Sandifer, Steve Holbert, Tom Headla, & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. The USAF Folded the Flag. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; OIC: Tom Headla; Bugler: Tom Marsh. Jim Mungenast Presented the Flag. Shooters: Leon Downey, Steve Holbert, Pete Jucker, Chuck Kimbell, Jerry Sandifer, Gene Shelton, & Denver Thomas… After the service, Family, other attendees, & Honor Guard members proceeded to the burial location at the cemetery. Following that, Attendees & participants were invited to the Perry home for brunch.

On Sep 1st: The Honor Guard Presented the Colors for the National Anthem & Pledge of Allegiance at the TDOT convention at the Sevierville Convention Center. Amanda Snowden of TDOT & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the service, Honor Guard participats: Tom Headla, OIC & Rifle Guard, Mike Robison, US Flag, Craig Stephenson, TN Flag, Pete Jucker, POW Flag, & Herb Kraehmer was a Rifle Guard, & Tom Marsh was the Bugler. Following the service, breakfast was served.

On Sep 9th: Military Funeral Honors, (102nd) PVT William Raymond Johnson, Army, Afghanistan Vet; at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Knoxville. Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel coordinated the Funeral. Steve Holbert & Craig Stephenson coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & presented the Flag, sounded TAPS. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; OIC: Steve Holbert; Shooters: Tom Headla, Leon Downey, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas.

On Sep11th at 1100: Military Funeral Honors, (103rd); SPC Richy A. Huffaker, Army, Desert Storm Veteran; at the Pollard Cemetery in Kodak. Farrar Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral. Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard participants: OIC: Steve Holbert; Bugler: Tom Marsh. Shooters: Tom Headla, Steve Holbert & Denver Thomas.

On Sep11th at 1300: Military Funeral Honors, (104th); CS3 Malachi Dean, Navy; at the Sherwood Chapel & Memorial Gardens in Alcoa. Unity Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral. Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Navy Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard participants: OIC: Tom Headla; Bugler: Tom Marsh. Shooters: Mike Robison, Steve Holbert, Denver Thomas, & Leon Downey.

On Sep 14th: Military Funeral Honors, 105th); SSGT James William Shelton, USAF; at the Sherwood Chapel & Memorial Gardens in Alcoa. Jarnigan & Sons coordinated the Funeral. Jarnigan’s Beal Bourne & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The USAF Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard participants: OIC: Steve Holbert; Bugler: Mike Hall; this was Mike’s first service as a participant. Shooters: Mike Robison, Jerry Sandifer & Denver Thomas. Helena Thomas observed.

On Sep 20th: Military Funeral Honors, (106th); SP5 Steven B. Royse, Army, Vietnam Veteran; at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Knoxville. Becker Funeral Home in Clermont, FL provided the Funeral earlier. Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Steve Holbert; Bugler: Mike Hall. Shooters: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, Gene Shelton, Craig Stephenson, & Denver Thomas.

On Aug 20th~ ~ IN MEMORIAM~ ~ Ronald Scott Isbell, served our Honor Guard, always with a dedicated pursuit of excellence, as an Assistent to the Quartermaster. Scott passed away tonight as a result of complications from the Covid Virus. Our most sincere Condolences to his Wife Wendy & the rest of his family… Honor Guard night skies are now missing another of its brightest stars, & the Honor Guard Flag is again flying at Half Staff. Welcome Home Scott; you are irreplaceable, & you will be missed ~ ~ REST IN PEACE ~ ~

On Sep 25th: Military Funeral Honors, (107th); SP5 Alfred L. Fine, Army, Vietnam Veteran; at the Fine Cemetery in Newport.  Alder Funeral Home of Morristown coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer & Tom Headla coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain & Bugler: Herb Kraehmer; OIC & Shooter: Tom Headla. Other Shooters: Steve Holbert & Denver Thomas.

On Oct 2nd: Military Funeral Honors, (108th); PFC Kenneth A. Brewer, Army; at the Sherwood Chapel & Memorial Gardens in Alcoa. Berry Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral.  Herb Kraehmer, Steve Holbert, & Tom Headla coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; OIC: Tom Headla; Bugler: Tom Marsh. Shooters: Steve Holbert, Pete Jucker, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas.

On Oct 7th: Military Funeral Honors, (109th); SP5 John W. Loveday, Army, Vietnam Veteran; at the Greenwood Cemetery in Knoxville. Rose Broadway Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer & Tom Headla coordinated the MFH. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; OIC: Tom Headla; Bugler: Tom Marsh. Shooters: Tom Headla, Denver Thomas, Steve Holbert, Jerry Sandifer, & Mike Robison. Tom Headla & Steve Holbert Folded & Presented the Flag.

On Oct 13th: The Honor Guard Presented the National, Tennessee State, & Pigeon Forge City Colors, plus the Service Flags & POW-MIA Flag at The Celebrators Convention with Mike Pence at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. Before the event each Honor Guard member was able to meet & shake hands with former Vice President Mike Pence & his wife Karen. With 12 members present, the event was nearly flawless. The Event was coordinated by Leon Downey, Herb Kraehmer, & Tom Headla. Members present were Tom Headla, OIC & Rifle Guard, Mike Robison, US flag, Jerry Sandifer, TN flag, Craig Stephenson, PF flag, Scott McGee, trailing rifle guard, Dennis Pippin, Army flag, Mike Hall, Navy flag, Carl McCarter, AF flag, Steve Teague, Marine flag, Tom Marsh, CG flag, & Pete Jucker, POW – MIA flag. Herb Kraehmer coordinated from back stage. Guests present were Cheryl Hall & Debbie Lynch. A donation event was Thursday morning 10/14/21 with Herb Kraehmer receiving the donation. 

On Oct 17th: The Honor Guard joined representatives of the VSVHG, ETVHG, AL Post 104, & Marine Corps League in celebration of the 100th birthday of SGT David Barber, Jr., a World War II Veteran of the USMC at the Sevierville Church of Christ. Jerry Sandifer & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the event. Members present were Tom Marsh, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, Tom Headla, & Herb Kraehmer. A commemorative medal & certificate of appreciation was presented to SGT Barber.

On Oct 29th: (Father & Son on the same day, a tough day indeed for this family)... Military Funeral Honors, (110th); COL Donald S. Sullenberger, USAF, Vietnam Veteran; at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. Herb Kraehmer & the Schmidt Funeral Home in Katy, Texas coordinated this & the service below. Because the USAF provided no Bugler, the USMC provided the Bugler. The USAF Folded & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC & Shooter: Tom Headla; other Shooters: Mike Robison, Pete Jucker, Steve Holbert, Mike Hall, & Denver Thomas.

On Oct 29th: Military Funeral Honors, (111th) was then conducted for LT Robert L. Sullenberger, USMC, Desert Storm Veteran, who was the Son of COL Sullenberger. The USMC provided the Bugler, Folded, & Presented the Flag, plus provided five (5) Shooters with an NCOIC. Herb Kraehmer was the Chaplain. Our other members remained & observed this second MFH.

On Nov 4th: Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, & Denver Thomas represented us at Operation Honor Guard at WATE – TV in Knoxville.

On Nov 5th: Military Funeral Honors, (112th); PO2 Ralph G. Smith, Navy, WW2 Veteran; at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. The Funeral was conducted several years ago. Herb Kraehmer & Tom Headla coordinated the MFH. The Navy Folded & Presented the Flag. Bugler: Gary Post of the VSVHG. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC & Shooter: Tom Headla; other shooters: Denver Thomas, Steve Holbert, & Pete Jucker.

On Nov 9th: The Honor Guard presented the Colors & Service Flags as well as escorted the guest speaker at the Salute to Veterans Event at the Dolly Parton Stampede in Pigeon Forge. Event was coordinated by Leah Hicks, Herb Kraehmer, & Tom Headla. Honor Guard participants: Tom Headla, OIC & lead rifle, Mike Robison, US flag & speaker escort, Steve Holbert, TN flag, & Denver Thomas, trail guard. Service flags were carried by Leon Downey, Army; Gene Shelton, (ETSVHG member), Marines; Herb Kraehmer, Navy; Carl McCarter, Air Force, & Tom Marsh, Coast Guard. Pete Jucker presented the POW-MIA flag in a special salute. Honor Guard guests present were Jeanette Kraehmer, Helena Thomas, & Debbie Shelton. A 100-year-old Marine Veteran, David Barber & his Daughter Charlotte Comestock & her Husband Roger were also HG guests. A meal was served followed by a Christmas show.

On Nov 11th: The Honor Guard placed the Gold Star Family Wreaths at the Sevier County Court House Veterans Day Program. Members present were Mike Hall & Herb Kraehmer, wreath carriers, & Tom Headla, OIC & escort, & Gold Star Mother Gayle Thomas.

On Nov 17th: Military Funeral Honors, (113th); SFC Hiawatha Sanford Spencer, Army, WW2; at the Sherwood Chapel & Memorial Gardens in Alcoa. Berry Funeral Home coordinated the Funeral. Herb Kraehmer & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Army provided the Bugler, Folded, & Presented the Flag. Honor Guard participants: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC & Shooter: Steve Holbert; other shooters: Tom Headla, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas.

Prior to the above service, Herb Kraehmer presented the Honor Guard folder to Wendy Isbell at Sherwood Memorial Gardens in honor of her Husband SFC Scott Isbell, USA. Scott was an Honor Guard member who passed on September 23, 2021 from complications with the Virus. Scott received Military Honors by the Tennessee National Guard & is interred at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County.

Following the above service, Herb Kraehmer presented the Honor Guard folder to Douglas Fox in honor of his Father CPT Larry Fox, USA. Larry was a Vietnam War Veteran & also a member of our Honor Guard who passed in September; American Legion Post 104 provided Military Honors.

On Nov18th: Military Funeral Honors, (114th); Carl McCarter represented the VMHGOPF by presenting the Flag & Honor Guard folder to Amanda Payne, the Daughter, in honor of Carl’s friend Johnny Finchum. Mr. Finchum was a war veteran & retired Tennessee Highway Patrol deputy. Mr. Finchum’s service was held at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County with American Legion Post 104 providing the honors.

On Nov 19th: Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, Leon Downey, & Steve Holbert participated in a Finance Committee Meeting; they completed next year’s budget which must be submitted to the BOD NLT December 1st, & approved by the BOB by December 31st. Then, Herb, Tom, & Steve completed Expense Reimbursement calculations thru mid-November, which will be completed asap after December 31st.

On Dec 4th: Our Honor Guard once again led the Sevierville’s 59th Annual Christmas Parade. The weather was great with a very large viewing along the route. Members participating were OIC & lead rifle, Tom Headla, US flag, Mike Robison, TN flag, Craig Stevenson, POW flag, Denver Thomas, trail rifle, Scott McGee marching. Driver 1 with service flags including the new Space Force flag, Steve Holbert, with rider Tom Marsh, 2nd vehicle, Herb Kraehmer, coordinator, with rider Carl McCarter, followed by 2 Christmas & Military theme jeeps driven by Curtis Kraehmer & Christian Kraehmer.

On Dec 4th: Military Funeral Honors, (115th); SSGT Donald Wayne Smith, USMC; at the Miller Funeral Home in Maryville. This Memorial Service was coordinated by Herb Kraehmer & Tom Headla. The USMC Folded & Presented the Flag. Members participating were Chaplain, Herb Kraehmer; OIC, Tom Headla; Shooters, Steve Holbert, Denver Thomas,  Mike Robison, Leon Downey, Craig Stevenson, & Jerry Sandifer. Tom Marsh was the Bugler. Also present were Honorary Members Elaine Perry & Julie Sandifer.

On Dec 16th: Military Funeral Honors, (116th); SGT Lewis K. Smith, Army; at the Atchley Funeral Home in Seymour. The family contacted the Honor Guard about our members attending the Funeral Family Visitation. Herb Kraehmer coordinated. The Honor Guard exceeded again. Craig Stephenson delivered the Invocation; With Herb Kraehmer & Jerry Sandifer advancing with Tom Headla & Steve Holbert, who Folded & Presented the Flag, we did an abbreviated MFH. It is hoped that we will be asked to provide the Full MFH at a later date.

On Dec 18th: The Honor Guard assisted the DAR with a Wreaths Across America Event at the Shiloh Cemetery in Pigeon Forge. The DAR’s Tracie Jenkins & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the service, which included Posting the American Flag, laying several wreaths at the service tent, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, TAPS played by Harold Collins, & 8 wreathes, one for each Branch of Service + the Merchant Marines & POW - MIA Flags were posted at the service tent, & then the Colors were Retired. Participants were OIC: Tom Headla, Flag Detail, & Wreath Carrier; Denver Thomas Flag Detail & Wreath Carrier; Cary Kraehmer Flag Detail & Wreath Carrier. Other Wreath Carriers: Leon Downey, Steve Holbert, Tom Marsh, an Active-duty USAF SSGT, & Boy Scout Sawyer Jenkins.

On Dec 18th: While those listed above were doing our seasonal ‘Wreaths Across America’ duty in Pigeon Forge, Jerry Sandifer & Craig Stephenson made it possible for & escorted Elaine Perry & Windy Isbell so they could visit their Husbands who are now lying at the East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Knox County.

On Dec 29th: Military Funeral Honors, (117th); SP4 Felix Leroy Foster Sr., Army; at the Stock Creek Baptist Church in Knox County. The service was coordinated by Smith Funeral Home, Jerry Sandifer, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert. The Army Folded & Presented the Flag. Members participating were Chaplain, Herb Kraehmer; OIC, Steve Holbert. Shooters: Leon Downey, Pete Jucker, Mike Robison, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas. Tom Marsh was the bugler. Also present was Joy Jucker.

2022

On Jan 3rd: Tom Headla & Steve Holbert met to finalize expense reimbursement calculations which will be provided to our members who participated in uniformed events between January 1st & December 31st of 2020. Tom has begun these distributions.

On Jan 8th: Military Funeral Honors, (118th); PFC David P. Caldwell, USMC; at the Chilhowee Cemetery in Seymour. The service was coordinated by Alley Stephens, Berry Funeral Home, Herb Kraehmer, & Tom Headla. The USMC Folded & Presented the Flag. Members participating were Chaplain, Herb Kraehmer; OIC, Tom Headla. Shooters: Leon Downey, Mike Robison, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stevenson, & Denver Thomas. Tom Marsh was the bugler. Elaine Perry observed & sang a special song to honor PFC Caldwell.

On Jan 15th: Due to prior & personal commitments to devote the time required, Herb Kraehmer resigned as our Commander. Herb has given us far more than his share of work & effort. We are forever grateful for him & what he has done for us as well as all Veterans & their families. Herb will continue as Honor Guard Chaplain.

On Jan 16th: Our Army M-1 rifles that have been missing since November have been found & are now secured with our Adjutant.

On Jan 18th: The Honor Guard BOD appointed Steve Holbert to become interim Commander for a temporary period for up to six months & tasked him within that period to recommend a permanent Commander for the Honor Guard.

On Jan 21st: Military Funeral Honors, (119th); LCPL Dennis Everett, USMC, a Vietnam Veteran, at the Grandview Cemetery in Maryville. The service was coordinated by the Family, Grandview Cemetery, Tom Headla, & Steve Holbert. The funeral was conducted in December. The USMC Folded & Presented the Flag. Members participating were Chaplain, Craig Stephenson; OIC, Tom Headla & Mike Robison. Shooters: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Mike Robison, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas. Steve Holbert was the bugler.

On Jan 26th: Military Funeral Honors, (120th); PO3 Ronald Charles Pulizotto, Navy, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. McCarty Funeral Directors & Cremation Services of Sevierville, the Family, Steve Holbert, & Herb Kraehmer coordinated the services. The Navy Folded & Presented the Flag. Members participating were Chaplain, Herb Kraehmer; OIC, Steve Holbert. Tom Marsh was the bugler. Shooters: Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, Mike Robison, & Denver Thomas.

On Jan 28th: Military Funeral Honors, (121st); PFC Kenneth Melvin Armstrong, USMC, a Vietnam Veteran, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. Jarnigan & Sons, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The USMC Folded & Presented the Flag. Members participating were Chaplain, Herb Kraehmer; OIC, Mike Robison, & Tom Marsh was the bugler. Shooters: Tom Headla, Mike Hall, Steve Holbert, Craig Stephenson, & Denver Thomas.

On Feb 1st: Jim Mungenast & Steve Holbert, along with representatives from other area Honor Guards were present at Knoxville’s WATE-TV studios to accept last year’s Operation Honor Guard check. We are forever grateful for these funds which were donated by members of the public throughout Knox County & the surrounding Counties.

On Feb 3rd: Military Funeral Honors, (122nd); LCPL Bruce L. Sexton, USMC, a Vietnam Veteran, at the Baldwin-Cate Cemetery in New Market. McCarty - Evergreen Funeral Home of Knoxville & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The USMC Folded & Presented the Flag. Members participating: Shooters: Steve Holbert & Denver Thomas. Steve Holbert also sounded TAPS.

On Feb 3rd: Military Funeral Honors, (123rd); for SP-4 Ronald O. Crenshaw, Sr. Army, a Vietnam Veteran, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. Patton Funeral Home, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & Presented the Flag. Members participating were Chaplain, Herb Kraehmer; OIC, Tom Headla. Shooters: Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Carl McCarter, Mike Robison, & Denver Thomas. Steve Holbert also sounded TAPS.

On Feb 4th: Military Funeral Honors, (124th); for SN Melvin Wheeler Young, Jr. Navy, a Vietnam Veteran, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. Kevin Knowles, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Navy Folded & Presented the Flag. Members participating were Chaplain, Herb Kraehmer; OIC, Steve Holbert. Shooters: Carl McCarter, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, & Denver Thomas. Steve Holbert also sounded TAPS.

On Feb 5th: Military Funeral Honors, (125th); for SRA David Alan McDaniel, USAF, at the Berry Highland Memorial Cemetery in Knox County. Berry Funeral Home, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The USAF sounded TAPS, Folded, & Presented the Flag. Members participating were Chaplain, Herb Kraehmer; OIC, Mike Robison; Shooters: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Carl McCarter, Craig Stephenson, & Denver Thomas. Mike Robison was also a shooter. Debbie Lynch observed.

On Feb 6th: Mike Robison, Tom Headla, Denver Thomas, & Steve Holbert conducted OIC Training at Denver’s house in Sevierville.

On Feb 14th: Military Funeral Honors, (126th); for A3C Bill Homer Edwards, USAF, at the Caylor’s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery in Townsend. Miller Funeral Home, Herb Kraehmer, Craig Stephenson, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The USAF sounded TAPS, Folded, & Presented the Flag. Members participating were Chaplain, Craig Stephenson; OIC, Tom Headla; Shooters: Leon Downey, Mike Hall, Steve Holbert, & Mike Robison. Tom Headla was also a shooter. Our newest member, USAF Veteran John Peychal observed, & following the service, He, Mike Hall, & Steve Holbert practiced the Manual of Arms.

On Feb 17th: Tom Headla, Leon Downey, & Steve Holbert conducted a Finance Committee Meeting at the LeConte Center. Meeting Minutes will be completed & forwarded.

On Feb 17th: We have resumed our Monthly Supper Meetings, & tonight’s was the first in several months. It was at the Golden Corral in Sevierville. Dennis, Bethanie, & Reuben Pippin hosted; the following other members, family, & friends attended: Carl McCarter, Faye & Steve Holbert, John Peychal, Craig Stephenson, & Elaine Perry.

On Feb 18th: Steve Holbert provided Initial Training, Phase I to John Peychal & Burl Cooke at the LeConte Center.

On Feb 24th: The following Operational Members participated in the long-awaited Leadership Meeting at the LeConte Center: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Craig Stephenson, Mike Robison, & Steve Holbert. Also, Vic Velle & Jim Mungenast participated via phone.

On Feb 28th: Steve Holbert provided Initial Training, Phase II training to John Peychal & Burl Cook at the LeConte Center.

On Mar 7th: Steve Holbert provided Initial Training, Phase II training to John Peychal, Tom Headla, & Leon Downey at the LeConte Center.

On Mar 8th: Military Funeral Honors, (127th); for GYSGT Charles “Charlie” Glenn Reagan, USMC (Ret), a Vietnam Veteran, at the Beech Grove Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Sevier County. Rawlings Funeral Home, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The USMC sounded TAPS, Folded, & Presented the Flag. Members participating were Chaplain, Herb Kraehmer; OIC, Tom Headla; Shooters: Leon Downey, Steve Holbert, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, Denver Thomas, & In addition to being the OIC, Tom Headla, was also a shooter. Lastly, our newest member, John Peychal observed.

On Mar 15th: The Honor Guard Presented the Colors at two (2) locations. This was John Peychal’s first uniformed participation; Steve Holbert was an extra today & only observed. Following the second service, we were treated with lunch:

1. At the Music Road Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, for the Tennessee Information Enforcement Systems, an arm of the TBI. The OIC was Mike Robison; he also carried the American Flag. Other participants were Lead Guard, Tom Headla, John Peychal carried the Tennessee Flag, Pete Jucker carried the Pigeon Forge Flag, Herb Kraehmer carried the POW – MIA Flag, Denver Thomas was the Trail Guard, & Tom Marsh was the Bugler.

2. At the State of the City Address & Luncheon at the Pirates Adventure in Pigeon Forge. The OIC was Tom Headla; he also was Lead Guard. Other participants were Mike Robison; he carried the American Flag, John Peychal carried the Tennessee Flag, Carl McCarter carried the Pigeon Forge Flag, Herb Kraehmer carried the POW – MIA Flag, Denver Thomas was the Trail Guard, & Tom Marsh was the Bugler.

On Mar 29th: Military Funeral Honors, (129th); for SP-4 Joqualian Terrell Lee Bullock, an Army Veteran, at the Knoxville National Cemetery. Jarnigan & Son Mortuary, Herb Kraehmer, Mike Robison, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & Presented the Flag. Members participating were Chaplain, Herb Kraehmer; OIC, Mike Robison; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Shooters: Mike Hall, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Pete Jucker, Carl McCarter, & John Peychal, & In addition to being the OIC, Mike Robison was also a shooter. Our newest members worked hard & did a great job.

On Mar 31st: The following members attended our Monthly Supper Meeting at the Texas Roadhouse in Pigeon Forge which was hosted by Pete & Joy Jucker: Leon Downey, Denver, Helena, & Jenny Thomas, Steve & Faye Holbert, Tom & Ginny Marsh, Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, Craig & Robyn Stephenson, & Jerry & Julie Sandifer.

On Apr 4th: Military Funeral Honors, (129th); for A2C Ivan Grant Pate, USAF, at the Lynnhurst Cemetery in Knxville. Berry Funeral Home, Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The USAF was the Bugler, Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating members were Chaplain, Herb Kraehmer; OIC, Tom Headla; Shooters: Mike Hall, Steve Holbert, Pete Jucker, John Peychal, Mike Robison, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas. Helena Thomas observed.

On Apr 6th: Military Funeral Honors, (130th); for SP-4 James D. Allen, Jr, an Army & Vietnam Veteran, at the Grandview Cemetery in Maryville. Memorial Funeral Home of Maryville, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: OIC: Steve Holbert; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Shooters: Leon Downey, Mike Hall, Pete Jucker, Mike Robison, & Denver Thomas.

On Apr 8th: Military Funeral Honors, (131st); for TEC-5 Richard D. Steinle, an Army & WW2 Veteran, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. The Veteran’s Cemetery, Craig Stephenson, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; OIC: Mike Robison; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Shooters: Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Pete Jucker, John Peychal, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas.

On Apr 22nd: The (Vietnam) Wall That Heals returned to the Lynnhurst Cemetery in North Knoxville on April 21st - 25th. Jim Mungenast coordinated the Honor Guard’s participation. Representing our Honor Guard at the Wall were Shift Leader Jim Mungenast; others participating were Mike Robison, Steve Teague, Tom Headla, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, & Pete & Joy Jucker who volunteered for the 1600 - 2000 shift on Friday, Apr 22nd.

On Apr 27th: Military Funeral Honors, (132nd), for PFC Charles S. Morton, an Army Veteran, at the Sherwood Chapel Memorial Gardens in Alcoa. Sherwood, Herb Kraehmer, Mike Robison, & Tom Headla coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Tom Headla; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Shooters: Mike Hall, Steve Holbert, Pete Jucker, John Peychal, Mike Robison, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas.

On Apr 28th: Military Funeral Honors, (133rd), for PVT David D. Scarlett, an Army Veteran, at the Walnut Grove Cemetery in Sevier County. Mynatt Funeral Home, Herb Kraehmer, & Mike Robison coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Mike Robison; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Shooters: Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Pete Jucker, Carl McCarter, John Peychal, & Denver Thomas.

On Apr 28th: The following members attended our Monthly Supper Meeting which again was held at the Texas Roadhouse in Pigeon Forge which was hosted by Jerry & Julie Sandifer: Herb Kraehmer, Carl McCarter, Craig & Robyn Stevenson, Pete & Joy Jucker, Tom Heada, Debbie Lynch, John & Yvonne Peychal, & Elaine Perry.

On Apr 29th: The Honor Guard led the 2022 Annual Music in the Mountains Spring Parade in Pigeon Forge as follows: Craig Stephenson, Right Rifle Guard, Mike Robison, American Flag, Denver Thomas, Tennessee Flag, Michael Hall, Pigeon Forge Flag, Pete Jucker, POW-MIA Flag, Jerry Sandifer, Left Rifle Guard. Our Honor Guard Banner was strapped to the Jeep following the Flag Line. This was followed by a jeep with flags on the back driven by Herb Kreahmer's Son & Daughter-in-Law & Helena Thomas. The next truck with service flags on the back was driven by Joy Jucker accompanied by John Peychal, followed by a truck driven by Herb Kraehmer accompanied by Carl McCarter. Michael Hall's Wife Cheryl & Son Preston viewed the parade & help shuttle our participants back to the start area.

On May 1st: Military Funeral Honors, (134th), for YN3 Irene G. Norman, Navy (WAVE), at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Knoxville. Berry Funeral Home, Craig Stephenson, & Mike Robison coordinated the MFH. The Navy Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; OIC: Mike Robison; Bugler: Tom Marsh; Shooters: Steve Holbert, John Peychal, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas. Honorary Members attending were Elaine Perry & Helena Thomas.

On May 5th: Military Funeral Honors, (135th), for PFC Wallace W. Randall, Army, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. Unity Funeral Home, Herb Kraehmer, Craig Stephenson, & Tom Headla coordinated the MFH. The Army provided the Bugler, Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; OIC: Tom Headla; Shooters: Mike Hall, Pete Jucker, John Peychal, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas

On May 5th: Military Funeral Honors, (136th), for PFC Amos Dearle King, Army, at the Middle Creek Cemetery in Pigeon Forge. Atchley Funeral Home, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. Participating Members: OIC: Steve Holbert; Bugler: Pete Jucker; Shooters: Tom Headla, John Peychal, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, & Denver Thomas; Herb Kraehmer, & Carl McCarter Folded & Presented the Flag.

On May 6th: Military Funeral Honors, (137th), for FN Robert “Arno” Boehner, Navy, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. Resthaven Funeral Home of Dandridge, Herb Kraehmer, Craig Stephenson, & Mike Robison coordinated the MFH. The Navy provided the Bugler, Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Senior Chaplain, Herb Kraehmer observed Craig Stephenson in his duty as Chaplain for this MFH; Herb also presented the Veteran’s Folder. OIC: Mike Robison; Shooters: Steve Holbert, Pete Jucker, Carl McCarter, John Peychal, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas. Following the MFH, Elaine Perry sang a song for the family.

On May 10th: Military Funeral Honors, (138th), for CPL James E. Williams, Sr., Army, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. Jarnigan & Son Mortuary, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Army provided the Bugler, Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Steve Holbert; Shooters: Mike Hall, Tom Headla, John Peychal, & Denver Thomas.

On May 17th: The Honor Guard BOD held a Zoom BOD Meeting which included all BOD members. The most consequential item agreed to was naming Commander Michael W. Robison, Navy (Ret) to the BOD.

On May 24th: Military Funeral Honors, (139th), for AN Don R. Carr, Navy; at Berry Highland South Cemetery in Knox County. Berry Funeral Home, Herb Kraehmer, Tom Headla, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Navy provided the Bugler, Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Tom Headla; Shooters: Steve Holbert, Carl McCarter, John Peychal, Denver Thomas, + Tom Headla also was a shooter.

On May 25th: Military Funeral Honors, (140th), for PVT Marilyn S. (Barber) Cobble, Army; at the New Gray Cemetery in Knoxville. Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Army provided the Bugler, Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Craig Stephenson; Shooters: Steve Holbert, John Peychal, Denver Thomas, + Craig Stephenson also was a shooter.

On May 26th: John & Yvonne Peychal hosted the Honor Guard’s Monthly Supper Meeting at Harpoon Harry's Crab House in Pigeon Forge. The following other Members & Family attended: Jerry & Julie Sandifer, Elaine Perry, Craig & Robyn Stephenson, Steve & Faye Holbert, Chuck & Michelle Kimbell, Pete & Joy Jucker, Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, Debbie’s Mom Barbara Kalten, Denver & Helena Thomas, & Herb & Jeanette Kraehmer. Chuck & Michelle Kimbell will host the June Supper Meeting.

On May 30th: The Honor Guard participated in two (2) Events:

   1. The Honor Guard provided a Rifle Salute in Memorial Day activities at the Jefferson County Court House in Dandridge. The following members participated: Tom Headla was the OIC & a shooter. The other shooters were Mike Hall, Steve Holbert, Pete Jucker, Chuck Kimbell, John Peychal, & Mike Robison. Debbie Lynch observed.

   2. The Honor Guard participated at the Sevier County Court House in Sevierville. The following members participated: OIC Herb Kraehmer, Elaine Perry sang a song. Carl McCarter escorted Gayle Thomas, Herb Kraehmer escorted Jeannette Kraehmer, Jerry Sandifer escorted Julie Sandifer, & Craig Stephenson escorted Elaine Perry. Herb & Carl placed the wreaths. Faye Holbert observed

On Jun 2nd: The Honor Guard participated in two (2) Events:

   1. Military Funeral Honors, (141st), for SP6 Carlos Lee Cole, Army, (Ret); at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. Click Funeral Home, Herb Kraehmer, Steve Holbert, & Mike Robison coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & an active-duty Army member of the family Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Mike Robison; Bugler: Pete Jucker, Shooters: Tom Headla, Chuck Kimbell, John Peychal, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, & Denver Thomas.

   2. Jerry Sandifer hosted an Honor Guard program at the Great Smoky Mountain Association of Realtors in Sevierville… Craig Stephenson opened by giving a brief overview of our Honor Guard & the functions in which we participate; he briefed everyone on the meanings hidden within MFH. Then Jerry addressed the attendees about joining the Honor Guard, & then Craig read the 13 Folds Program. Tom Headla held the Flag & Pete Jucker folded, & afterward, he sounded TAPS. Craig showed the video "Angel Flight”; there wasn’t a dry eye in the room afterwards. Denver Thomas was originally present but had to leave before our presentation.

On Jun 6th: Military Funeral Honors, (142nd), for A2C Joseph W. Winterberger, USAF; at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. Alder Funeral Home of Morristown, Craig Stephenson, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The USAF provided the Bugler, Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; OIC: Steve Holbert; Shooters: Mike Hall, Pete Jucker, Chuck Kimbell, Mike Robison, & Denver Thomas.

On Jun 27th: Military Funeral Honors, (143rd), for SN Roy Albert Lowe, a Navy & Vietnam Veteran, at the Berry Highland South Cemetery in Knox County. Berry Funeral Home, Craig Stephenson, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Navy provided the Bugler, Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; OIC: Mike Robison; Shooters: Mike Hall, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Carl McCarter, John Peychal, & Denver Thomas.

On Jun 30th: The Honor Guard participated in two (2) Events:

   1. On Jun 30: Military Funeral Honors, (144th), for FTG2 Ralph Irvine Lockhart, Navy; at the Sherwood Chapel & Memorial Gardens in Alcoa. Sherwood, Craig Stephenson, & Mike Robison coordinated the MFH. The Navy Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson, OIC: Mike Robison; Bugler: Leon Downey; Shooters: Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, Carl McCarter, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas.

   2. Chuck & Michelle Kimbell hosted the Monthly Supper Meeting at the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, (in the back) in Sevierville. These other Members & Friends were in attendance: Craig & Joy Stephenson, Carl McCarter, Jerry & Robin Sandifer, Elaine Perry, Autumn & Gage Kimbell (Chuck & Michelle’s children), Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, Denver & Helena Thomas, & Pete & Joy Jucker.

On Jul 1st: Military Funeral Honors, (145th), for AB Lynn Henry Hauman, USAF, at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. ETSVC, Herb Kraehmer, & Mike Robison coordinated the MFH. The USAF provided the Bugler, Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Mike Robison; Shooters: Pete Jucker, Carl McCarter, John Paychal, Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stevenson, & Denver Thomas.

On July 5th: Military Funeral Honors, (146th), for PVT Herbert Eugene Mendenhall, Sr., an Army & WW2 Veteran, at the Berry Highland South Cemetery in Knox County. Berry Funeral Home, Herb Kraehmer, & Mike Robison coordinated the MFH. The Army provided the Bugler, Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; Tom Headla was the OIC & a shooter, other Shooters were: Leon Downey, Chuck Kimbell, John Peychal, Denver Thomas.

On Jul 12th: Military Funeral Honors, (147th)for SP4 Donald Hugh Jones, Jr., Army at the Resthaven Memorial Gardens in Jefferson County. Lorraine of Resthaven, Herb Kraehmer, & Mike Robison oordinated the MFH. The Army provided the Bugler, Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Mike Robison; Shooters: Mike Hall, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Carl McCarter, John Peychal, & Denver Thomas.

On Jul 20th: Tom Headla, Leon Downey, Steve Holbert, & Jerry Sandifer conducted a Finance Committee Meeting; Mike Robison participated via phone. The committee’s recommendations will be submitted to the BOD.

On Jul 21st: The Honor Guard participated in two (2) Events:

   1. Military Funeral Honors, (148th), for RA Ernest S. Browning, Army, at the Berry Highland South Cemetery in Knox County. Highland South, Herb Kraehmer, Steve Holbert, & Tom Headla coordinated the MFH. The Army provided the Bugler, Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Tom Headla; Shooters: Leon Downey, Steve Holbert, Carl McCarter, John Peychal, & Mike Robison. Tom Headla also participated on the Firing Line.

   2. Tom Headla & Debbie Lynch hosted the Monthly Supper Meeting at the at J T Hannah's Kitchen in Pigeon Forge. These other Members & Friends were in attendance: Herb Kraehmer, Leon Downey, Dennis Pippin, Craig Stephenson, Julie & Jerry Sandifer, Faye & Steve Holbert, Joy & Pete Jucker, Ginny & Tom Marsh, Denver & Helena Thomas… A strange, increasingly loud, & disruptive singing of God Bless America occurred during the supper meeting. This was heard by everyone in the Dining Room, & many others joined in... As it turned out, this came from the Pigeon Forge Honor Guard… The August 25th Supper Meeting will be Hosted by Craig & Robyn Stephenson.

On Jul 23rd: Abbreviated Military Funeral Honors, (149th), plus Posting & Retiring of the Colors for CAPT John “Jack” Steik Barron, Navy (Retired) at a Celebration of Life at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Knoxville. Jim Mungenast, Mike Robison, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert coordinated the service’s three (3) segments. Honor Guard participants: OIC & Introducer: Steve Holbert… Other participants in Posting the Colors: American Flag, Mike Robison; Navy Flag, Herb Kraehmer, & POW-MIA Flag, Craig Stephenson… Other participants in the 13 Folds Program: Bugler, Craig Stephenson; Script Reader, Mike Robison; Folder, Herb Kraehmer; Holder, Tom Headla, & Presenter, Jim Mungenast… Other participants in Retiring the Colors: American Flag, Mike Robison; Navy Flag, Herb Kraehmer, & POW-MIA Flag, Tom Headla. Debbie Lynch observed.

On Jul 27th: Military Funeral Honor, (150th), for CSM Dewey M. Jackson, Army, (Ret) WW2 & Vietnam Veteran at the Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery in Townsend. Miller Funeral Home, Craig Stephenson, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Army provided the Bugler, Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; OIC Steve Holbert; Shooters: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, John Peychal, & Jerry Sandifer. WATE-TV News covered the service & their release is posted on our Facebook.

On Aug 6th: The Honor Guard participate in 2 events:

   1. We participated in Veterans Welcoming Parade in Pigeon Forge. Participating members were Tom Headla, OIC & rifle guard, Mike Hall, rifle guard, Dennis Pippin, US flag bearer, Craig Stevenson, TN flag bearer, Leon Downey, PF flag bearer, & Pete Jucker, POW flag bearer. Drivers were Joy Jucker with service flags, Debbie Lynch with Tom Marsh & John Paychal, Cheryl Hall, Herb Kraehmer with Carl McCarter, & Curtis Kraehmer with Holly Cusick. Members of Cooke County USNROTC carried the honor guard banner & led. Herb Kraehmer coordinated.

   2. On the same day, Herb Kraehmer & Tom Headla attended the MFH ceremony for 100 year old Sgt David Barber, USMC & World War II veteran. A certificate & sympathy card were presented. The Marine Corps League of Knoxville performed the honors with active duty Marines folding, presenting, and playing Taps. Service was held at the Sevierville Church of Christ.

On Aug 11th: The BOD met at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. All members were in attendance except Jerry Sandifer who was on vacation. Meeting minutes were taken & are available.

On Aug 20th: A memorial Rifle Salute & TAPS was provided at the John Perry home in honor of John who passed away on this date last year. A nice crowd of friends & neighbors were in attendance. Craig Stevenson provided a eulogy & prayer. Herb Kraehmer provided a Chaplin’s service. Other Honor Guard participants:  OIC: Tom Headla & Shooter,  Other Shooters: Jerry Sandifer, Craig Stevenson, John Peychal, & Leon Downey. Bugler: Tom Marsh. Other Honor Guard Members present were Julie Sandifer & Debbie Lynch.

On Aug 25th: Craig & Robyn Stephenson hosted the Monthly Supper Meeting at TGI Fridays in Pigeon Forge. These other Members & Friends were in attendance: Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, Leon Downey, Herb & Jeanette Kraemer, Jerry & Julie Sandifer, Elaine Perry, Pete & Joy Jucker, Denver & Helena Thomas, & Denver's nephew Cody Thomas… The September 29th Supper Meeting will be Hosted by Jerry & Julie Sandifer.

On Aug 31st: Military Funeral Honors, (151st), for A2C David Huey Samuel LaBorde, USAF at the Roaring Fork Cemetery near GP High School. Atchley Funeral Home, Robins AFB MFH personnel & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The USAF provided the Bugler, Firing Team, & Folded & Presented the Flag. The VMHGOPF set-up the flags, & otherwise assisted & observed. Participating Members: OIC Tom Headla; other participants: Leon Downey, Steve Holbert, Herb Kraehmer, & Carl McCarter.

On Sep 6th: Military Funeral Honors, (152nd), for PFC William H. Robinson, Jr., Army at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Knox County. Jarnigan & Son Funeral Home, Craig Stephenson, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Army provided the Bugler, Folded, & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; OIC: Steve Holbert; other participants: Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, John Peychal, Mike Robison, & Jerry Sandifer.

On Sep 7th: The following members attended the Knoxville Medal of Honor Celebration Committee’s Opening Breakfast. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society & many recipients of our nation’s highest military award were present for the event. In addition to members of our Honor Guard, representatives of the VSVHG & ETVHG were also in attendance: Jim Mungenast, Mike Robison, Tom Headla, Denver Thomas, & John Peychal.

On Sep 9th: Military Funeral Honors, (153rd), for SFC James Albert Wise, Army, (Retired) at the Resthaven Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens, in Dandridge. Resthaven, Craig Stephenson, Mike Robison, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Army provided the Bugler, Folded, & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; OIC: Mike Robison; other participants: Leon Downey, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Pete Jucker, Tom Marsh, John Peychal, & Jerry Sandifer. Carl McCarter observed.

On Sep 11th: Military Funeral Honors, (154th), for AN (E-3) David Paul Hess, Navy at the Resthaven Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens in Dandridge. Resthaven, Craig Stephenson, Tom Headla, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Navy provided the Bugler, Folded, & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; OIC: Tom Headla; other participants: Steve Holbert, John Peychal, Carl McCarter, & Mike Robison. Tom Headla was also a shooter. Debbie Lynch observed.

On Sep 13th: Pallbearer Procedures Training was provided by Steve Holbert at the LeConte Center for Mike Robison, Leon Downey, Tom Headla, & John Peychal.

On Sep 14th: Pallbearer Procedures Training was provided by Steve Holbert at the LeConte Center for Mike Robison, Tom Headla, Craig Stephenson, & Pete Jucker.

On Sep 21st: Military Funeral Honors, (155th), for SGT, (E-5) Condon Edward Payne, Army, Vietnam Veteran at the ETSVC in Knoxville. Sherwood, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Army Folded & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Steve Holbert; Bugler: Craig Stephenson; other participants: Mike Hall, Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, Tom Marsh, Carl McCarter, John Peychal, & Mike Robison.

On Sep 23rd: Military Funeral Honors, (156th), for MCPO, (E-9) Tommy Lowell Hutton, Navy Retired & Vietnam Veteran at the Byrds Chapel Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Church & Cemetery in Knox County. Weaver Funeral Home, Herb Kraehmer, Steve Holbert, & Mike Robison coordinated the MFH. The Navy provided the Bugler, Folded, & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Mike Robison; other participants: Pete Jucker, Tom Headla, Carl McCarter, John Peychal, Jerry Sandifer, & Craig Stephenson. Elaine Perry attended & sang Amazing Grace.

On Sep 29th: Jerry & Julie Sandifer hosted the Monthly Supper Meeting at the Outback Steakhouse in Sevierville. These other Members & Friends were in attendance: Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, Craig Stephenson, Herb & Jeanette Kraemer, Elaine Perry, Pete & Joy Jucker, Denver & Helena Thomas, Steve & Faye Holbert, & Carl McCarter… This meeting was special for 2 other reasons: It was “Tom Headla’s Where’s the Rifles Day”, & Jeanette Kraehmer became our latest Honorary Member. The October 27th Supper Meeting will be Hosted by Herb & Jeanette Kraehmer.

On Oct 4th: Tom Headla, Herb Kraehmer, & Steve Holbert met with & provided a program about Retiring the Flag for Gatlinburg Cub Scout Pack 111 & Scout Master Rob Ogle at the Glades Lebanon Baptist Church in Gatlinburg. The Honor Guard demonstrated a Flag Retirement Ceremony & passed out team homework assignments to the Boys & Girls.

On Oct 7th: Military Funeral Honors, (157th), for MSG, (E-7) Paul Robert Robinson, USAF Retired at the ETSVC in Knoxville. Manes Funeral Home of Newport, Craig Stephenson, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The USAF provided the Bugler, Firing Team, Folded, & Presented the Flag. The Honor Guard provided pre-service & post-service pallbearers & a Chaplain service. Participating Members: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; OIC: Steve Holbert; plus Pete Jucker, & Carl McCarter.

On Oct 12th: The following Members, Family, & Friends made Operation Honor Guard a GOOD DAY for us.

      Participants at the Island included Carl McCarter, Vic Velle, Pete Jucker, Joy Jucker, Mike Hall, Cheryl Hall, Preston Beasley, Steve Holbert, Dinah Bays, Jodie Lamon, Ethan Wang, Lloyd Davis & Nathaniel Duncan.

      Participants at the Tanger Mall included Herb Kraehmer, Jeanette Kraehmer, Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, Denver Thomas, Helena Thomas, John Peychal, Scott McGee, Jerry Sandifer, Julie Sandifer, Craig Stephenson, Robyn Stephenson, Elaine Perry, Tracie Widener & Mike Robison. Also participating at Tanger were several members from American Legion Post 104.

On Oct 24th: Following a resubmittal of proposed revisions to the Honor Guard Constitution & Bylaws, On October 6th, BOD Chairman Jim Mungenast announced that the revisions were approved by the BOD. On October 24th, Operational Members voted to ratify the revisions… These revised documents are now in force & are posted on our website.

On Oct 24th: Initial Training, Phase I was provided by Steve Holbert to these new members: Navy Veteran George Perry, Navy Veteran, Donald Heroux, & Non-Vet Chris Bradley.

On Oct 26th: Military Funeral Honors, (158th), for PFC Victor Clay Wilhoite, Sr., Army at the Piney Level Baptist Church Cemetery in Maryville. The Family, Craig Stephenson, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Army provided the Bugler, Folded, & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; OIC: Steve Holbert; Other participants were Leon Downey, Carl McCarter, John Peychal, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas. New member Chris Bradley observed.

On Oct 27th: Military Funeral Honors, (159th), for CPL Chester L. Bragg, Army, at the ETSVC in Knoxville. Patton Funeral Home, Craig Stephenson, Jerry Sandifer, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Army provided the Bugler, Folded, & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Jerry Sandifer; OIC: Tom Headla; Other participants were Pete Jucker, Carl McCarter, Denver Thomas, & new member Chris Bradley.

Also on Oct 27th: Herb & Jeanette Kraehmer hosted the Monthly Supper Meeting at the Outback Steakhouse in Sevierville. These other Members & Friends were in attendance: Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, Craig & Robyn Stephenson, Jerry & Julie Sandifer, Elaine Perry, Leon Downey, Denver & Helena Thomas, Mike & Cheryl Hall, Preston Beasley, & Carl McCarter... Due to Thanksgiving falling on November 24th, the November Supper Meeting will be on November 17th at Calhoun’s in Pigeon Forge, hosted by John & Yvonne Peychal.

On Nov 7th: Military Funeral Honors, (160th), for Carol David Loveday, Sr., Army at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Knoxville. Berry Funeral Home, Herb Kraehmer, Mike Robison, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Army provided the Bugler, Folded, & Presented the Flag. Participating Members: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Mike Robison; Other participants: Chris Bradley, Tom Headla, Steve Holbert, Carl McCarter, John Peychal, & Denver Thomas.

On Nov 8: Military Funeral Honors, (161st), for 1SG Ronald C. Carpenter, Army Retired & Vietnam War Veteran of the ETSVC. Herb Kraehmer provided the Chaplain services. The Army provided the Bugler, Folded, & Presented the Flag.

On Nov 10th: The Honor Guard presented the colors at the Dolly Parton Stampede’s Christmas Program in Pigeon Forge. Members of the staff, Tom Headla, & Steve Holbert coordinated the program. The following members participated: Craig Stephenson, (Lead Guard), Steve Holbert, (American Flag), Leon Downey, (Army Flag), Tom Headla, (USMC Flag), Herb Kraehmer, (Navy Flag), Carl McCarter, (USAF Flag), Denver Thomas, (USCG Flag), Pete Jucker, (POW Flag), Jerry Sandifer, (Trail Guard), Chris Bradley, (Back-up), & John Peychal: (Photographer). Honorary members attending were Debby Lynch, Helena Thomas, & Jeanette Kraehmer. Additionally, while there we conducted Flag Folding training for Craig Stephenson & Jerry Sandifer. We also presented Herb Kraehmer, Craig Stephenson, & Jerry Sandifer their Honor Guard Chaplain pins.

Also on Nov 10th: Jim Mungenast attended & spoke at the Oak Ridge Associated Universities. Coby Cooper, (WATE-TV) with Operation Honor Guard, Dave Caldwell (VSVHG), & Stuart Hall (ETVHG) explained to about 100 ORAU employees the importance of Volunteer Honor Guards. Thanks to Operation Honor Guard, we have the financial support we need, but we stressed the need for additional volunteers for our Honor Guards. 

Also on Nov 10th: The Honor Guard presented the colors at the Winterfest Kickoff program at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge. Leon Downey coordinated. The following members participated: Leon Downey, (American Flag), Tom Marsh, (Army Flag), Craig Stephenson, (USMC Flag), Denver Thomas, (Navy Flag), Carl McCarter, (USAF Flag), & Pete Jucker, (USCG Flag).

Also on Nov 11th: We dedicated a new Americam Flag at Skyland Ranch in Sevierville. Steve Holbert coordinated. The following members participated: Denver Thomas, (Bugler), Steve Holbert & Herb Kraehmer unfolded a Tri-Folded Flag, & then handed the flag to Pete Jucker who briskly hoisted it.

Also on Nov 11th: The Honor Guard participated in the Veterans Cay ceremony at the Sevier County Court House. Herb Kraehmer, coordinated. We assisted in the placement of the Gold Star Honor Wreaths. Participating Members: Tom Headla, OIC, Mike Hall, Denver Thomas, Carl McCarter, & Herb Kraehmer, Ron Ward, of the VSVHG assisted.

Also on Nov 11th: We participated in the Veterans Day activities at the Sevier County Court House. Herb Kraehmer Coordinated. The following members participated: Mike Hall, Tom Headla, Herb Kraehmer, Carl McCarter, & Denver Thomas.

Also on Nov 11th: Steve Holbert attended a meeting with new member Joe Franklin & a recently formed veterans’ organization in Pigeon Forge… (More Info Needed)

Also on Friday Nov, 11: Assisted by members of Tennessee Helping Hearts, who presented the American Flag, Tennessee Flag, Pigeon Forge Flag, and POW-MIA Flag, the VMHGPF Presented the Colors & Service Flags at the Memories Theatre in Pigeon Forge. Participating Members: Mike Hall. Army Flag; Tom Headla, USMC Flag; Herb Kraehmer, Navy Flag; Carl McCarter, USAF Flag; & Denver Thomas, USCG Flag.

On Nov 12th: At the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Townsend, John Peychal along with a USMC Veteran carried to the front of the church & presented a folded American Flag & a part of the uniform of a Navy Lieutenant, & cousin of a parish member, who received the Navy Cross, & had a ship commissioned in his name for his heroism in Vietnam. At the end of the mass, the parish priest called up all Veterans in attendance & gave them a special blessing for Veterans Day.

On Nov 13th: Military Funeral Honors, (162nd), for SGT (T) George Hoover Huff, Army at the Huff Cemetery in Cosby. The family & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Army provided the Bugler, Folded, & Presented the Flags. Participating Members: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Steve Holbert, Chris Bradley observed the Bugler. Other participants: Leon Downey, Mike Hall, Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, John Peychal, Jerry Sandifer, & Denver Thomas. Carl McCarter assisted the Army in Presenting the 2 extra Flags. Helena Thomas & Debby Lynch observed.

On Nov 14th: Military Funeral Honors, (163rd), for PFC Glenn Edward McKee, Army. The family & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Army provided the Bugler, Folded, & Presented the Flags. Participating Members: Chaplain: Craig Stephenson; OIC: Steve Holbert. Shooters: Steve Holbert, Carl McCarter, John Peychal, & Denver Thomas. Chris Bradley observed.

On Nov 16th: Military Funeral Honors, (164th), for CTR (E-4) Connie Mack Kelly, Navy, at the Berry Highland South Cemetery in Knoxville. Berry Funeral Home, Mike Robison, & Steve Holbert coordinated the MFH. The Navy provided the Bugler, Folded, & Presented the Flags. Participating Members: Chaplain: Herb Kraehmer; OIC: Mike Robison. Shooters: Carl McCarter, Tom Headla, Pete Jucker, & Denver Thomas. Chris Bradley assisted in Flag setup & observed.

On Nov 17th: John & Yvonne Peychal hosted the Monthly Supper Meeting at Calhoun’s in Pigeon Forge. These other Members & Friends were in attendance: Tom Headla, Debbie Lynch, Craig Stephenson, Jerry & Julie Sandifer, Elaine Perry, Denver & Helena Thomas, Chris & Rhonda Bradley, Steve & Faye Holbert, & Mike Robison... Denver & Helena Thomas will host our next Supper Meeting either be the 15th or the 22nd.

On Nov 18th: Tom Headla, Leon Downey, & Steve Holbert participated in a Finance Committee Meeting at the LeConte Center. Among other things discussed & agreed to, the 2023 Budget was completed & will be presented to the BOD ASAP before December 1st.

Steve Holbert

Member of the Board

Veterans Military Honor Guard of Pigeon Forge