Grissom honor guard welcomes new manager, seeks volunteers

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt Courtney Dotson-Essett
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs

In sharply pressed uniforms, moving with precision and stoic determination, the Air Force honor guard is a distinguished presence at ceremonies that honor both the past and present.

For one Grissom member, when the opportunity to lead the elite team here became available, Master Sgt. Adam Reynolds readily accepted the challenge.

The opportunity to lead a program that he already enjoyed being a part of was icing on the cake for Reynolds, who is a Reserve Citizen Airman with the 434th ARW Communications Squadron.

“It is the most humbling yet rewarding experience you can imagine,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds’ experience with honor guard dates back to his active duty days and time spent as a reservist at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. His interest in the program at Grissom was immediately piqued when he learned about it after transferring here over one year ago.

“During the newcomer’s briefing when I first got here, someone came by and mentioned there’s an honor guard here, and I was super interested,” Reynolds said. “It took a few months but now I’m up and running.”

One of Reynolds’ top priorities for the program is recruiting. Losing members to retirements and temporarily to deployments, is making it difficult to fulfill requests.

“The team is getting smaller and smaller,” he said. “Sometimes I just need one person and that’s a challenge.”

Most helpful, he said, would be members that live in Indiana, though volunteers from all areas are needed and welcomed.

Reynolds said finding people who live in areas surrounding the base to help with events that occur during the week would help the program significantly.

As Reserve Citizen Airmen, it can be a challenge to juggle careers and service, which may deter people from volunteering.

“A lot of people have full time jobs during the week which makes it difficult. They can’t just take off on a Tuesday if their job is depending on them,” Reynolds said.

Even if a weekday isn’t an option, volunteers are always needed for events like retirements, commander’s calls and presenting the colors.

Nervous about folding the flag properly or perhaps just being a bit awkward? Reynolds said don’t be.

“It is a little nerve wrecking at first but once you get a few reps under your belt, it becomes second nature,” he said.

While serving in the honor guard is voluntary, it’s not out-of-pocket. Members who volunteer for off-base ceremonies are given orders for the day and reimbursed for mileage.

Reynolds said the biggest reward, however, is being a part of a time-honored tradition that proudly represents the Air Force at its finest.

“Sure it might be a little scary handing a flag to a widow that just lost her husband,” he said. “But at the same time it makes you very proud of what you do, and there’s really nothing else like it.”

For questions regarding Grissom’s honor guard contact Reynolds at 765-688-3937.

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. Men and women from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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