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Defender honors the fallen


A few months ago I had the opportunity to go through a two-week honor guard indoctrination where I learned how to present the colors, fold a flag and perform other military honors. While there, one of my instructors stood out to me. He was knowledgeable, patient, and most importantly, dedicated.

Senior Airman Sean Flanigan, 790th Missile Security Forces Squadron response force leader, normally assists in convoy operations in the missile field. This means when a nuclear weapon needs to be moved, he and his team are tasked with providing security.

When Flanigan is not in the missile field, he’s participating in honor guard for three months at a time.

“Honor guard is the epitome of military tradition,” Flanigan said. “It’s a very humbling and special experience to be able to do this.”

He volunteered to take on this prestigious role and dedicates his time to practicing, teaching and rendering military honors.

“I always thought honor guard would be a very rewarding experience, and so far it has been,” Flanigan said. “I talked to my leadership for about six months, pushing to be able to participate.”

Master Sgt. Kandra Truesdale, 90th Force Support Squadron honor guard NCO in charge, expressed that Flanigan is a sharp member of the team and dedicates much of his time to learning and teaching others.

“Honor guard is important so we can honor all veterans before us,” Truesdale said. “Flanigan is a very dedicated individual, and he is one of my top instructors, always prepared to teach our new members.”

Flanigan has dedicated more than 50 hours of his time to funerals and ceremonies and helped instruct an indoctrination.

 “I think our role has a large impact because we’re honoring our nation and our fallen brothers and sisters,” Flanigan said. “I feel an extreme sense of pride when I fold the flag or present the colors.”

Flanigan added that he hopes to continue to do honor guard and train the next wave of members.

“I would recommend honor guard to anyone who is up for a challenge and wants to experience this military tradition,” Flanigan said. “If you want to give back and do something important outside of your regular duties, this is a great experience.”

If you’re interested in joining this awesome group of ceremonial guardsmen, please contact your supervisor or first sergeant.