A new Vet cemetery in West Virginia is in the process of forming a dedicated nine-person honor guard.
The Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery is a 360-acre Veterans cemetery located near the State Police Academy in Charleston, West Virginia. State officials broke ground on the cemetery in October 2010, and it was created as a statewide Veterans cemetery.
The cemetery was named in honor of Donel C. Kinnard, a former Marine who served seven tours of duty in Vietnam, a period of service that earned him the Navy Cross. He eventually left the Corps and became one of the first Navy SEALs.
The cemetery will be dedicated in Kinnard’s honor on Memorial Day, and state officials would like to ensure that a proper honor guard will preside over services for Veterans who will be laid to rest there. Rick Given, a retired Marine who served on the presidential guard and Marine Corps Honor Guard in the 1960s and is commandant of the local detachment and vice-commandant of the statewide Marine Corps League, aims to see the completion of the cemetery in honor of Kinnard through.
Given shared: “Don Kinnard was a personal friend of mine… It is my honor.”
Larissa Wines, an Air Force veteran and administrator for the new cemetery, shared that the search is on for current and former service members who will comprise the Institute’s honor guard. The search is open to active duty and retired men and women from the military, Reserves and National Guard. They hope to form three teams, with each team consisting of a bugler, a non-commissioned officer in charge of the ceremony, an assistant to help him fold the flag before it’s presented to the next of kin, and a six-member rifle squad to fire three ceremonial volleys.