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Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:54 pm
by Keith Holman
I recently attended the funeral (as time goes on, this seems to be a more common occurrence) of a relative who was a VietNam Era veteran sailor.

The services were held at his home church. At the graveside, a military honor guard was present. As he happened to be USN, both of the honor guard were also USN (although only one USN was required). As an aside, the senior PO had service stripes on his dress whites. I counted at least 7. I didn't catch his rate but was surprised to see that many.

With the exception of the honor guard, none of us were in uniform. The PO said that any military in the mourners could salute when the honor guard did.

I really didn't know for sure how to participate. My USN training says I wasn't in uniform and I wasn't wearing a cover so I didn't do a hand to brow salute. I know US Army and USAF salute in uniform without cover but USN does not.

My thinking is that, in civilian clothes, the proper response is hand to heart, or if wearing a hat, hand with hat to heart. Do you agree?

Although I wouldn't correct someone else, is there any organization where the correct response in civilian clothes is a hand to brow salute?

I figure this will come up again so what's the right way to show my respect and appreciation?

Re: Salute

Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:34 pm
by Clyde (Chip) Porter
Lately I have been assisting the local American Legion honor guard (as a member of USSVI) in funeral services. The participants of the service each pay tribute to the deceased veteran with a salute and then offer an invitation to any veteran in attendance to come forward to also pay tribute with a hand salute. Very seldom have I ever seen one of those veterans in uniform yet they all salute. This is normal in all the services that I have attended. This is the same procedure followed in local VFW services that I have attended.

In 2008 the Conduct During Hoisting, Lowering or Passing of Flag was amended to add the following exemption:

Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in
uniform may render the military salute.

In 2009 the same exemption was added to the conduct during the playing of the National Anthem. So far there has been no change to conduct during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Re: Salute

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:38 am
by Keith Holman
Much appreciated, Chip.
Thank you.