Nebraska National Guard Hosts Funeral Rehearsal

Lincoln, NE-- The Nebraska Army National Guard's Military Funeral Honors Team conducted a funeral rehearsal Thursday.

It takes hours of training for each member to be ready to perform the ceremonial paying of respect and the final demonstration of the country's gratitude to those who defend our nation.

"Normally we have a 40 hour in-house or in-state course that we run," said 1st Sgt. Mark Smith. "We can start utilizing individuals once we get 26 hours completed of that."

During training, members of the MFH Team will practice many of the steps performed during a military funeral including the American flag fold and playing of Taps, the six-person pall bear, and six-person flag fold.

For the trainers themselves, they require an 80-hour training course in Little Rock, Arkansas. It's time and dedication State Training NCO, Sgt. Taylor Siebrandt, says is much needed.

"I do these daily," said Siebrandt. "We'll leave at six 'o clock in the morning and sometimes we don't get back until six or eight 'o clock at
night."

The long days reflect the amount of funerals in the State. Each year, the MFH conducts around 1,100 military funerals.

"It's a great honor," said Siebrandt. "It doesn't matter who the deceased was, every time I go out to do the service I feel in a weird way almost overjoyed because I'm allowed to be the one to pay his last respects."

Siebrandt says the MFH Team is short-handed. He says about 50 percent of their members are part-time.

If you're interested in being a part of the MFH Team, contact Mr. Michael Jimerson.

Office: 402-309-7329
Work Cell: 402-419-9721
E-mail: Michael.e.jimerson.ctr@mail.mil


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