Whitehall, Ohio –
The military funeral honors entitlement in the United States is a memorial or burial rite conducted by the United States Armed Forces for Service Members of all branches and former U.S. Presidents. A military funeral may feature guards of honor, volleys of fire as a salute, drumming or other military elements. The tradition of military funeral honors renders the highest honor to those who have sacrificed their lives in defending the United States, its people and the constitution it upholds.
Capt. Joseph Biggie, with the 412th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne), Columbus, Ohio, is the officer in charge of one of the Army Reserve's funeral honors teams in Ohio. The funeral honors team conducts military funeral missions for veterans who have served honorably in the Army. Biggie does this job full-time to show the deepest appreciation for our country's servicemen and women.
“This job is important to me because every single one of us has dedicated time to our country knowing that when it’s time for us to pass away, the legacy of service we’ve created for our families and country, as well as our bodily remains, are taken care of by our respective branch of service.” said Biggie. “When I pass on, I would want the same respect given to my widow and my family. I make sure that everyone on my team has that same dignity, honor and respect that a family deserves to be given when we do a service.”
Funerals can be sorrowful for some people, but Biggie and his team are consistent with performing military funeral honors and serving as a final military remembrance for a family and their loved one. As the OIC of his team, Biggie believes he has to set a higher standard across the board for himself and his team.
"It can be very challenging and saddening to give a grieving family our nation's flag,” said Biggie. “When my team and I are there giving honors to our brother or sister, we are a direct representation of that flag and our Army. But most importantly we are the representation of the courage, commitment, values and sacrifice that our deceased soldiers carried with them. It’s something we as soldiers take to our grave and as a team we all display great selflessness in making sure our teammates are laid to rest.”