The Last Salute “Prayer Box” holds nearly one thousand photos and prayer cards which were placed into it by devoted and heartbroken family members on the day of their loved ones funeral. It is one of the most moving elements of the honors ceremony. Families are touched and inspired by our commitment to “always remember and always honor” their loved one.
This is not a promise we take lightly. The members of Last Salute carry the fallen in the Prayer Box everywhere we go. They were with us in Arlington National Cemetery at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier when we conducted a ceremony there, flown by Blackhawk helicopter from Fort Dix to Vineland for the renaming of the middle school after the first Army Ranger to die in the Blackhawk Down battle, honored aboard the Battleship New Jersey, carried through the gas chamber, obstacle course, crucible and on the rifle range aboard Parris Island and now, carried for 21 miles in a military back pack by Last Salute members in full military gear by foot on Memorial Day.
The march was long and arduous but if it was not, it would not have been meaningful.
We were honored to carry these heroes for 21 miles.
Recently, Last Salute was asked by VFW Post 9462 Commander, Bob Dunn, to present a Purple Heart medal to the grandson of a WW2 hero. Some time ago, the medal was lost. The family of this hero, William Entrekin, United States Army, wanted to replace the medal but were unsure how to do it.
VFW Commander Bob Dunn has a WW2 Purple Heart medal stored in the post’s office and felt that it could serve no better purpose than to be represented to the family. Specifically, to the grandson of William, Ryan Naylor.
Ryan is 13 and a Sea Cadet. He intends to join the military when he gets older and is extremely proud to be the grandson of a WW2 hero.
Last Salute is proud to join Galloway Twp each year as it honors veterans. For many years the township has honored its veterans each September with a ceremony, free BBQ lunch and free t-shirts to commemorate the event.
Last Salute has been a part of this event for over 15 years. Here are some photos from the event.
Last Salute has for some time wanted to conduct a memorial honors ceremony for those veterans lost during the pandemic that did not receive military funeral honors. Most veterans that died during the height of the pandemic did not receive military funeral honors as the military suspended service for the safety of its personnel.
Last Salute continued to conduct honors during this period as far away as King of Prussia. We were unable to conduct services at the veterans homes so with the help of Rone Funeral Home in Vineland we organized a mass honors ceremony to honor all those veterans that died during the pandemic.
We would like to thank all those who attended for their support and commitment to honor those that served.