Last Salute Receives Coveted “Yellow Ribbon” Award From Tony Orlando at Borgata
Last Salute military funeral honor guard was extremely honored to receive the coveted “Yellow Ribbon” veteran’s award from Tony Orlando during his concert at the Borgata on August 22nd 2017. The Borgata’s head of special events, Sally Nickel, brought Last salute to the attention of Tony Orlando. Mr. Orlando has been a very big supporter of our nation’s military and its veterans his entire career. His hit song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree” is the reason that Americans place yellow ribbons on trees while loved ones are deployed with the military. The Borgata held this concert and special welcoming ceremony for this year’s Atlantic City Air Show and to honor veterans. We would like to thank them for all their dedication and effort to produce such a top notch event in our military’s honor. It was an amazing experience and we want to wholeheartedly thank Tony Orlando and the Borgata for their recognition of Last Salute.
Old Assumption Church Continues To Serve
The recently removed old Assumption Church on the White Horse Pike served the Galloway community for almost 100 years. It was the site of countless weddings, christenings, funerals and services. In our effort to preserve Galloway history and to conserve our communities enduring intrinsic memories, we asked to have some of the interior wood salvaged from the old church. Luckily, Father Nick Dudo and Joe Picardi, a representative of the church not only had preserved some of the wood but were kind enough to share it with us. Ray Ring from the church met us to make the wood available. The church has also saved part of the steeple, the cross and the cornerstone. We felt that using the wood to build items for our Military Funeral Honor Guard, “Last Salute”, would be a great way to repurpose and preserve something of such sentimental value. We have built two wonderful and unique pieces from the wood so far. First, we needed to build a stand for our recently acquired funeral bell. This large solid brass bell required a very sturdy stand that could be moved from one location to another frequently so in addition to framing lumber, we used the church wood as ornamental additions in the shape of big stars along the top beams. The bell stand turned out beautifully and is used at veterans funerals as well as other community events.
The second piece is a box used to hold the prayer cards which we collect. Each time we preform a military funeral ceremony, we take a prayer card that is generally made as a remembrance. All of these cards are now stored in the newly constructed box. They travel to each funeral for which we conduct services and a new card is added. The box pictured here was built by Chuck Knutson and master craftsman Steve Amadio who was also instrumental in the construction of our Civil War cannon the “Jaime Lee”. Upon the top of the box, the official “Last Salute” prayer has been carved.
Medal of Honor Recipients Visit Absecon VFW
Medal of Honor recipients Tom Kelley and Brian Thacker visited the Absecon VFW for lunch while in town for the Marine Corps Law Enforcement event. The VFW put out a very gracious spread with the help of Chef Elio from the Rams Head in Galloway.
While there, the Medal of Honor recipients signed Last Salute’s Humvee and trailer which are both used primarily for veterans funeral services as part of Last Salute Honor Guard.
There are 12 Medal of Honor recipient signatures in the Humvee. We are extremely proud to have them to help us honor those we provide services for.
Dr. Nina of Fox News was there to meet the heroes and to thank everyone at the VFW for their service.
Medal of Honor recipient Tom Kelley signs the Humvee for the Galloway Patriot
Absegami Wood Shop Community Service
Absegami High School Students under the direction of Donald Matousch, Teacher of Woods Technology, created thirty six amazingly constructed canes for disabled Veterans this year. The members of Last Salute Military Funeral Honor Guard from VFW Post 9462 Absecon, went to the High School on Thursday, May 26th to not only accept the canes but to speak to the students about Veterans and how their hard work on the canes will provide many Veterans the ability to stand on their own. Last Salute Members included: Sergeant at Arms Chuck Knutson and Lance Corporal Taylor Speirs, United States Marine Corps.
Military Funeral Honor Guard Acquires Civil War Cannon
Last Salute, the Military Funeral Honor Guard, has recently acquired a Civil War cannon for use at military funerals and veteran’s ceremonies. The “Jaime Lee” is scheduled to be christened on July 4th at 7am in front of the Absecon VFW building. The Honor Guard is awaiting the wheels and axle for the cannon’s field carriage. The building of the carriage will be done by Chuck Knutson with the help of Schairer Bros. Saw Mill in Galloway, as well as Steve Amadio and will consist of locally sourced white oak. The wheels are solid hickory and are being built by the same carriage company that built the funeral hearse for President Abraham Lincoln. The cannon is a Mountain Howitzer 12 pounder and will weigh close to 1000 pounds when completed. It was forged at a foundry in Missouri and a blacksmith in Tennessee forged the carriage hardware. The “Jaime Lee” is in the foreground in the photo above. Behind the cannon is the Honor Guard Marine Artillery Unit and the Honor Guard Rifle Squad flanked by the VFW Post 9462 Commander Bob Dunn. We would welcome the help of any local woodworking craftsman or metal workers willing to donate their time to help with this important community project. Contact Chuck Knutson if you would like to help at 609-780-7432. To learn more about the free veteran’s services the Honor Guard provides, visit www.LastSalute.US