Come watch the Clinton Area Honor Guard, who raises funds for Pawsitivity Service Dogs for Veterans to help train service dogs for U.S. military veterans, presenting the flag at Baum's Car Show ("Scott's Charity Car Show) on September 24, 2023, at Baum Chevrolet Buick, 80 West Van Buren, Clinton, IL 61727.
From Clinton Area Honor Guard in the Clinton Journal: We, the veterans, have been silent as we feel we do not need to get praise for what we do. We all do our duty to our country, our community and to our fellow veterans.
There are three governmentally- sanctioned nonprofit veterans organizations in Clinton, the American Legion, the American Veterans (AMVETS), and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
As a combined unit of veterans working together, we form the Clinton Area Color/Honor Guard. This unit is unique in that there are very few organizations that combine to perform these duties in any community. But, we are bound by a feeling that we should perform these duties for our fellow veterans and the community.
We are bound by our oath of enlistment to serve this country, including our communities, against all threats, whether foreign or domestic, and to serve with honor and distinction. Our oath of enlistment has no expiration date as was brought up at one of our recent meetings to explain to a new member why we still perform these duties.
The Color Guard performs at local events such as Fourth of July flag raisings, presentation of the flag at Baum’s car show, and leading the local Christmas parade and the annual Clinton High School Homecoming Parade.
The Honor Guard performs the solemn military rites for deceased veterans consisting of the three volley salute with rifles (“21 gun salute”), the playing of taps, and, if no active military are available, the folding and presentation of the casket flag to the family of the deceased. Several in our honor guard are trained and certified for this duty. These actions are governed by a Code of Conduct as to proper performance of our duties.
As for other actions we perform in the community or within our state, either collectively or as separate entities, these veterans groups participate in several local food banks, sponsoring the Eastern Illinois Food Bank at the American Legion, donating to and/or sponsoring the local Boy Scout Troops 1142 and 7142, boys and girls respectively, donating to Macon/DeWitt County CASA, donations to Land of Lincoln Honor Flight, monetary/clothing donations to Danville Voluntary Services, Danville Veterans Hospital, the Gary Sinise Foundation, the Fisher House Foundation, and Pawsitivity Service Dogs. Also included are support of Boys and Girls State, Police Youth Program, and Clinton High School Scholarship Programs.
Direct activities that are seen in the community are serving meals to Rotary and Kiwanis, before Kiwanis disbanded; serving food at Fourth of July, MayDays, and the Pork ‘N Apple Festival; preparing Thanksgiving meals for those in need, about 300 meals in each of the past three years; preparing and serving meals to veterans and their families after services on Memorial Day, plus placing flags on all veterans’ graves for this day and preparing Christmas meals for those in need.
Several of these meals couldn’t be accomplished without the help of those in the community whom we serve, which is greatly appreciated.
A couple of unseen activities include replacing worn and tattered flags at businesses and homes in the community by the Americanism Committees, when requested or when seen to need replacement. The veterans also perform flag retirement ceremonies as needed, many times with the scout groups, teaching them proper flag etiquette along with proper disposal of a flag.
Along with these is the Operation Red Sleigh program, in which veterans serving veterans comes in to play. Needy veterans families are given presents and gift cards for food for a Christmas meal.
Our groups together also initiated the placing of flags along the route of returning Land of Lincoln Honor Flight veterans and at their homes with signs welcoming them home.
We do not seek recognition for what we do, however, of late, it has become apparent that our groups are not being represented, or misrepresented, and being represented as “doing nothing” for our community.
We are United States veterans, including some active duty personnel, who are proud of our service to our country in times past and to our community now.
Thank you from
the American Legion, AMVETS, and the VFW