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Honor Guard performs record number of military funerals

Honor Guard members go through a weeklong training to prepare for administering military funerals.

Honor Guard members go through a weeklong training to prepare for administering military funerals. Submitted Photo

— Dominguez has performed funerals from Long Island all the way up to Canada. He said it’s a gesture that’s important to the remaining family.

“I think the family definitely appreciates our final tribute to the veterans, to their family members,” said Dominguez. “They understand it and they look forward to seeing it when their loved ones do die.”

As a soldier himself, it’s a tradition he said he’s proud to be able to offer.

“I think it’s extremely important for us to pay a final tribute. We’re all a grateful nation to these veterans and these guys during times of war and peace, they stood strong in defense of our country,” said Dominguez.

In 2011, Long Island saw the largest number of military funerals performed with 3,677. Roy said the reason for that is because there are two National Veterans Cemeteries there. The Finger Lakes region had the smallest number of funerals with 420. The Honor Guard also participated in 10 repatriated remains ceremonies, which is when remains from past wars are finally identified and laid to rest.

Any veteran, with an honorable discharge, whether they served during peacetime or wartime, whether they retired or not, is entitled to military honors at their funeral, Roy said.

Information on how to request an Honor Guard for funerals is available online at http://dmna.state.ny.us/honor/honorsvc.php.

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