COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo - The Air Force Academy Honor Guard embodies what our Wear Red Friday Heroes. They give comfort to grieving families when they need it the most. I attended a recent funeral at the Air Force Academy. It was the service for Colonel Joseph Faix, Class of 1966.
Master Sgt Mark Schwartze is a veteran of honor guards here at the Academy and other installations. His take on his job is simple, "It's very rewarding to be given the opportunity to lay to rest, folks who have served sometimes a few months or years or even a whole career." Schwartze knows the pain of being on the honor guard to bury a friend, "It was very touching to bury a friend of yours. One you deployed with and worked with and then come back to the United States where you feel it's safe and have my friend taken out by a drunk driver."
Staff Sgt Matthew Duggie and a veteran honor guard member told me this duty is very touching, "When you see the other family members and they're grieving and you are there to settle them down. You are there to represent the Air Force and make them feel better."
Staff Sgt Michael Watson is also a veteran of the honor guard here and another installation. He told me, "We make an impression on the family members and it feels good, even if it's a sad moment. I think the family really wants us there."
Andrea Riccardi is a long time girlfriend of Colonel Joseph Faix. She told me the honor guard is a special memory that she and the Faix family will cherish forever, "It's been the most wonderful addition to say goodbye to someone you love. There is so much respect to military members that I really can't explain how touching it is to us."
The Air Force Academy Honor Guard is our Wear Red Friday Heroes. If you want to nominate someone to be highlighted go to the front page of KRDO.com and in the middle of the page is the nomination form. It doesn't have to be someone in the military. It can also be someone who supports the military in a special way. It could be the spouse of a military member who does something special in Southern Colorado to help others. It could also be the cook on post who brings a smile to someone's face. I look forward to reading your nomination.