In 2011, the National Guard honor guard presented at 136,300 military funerals, up 10 percent from the year before.
One reason for the increase is because, as World War II Veterans are increasing in age, the number of deaths has also increased. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 850 World War II Veterans die each day.
Another reason for the increase this past year was that families of Veterans were able to easily find out about the services the honor guard provides and have been making requests for their presence at funerals.
Each state’s honor guard is made up of employees and volunteers. Many are spread out and often have to attend multiple services in a day.
“We don’t want any veteran to do without these honors,” said Don Roy, director of the New York Honor Guard. “They’ve all earned it and deserved it.”