Fort Hood: Honor Guard's task can take a toll

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FT. HOOD, Texas (KWTX) The military is steeped in traditions, many that date back hundreds of years.

One of the most honored traditions is the military funeral.

Everything these honor team members focus on while presenting a final farewell for a fallen comrade is respect, honor, precision and tradition.

Sergeant Jesse Greer, with the First Cavalry Division Honor Guard, says this is a job that can take its toll on the team.

"Every once in a while you just have a tear that just cannot stop going down your face. It's heartbreaking to know that your brothers or sisters made the ultimate sacrifice. So it's very, very devastating," said Greer.

Every movement during the funeral has a purpose and is performed to perfection.

Specialist Hajime Evans also with the First Cav Honor Guard Team, says the flag is the most important part of the service.

It represents the veteran’s service to the country and the sacrifices they made.

"I think it's more about respect to the veterans you know getting it perfect to where there's no message no mistakes we chose and how much we appreciate them," said Evans.

There are 13 stripes on the flag and when the flag is prepared to be given to the family, it will be folded 13 time.

That’s one fold is made for each stripe.

Those stripes also signify the light of day and when the flag is completely folded and the blue engulfs the red and white stripes, it shows that the light has gone completely into darkness.

Sergeant Greer says he was excited to be part of the Honor Guard and its traditions.

"There's customs and certain traditions you have to uphold. I know people that have been deceased in combat and I want to see their funeral done properly. I don't want it to be like disrespectful. I want to show them and their families that they’re loved, they're missed," said Greer.

Each funeral is a little different.

The size of the funeral team can vary from two to 21 people based on rank and years in service.

Regardless of the size, the focus is always the same, show Respect, give Honor, follow Tradition and be Precise.