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McHenry nonprofit to start honor guard

Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 3:40 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 10:34 p.m. CDT

McHENRY – A McHenry-based veterans nonprofit is finally getting an honor guard.

The Veterans Network Committee of Northern Illinois has wanted to put together an honor guard for a long time, said its president, Randy Granath of Fox River Grove.

"I get calls all the time, but we don't have ours in place yet," Granath said. "People like to have that at a funeral, and we'd like do it on special occasions."

Special occasions include the Field of Honor, during which the guard displays 300 flags, each representing a veteran killed while serving in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The flags are each labeled with the veteran's name, branch they served in, rank, hometown, date of death and age.

The Field of Honor was displayed over the weekend of Memorial Day and will be at McHenry County College starting 6 p.m. Friday, June 20 and running through 6 p.m. Sunday, June 22.

"It's an honor that people ask you to be there to pay tribute to their fallen to honor them, said Granath, who has served on other honor guards. "When you do an event, you're center stage and so it's an important role."

The three-member honor guard will be ready to go by next year, Granath said. They are still looking for donations for uniforms and have started practicing.

The rifles were donated by Vintage Arms in Lake Villa and will be formally presented at the Shoot for the Troops fundraiser at the Richmond Hunting Club this weekend.

The Veterans Network Committee is also a member of the Honor Flight Network and has a flag program that installs flag poles at the homes of veterans for no charge as well as replacing worn flags at no cost.

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