Storms Damage Tulsa VFW Honor Guard Van Used For Funerals

Monday, August 7th 2017, 11:38 pm
By: News On 6

A group of VFW volunteers says a series of unfortunate events has left them without transportation.

First a freak accident, then the weekend storms damaged the VFW Honor Guard van.

Whether it's a World War II veteran or a retired bomb-sniffing Marine dog, it's the duty of the VFW Honor Guard to make that veterans' funerals respectful, honorable, everything they deserve.

“We do the rifle salute, we play taps, we fold and present the flag,” said VFW Honor Guard Commander Larry Hill

They're asked to help with funerals all over Northeastern Oklahoma, sometimes even Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas.

They work six days a week, sometimes several funerals a day, completely on a volunteer basis.

"Two or three is not unusual,” Hill stated. “There was one day we did as many as five."

The Honor Guard uses a van to get from service to service.

Last month, the group was on its way to a funeral downtown when the brake drum from another car flew up and hit the hood of the van.

Hill decided to store it in his backyard while they waited for the insurance money.

But then, on Sunday, he woke up to find a tree branch sitting squarely on top of it and felt defeated.

"It was like walking into a brick wall,” he said. “Almost just want to throw up your hands."

The branch smashed out the passenger window and crushed the top of the van, so some doors can't be opened.

Larry thinks the van is totaled.

"This one will never be fixed,” he said. “For the age and miles on it, it's not fixable, basically."

The Honor Guard is using Hills’ personal van as a substitute, but they can't do that forever.

If you'd like to help contribute to a new van for the VFW Honor Guard, email Larry Hill.