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"You Never Forget"
Taylor County's Color Guard

By Cathy Meo Bonnstetter

Photographs by Steve Shaluta

Kenny List, color guard
Kenneth List of Grafton is one of 30 area veterans in the color guard of VFW Post 3081.

When a Taylor County veteran dies, he or she is laid to rest with the dignity a soldier deserves, thanks to a dedicated band of men - the color guard of VFW Post 3081. Since its inception 14 years ago, the color guard has never refused to perform rites, at times participating in as many as four funerals in one day.

The average age of the color guard members is 71, but they seem ageless. Kenneth List retired from the Army after serving in both Korea and Vietnam. For Kenneth, being a part of this volunteer group is just an extension of how he spent his career.

"The military is like one big family," he says. "Now, here we are - Air Force, Marines, Army, and Navy - all working together, looking out for one another again. That's what we're doing now, looking out for these guys, the ones we're putting in the ground."

The color guard has performed rites at more than 1,500 funerals. Although most of the funerals are performed in Taylor County, these men have traveled more than 250,000 miles to conduct military rites. Jim Fawcett keeps track of the miles the men travel and the number of funerals they attend. The men get volunteer service credit for performing funerals at the National Cemetery in Pruntytown. They also receive medals to represent the number of funerals they have attended.

"As long as a vet has been honorably discharged, we will perform the rites," Jim says. "We went clear down to Flatwoods once during the winter and got hung up in the snow. We also did one last year in St. George in Preston County." Jim is chaplain and founder of the group.

You can read the rest of this article in the Winter 2001 issue of Goldenseal, available in bookstores, libraries or direct from Goldenseal.