Memorial Day is Every Day for One Verizon Volunteer (guest post)
8 years ago
This is a guest post (repost) from the Verizon News Center corporate blog, written by Peter Casale.The true meaning of Memorial Day goes much deeper than a three-day weekend. It’s a day of remembrance for the men and women who have died valiantly for our country. For Verizon employee, Rex Looney (right), honoring our men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice is part of his every day.
A military veteran with a law enforcement background, Rex is a former Military Police, Patrolman and Deputy County Sheriff. At Verizon, Rex works in Legal Compliance. He's responsible for validating and responding to legal requests for subscriber records via a subpoena, search warrant or court orders. Rex is a protector by nature.
In 2005, the avid photographer began taking pictures at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier located on the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The memorial is dedicated to the unidentified soldiers who were killed in war and is guarded continuously 24/7 by specially trained men, of the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment known as The Old Guard.
One day, after taking several photos of the ceremonial Changing of the Guard, Rex knocked on the door of the Tomb Guard Quarters and donated the images. After a few more times, they showed their appreciation for his contributions by granting him unescorted access to specific areas not open to the public. Now, Rex has become “the unofficial official” photographer of the Tomb Guard. Over the years, Rex has captured countless images of the Tomb Guards. He’s become an Honorary “Line Six” Life Member of the Society of the Honor Guard Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Line Six refers to the sixth line of the Sentinel’s Creed – “My standard will remain perfection.”
Rex has access to many intimate moments in the life of Tomb Guards.
And perfection is exactly what Rex captures in his photos. The Tomb Guards say, “Soldiers never die until they are forgotten. Tomb Guard never forget." While Rex may not be a Tomb Guard, he's an American and a veteran and he doesn't plan on forgetting. This Memorial Day take a minute to participate in a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. Think about those who have made the ultimate sacrifice – especially those that are unknown to man.
Verizon Foundation's Matching Gift Program
Through the Volunteer Incentive Program, employees who log a minimum of 50 volunteer hours can earn a $750 grant for the nonprofit where they donate their service. Thanks to Rex's volunteer work, the money was sent to a fund named in honor of SSG Adam L. Dickmyer, a Tomb Guard and personal friend of Rex who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
Rex's work with the Tomb Guards and other interests is proudly on display on Flickr. View here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rexographer
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The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) is able to provide our programs, events, assistance, scholarships, and services due to the generosity of its members, organizations, and individuals. SHGTUS does not receive institutional funding. Note: The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your contributions may be fully tax deductible.
Did you know?
Is it true a Sentinel must commit for two years to guard the Tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives.
No, this is a false rumor. The average tour at the Tomb is about a 18 months. However, there is NO set time for service there. Sentinels live either in a barracks on Ft. Myer (the Army post located adjacent to the cemetery) or off base if they like. They do have a living quarters under the steps of the amphitheater where they stay during their 24 hour shifts. If they are of legal age, they may drink except while on duty.