Air Force Funerals Victims of Budget

NGAUS Washington Report

(June 18, 2013) Funerals for Air Force retirees and Air National Guardsmen who die while not on active duty have become victims of the budget woes in the Pentagon. 

The honor team sent by the service to attend the funeral will include only two airmen instead of the traditional seven, according to a story this week from Air Force Times.

The change affects funerals for Air Force Reserve members who die while not on active duty, as well.

The two-person team will present the flag and perform Taps. Teams will no longer serve as pallbearers or provide a gun salute.

“The Air Force will save more than $1 million in material and travel expenses [because of this decision] alone,” Capt. Erika Yepsen, an Air Force spokeswoman, told the publication.

The change will not affect funerals for active-component members or those in the reserve component who die while on active duty. Medal of Honor recipients will also receive full honors, which include six pallbearers, an eight-person firing team, a bugler and a four-person color guard, as well as an officer or noncommissioned officer in charge.