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On Memorial Day, Hot Springs native serves with elite Navy Honor Guard

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As the nation pauses to remember those who have died in service to America, a 2015 Hot Springs High School and Hot Springs, Montana native is serving with the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard in Washington D.C.

Seaman Anthony Byrns, a master-at-arms, is responsible for marching in funerals at Arlington National Cemetery.

“It’s an honor to be able to serve with the guard and bury our fallen sailors while giving them the farewell they deserve,” Byrns said.

Established in 1931, the United States Navy Ceremonial Guard is the official Ceremonial Unit of the U.S. Navy and is based at Naval District Washington Anacostia Annex in Washington, D.C.

According to Navy officials, the Ceremonial Guard’s primary mission is to represent the Navy in Presidential, Joint Armed Forces, Navy and public ceremonies in the Nation’s Capital under the scrutiny of the highest-ranking officials of the United States and foreign nations, including royalty. 

Sailors of the Ceremonial Guard are hand selected while they are attending boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois. Strict military order and discipline, combined with teamwork, allow the Ceremonial Guard to fulfill their responsibilities with pride and determination. They are experts in the art of close order drill, coordination, and timing.

The Ceremonial Guard is comprised of the drill team, color guard, casket bearers, and firing party.

Casket bearers carry the Navy’s passed to their resting ground. Whether it is in Arlington National Cemetery, or another veteran’s cemetery.

The firing party renders the 21 Gun Salute, the signature honor of military funerals, during every Navy Funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.

“The Sailors here are true ambassadors of the U.S. Navy,” said Rear Admiral Charles Rock, Commandant, Naval District Washington. “They are part of a legacy that promote the mission, protect the standards, perfect the image and preserve the heritage. This elite team are “guardians of the colors,” displaying and escorting our nation’s flag with an impeccable exhibition of skill and determination.”

Byrns is part of a legacy honoring service and sacrifice of men and women of the U.S. Navy. Being a part of the Ceremonial Guard is a distinct privilege each member will carry with them throughout their lifetime.

Serving in the Navy, Byrns is learning about being a more responsible leader, sailor and person through handling numerous responsibilities. 

“The Navy has made me a hard worker and a better person overall,” Byrns added.

Byrns is the son of Yumi Yasanauga of Sacramento and Kevin Byrns of Montana.


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