12 July 2012
My name is Major Jim Riely (USMA Class of 1996) and I was a pall bearer in MAJ Paul Voelke's funeral this past Friday morning in Monroe and West Point, New York. I was also a good friend, colleague, and admirer of MAJ Voelke and his family. I just wanted to send a heartfelt thank you to you and your organization for your role in protecting and making Paul's ceremony special. I know that you guys probably don't often get the thanks that you deserve for taking time out of your own lives to honor the sacrifice of others.
But I wanted to make sure that at least on this one occasion you guys got your "THANK YOU." Your role in the ceremonies honoring our fallen Soldiers has become an institution in this country. An institution that is welcomed, appreciated, and important. For it is only appropriate for us as Americans to honor and protect the families and ceremonies that represent the ultimate sacrifice that a citizen can make in the service to his Nation and his fellow citizens.
Thanks again for all your sacrifices and all that you do and represent. You are all great Americans.
Please pass these thoughts to any other organizations / riders that participated in last week's ceremonies and procession.
Major, US Army Engineer