The event was sponsored by American Legion Post 16, American Legion Post 642, VFW Post 2591, Voiture 333, 40 & 8, and the Smith-Cotton High School JROTC. Local attorney, Vietnam vet and La Monte High School graduate Richard Beard was the guest speaker for the event, held under dark, gray skies. Beard is the recipient of the Silver Star, Bronze Star with three Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart. He is a decorated combat veteran who served as an infantry platoon leader with the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
The ceremony, emceed by 40 & 8 Commander Tony Gallagher, was dedicated to SFC Trenton L. Rhea, who was killed in Kandahar, Afghanistan on May 15, and was buried Saturday, May 25. A special flag was displayed to “honor and remember.”
A half dozen wreaths were placed at the cemetery in honor of the war dead from WW I, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, the Cold War and all other wars in which the US was involved.
Post Chaplain and Vietnam veteran Jim Gaertner provided the benediction, while Bothwell Regional Health Center Chaplain Rev. David Wolfe provided the prayer.
VFW Post 2591 provided a 21-gun salute just before the playing of Taps and the retiring of the Colors.
Trumpeter and 2012 S-C graduate Richard Barnier played the 24-note Taps to help conclude the service. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.