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Members of Oakfield FD honor guard train in DC with Marines

By Howard B. Owens


Press release:

The Oakfield Honor Guard returned Saturday, Aug. 20, from training with the staff of Sgt. Kenneth Newton, the 37th  Colors Sergeant of the President’s Own Color Guard at Marine Barracks “8th and I” in Washington, D.C.  The Guard trained in flag etiquette and drilled in ceremonial marching and maneuvering techniques.

“The knowledge that we received was certainly second to none,” 2nd Assistant Chief Randy McIntire said. “From the very beginning, Lance Corporal James Shay and his staff, made our visit a priority. Just being in the presence of these Marines was a great privilege. It seemed that every Marine, from Lance Corporal to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert B. Neller, knew that the Oakfield Fire Department’s Honor Guard was ‘on deck’ and they were truly pleased to provide this training opportunity to us.”

The Honor Guard, consisting of Jeffery McIntire (lieutenant and former staff sergeant in the Marine Corps), Sean Downing and Randy McIntire (assistant chiefs), Casey Arnold, Tyler Hamm and Nate Klos (firefighters), also traveled to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to experience the changing of the guard. At the completion of the change, the Guard was afforded the privilege of interviewing Staff Sgt. Massey, 3rd Relief Commander, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He spoke of the dedication and commitment of the Tomb Guards and answered many questions.

On completion of Friday’s training, the Oakfield Fire Department Honor Guard’s Lt. Jeffery McIntire presented a plaque thanking the Marine Barracks Color Guard Platoon for the opportunity to train with them and Chief McIntire read and presented a letter of thanks from the Village of Oakfield’s Mayor, Jason Armbrewster. Both of these items were gratefully accepted by Sgt. Newton on behalf of the Commandant and an invitation for the Honor Guard to return in the future was extended. Oakfield Fire Department T-shirts and patches were presented to members of the training staff.

The Honor Guard was treated with VIP passes to the Commandant’s Friday Evening Parade. The evening started in the presence of veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, each a guest of a Marine stationed at the Barracks. VIP seating was provided at mid-field for the parade. The “President's Own” Marine Band, the Commandant’s Color Guard, and Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, and the post’s A and B companies of approximately 200 Marines including the Silent Drill Platoon performed a number of patriotic musical pieces and demonstrated precision military drill. 

The Oakfield Fire Dept. Honor Guard is working toward the capability of assisting Genesee County fire departments in providing dignified services should a line of duty death occur. The Honor Guard formed following the Chief of EMS and firefighter Barry Miller’s death in the line of duty.

“We are grateful to our department for financially sponsoring our trip. We are thankful for donations made by H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, M&S Tactical Solutions and First Choice Travel,” Assistant Chief Sean Downing said. “Support from the Village of Oakfield and the Town of Oakfield was also appreciated.”




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