Honoring Our Own
By Petty Officer Jarrod Ogden, Veteran's Pride Battalion
December 7, 1941 became �A day which will live in infamy.� These words, which were said over 70 years ago by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, rang in the back of my mind. On December 7, 2014, my unit, Veteran's Pride Battalion of Glendale, Arizona, took part in the ceremony at our state capitol, commemorating the tragedy.
Later that day, we were informed that one of our unit's dearest associates, Radar Technician's Mate 2nd Class Perry Sartain, had passed away unexpectedly. Along with his wife, former Region 15-2 Commander LTCDMR Wanda Sartain, he owned and operated the 30' replica USS Arizona battleship that has been a mainstay in events like that day's, parades, and car shows for years. It was ironic that he was a crewmember of the replica and died on the 73rd anniversary of the sinking of the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor.
LCDR (Ret) Wanda Sartain asked Veteran's Pride and our neighboring units, Mykel F. Miller Battalion and Phoenix Division, to conduct military honors for his funeral. This was a first for Region 15-2. Over the next few days, our Honor Guard prepared, determined to honor our own. Our team consisted of a bugler who played Taps, a seven man rifle squad, which fired the 21 gun salute, and the six man flag detail, which folded and presented the National Ensign to his widow. I had the enormous honor of presenting the National Ensign personally to LCDR Sartain. As the rifles sounded their sharp reports, I gave the flag to her and repeated my lines. Lines that had minutes ago been just words took on a new profound meaning as I experienced such raw emotion that handing over our flag to RD2 Sartain's widow.
We did well. There were a few minor hiccups, but we finished the rendering of the honors with excellent military bearing. This will always be one of the most memorable things that I will ever do in the Sea Cadets. This event, unlike parades where we are out in the public eye, was never about us. It was purely about giving the utmost respect and reverence to a family that has served our nation and the units in Arizona. We honor our own.