“...I hadn’t been around death or funerals…”

Airman 1st Class Henry Nelson, 9th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels specialist, poses for a photo April 26, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California.

Airman 1st Class Henry Nelson, 9th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels specialist, poses for a photo April 26, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California.

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

“Honor guard performs colors for various events, but our main priority is recognizing those who have passed away by serving as pallbearers at their funerals. Being a pallbearer can be very difficult and saddening. I hadn’t been around death or funerals very much before, but at the end when you hand the flag off and all of the family members are thanking you I feel like I’ve done something good. One time we worked a funeral alongside a fire department for a firefighter who was also in the reserves. It was a large service and the way they were talking about him had an impact on me. When I was folding the flag for him I kept thinking about how they viewed him. I wanted to give him a perfect flag fold because he was an amazing person and all of these people loved and respected him. Being in the honor guard has given me a new perspective.”

Airman 1st Class Henry Nelson, 9th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels specialist

Hometown: Goldsboro, North Carolina