WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the third consecutive year, Darke County Veterans had the honor of laying the wreath duringt the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in our nation’s Capital.
Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia is the final resting place for more than 400,000 active duty service members, veterans and their families.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier stands atop a hill overlooking Washington, D.C. and was created as a monument to those American service members whose remains were never identified. The tomb is guarded 24 hours a day by soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, called The Old Guard.
The ceremony was part of Darke County Veterans Services’ (DCVS) four-day Washington, D.C. bus trip provided for local veterans.
The two oldest veterans on the trip represented Darke County in the Wreath Laying Ceremony.
Greenville resident, Dan Toth, a U.S. Army veteran, served a tour in Vietnam, coming home in 1966. As with many Vietnam veterans, Toth was drafted into the service.
“It’s the highest honor – standing there it was the highest honor I could ever have in my life,” Toth stated. “I walked down there with three other Veterans; Gaylen (Blosser), Jack (Sloat) and Walter (Nieport) and myself. It was an honor to be able to walk down with those who served in the service also.”
“I asked everyone – did you see my legs shaking,” Toth continued with a chuckle, “they were shaking.”
“I really appreciate Darke County Veterans Services,” added Toth, “I will always remember this in my life.”
Walter Nieport of Versailles, a U.S. Army National Guard veteran also represented the veterans of Darke County.
“It was quite an honor,” said Nieport. “I really appreciate being selected to do that. I was nervous but it was great.”
“I enjoyed it and I’m glad I did OK,” Nieport added. “My wife and granddaughter recorded it and we have it forever – it’s quite an honor.”
Darke County Veterans Services Commissioners, Jack Sloat, a U.S. Army veteran along with U.S. Army veteran Gaylen Blosser, a Vietnam veteran served as escorts for Toth and Nieport at the ceremony.
On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unknown American soldier from World I who was buried at Arlington on Nov. 11, 1921.
Contact Darke County Media Sports Editor Gaylen Blosser at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-548-3330