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Hometown Soldier Honors Fallen Heroes At Arlington Cemetery

As Commander of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd U.S. Infantry Division Regiment, also known as “The Old Guard,” Captain Larry Harris was part of the ceremony for the National Memorial Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery. Duties of “The Old Guard” include serving as the Army’s official escort of the President. Captain Harris is pictured with the Presidential Motorcade Monday.

Captain Larry Harris (right) had a quick visit with two local Yalobusha County sheriff deputies, Narcotics Investigator Thomas West (second from left) and Chris Pullen (second from right) on May 15. West and Pullen were in Washington D.C. attending the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and were able to find Harris before a funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. Harris serves with “The Old Guard,” the Army’s Honor Guard stationed at Fort Meyer, Va.

Captain Larry Harris presents the flag to a family member following a military funeral at Arlington.

“On this soil, on these grounds, beneath those fields lies the true source of American greatness, of American glory and of American freedom. As long as we are blessed with patriots such as these, we shall forever remain one people, one family and one nation under God,” 

        – President Donald Trump speaking at  Memorial Day in Arlington National Cemetery

By David Howell

Editor

ARLINGTON, Va. – When President Donald Trump arrived at Arlington National Cemetery Monday for the National Memorial Day Observance, a hometown soldier was on duty as part of the unit that serves as the Army’s official escort to the President. Captain Larry Harris is Commander of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, also known as “The Old Guard,” the oldest active-duty infantry regiment in the Army. 


Stationed at Fort Meyer, Va., the regiment conducts ceremonies and special events throughout the National Capital region, including the National Memorial Day observance held Monday. The Old Guard is also charged with conducting full honors funerals at Arlington, state funerals (for past presidents), state arrivals of foreign dignitaries, Department of the Army retirement ceremonies and numerous similar events. 

For Harris, this post is a humbling experience.

“Military service is a high calling, but honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice is truly the most humbling experience of my professional career. Every day, I have the honor of rendering final honors and delivering condolences on behalf of the President and grateful citizens of the United States at individual ceremonies in Arlington,” Captain Harris told the Herald.


And, on Memorial Day, this service is even more sacred. 


“Memorial Day, unlike Veteran’s Day, was established specifically to honor those who gave their lives in service to the Nation,” Harris added.  “Each Memorial Day, the President of the United States lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and addresses the Nation from the grounds at Arlington. This year, I had the privilege of taking part in that sacred ceremony.” 


This distinguished post follows more than a decade of military service for the 2006 Water Valley High School graduate. In June, following his high graduation he was admitted to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He met his wife, Maggie, there and graduated in 2010 with a degree in Political Science and a commission as an officer in the Infantry.


From there Harris moved to Fort Benning, Ga., where he completed t
he Infantry Officer Basic Course, U.S. Army Ranger School and U.S. Army Airborne School. He was then assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment at Fort Riley, Kansas. He deployed to Afghanistan as a Platoon Leader and Executive Officer. Harris earned a Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, among other decorations.


After his deployment, Harris returned to Fort Benning and graduated from the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course and was subsequently assigned to Fort Lewis, Wa. At Fort Lewis, he commanded Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry (Stryker) and Delta Troop, 8th Squadron, 1st U.S. Cavalry (Stryker Weapons) before his latest assignment.

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