Faces in the Crowd: Arvid Meland
Arvid Meland is 90 years old and gives of his time to the Sturgis Volunteer Honor Guard, where he has participated over 3,000 funerals.
As another service member is laid to rest, Arvid and the rest of the honor guard help give them a proper goodbye.
Arvid attained the rank of Corporal when he was stationed in Germany. He served in the Army for 2 years then went to college and earned a degree in Agronomy and soils. He worked for the soil conservation service for 29 years and retired. He joined the Sturgis Volunteer Honor Guard in 1999 and has been very active for the past 20 years. He was the honor guard commander for several years.
He says he enjoys the camaraderie of the group, but also providing a service to those who served our country, saying “to honor the people that passed on and done things for our country and I’m not the only one, there are a lot of patriotic conscious people about the country.”
Patriotism drives Arvid to commit his time and efforts to the Honor Guard.
“It’s been a patriotic country since the day it was conceived, and we have protected our self and defeated countries when we’ve been attacked, if you look at the records, why, it looks like people still want to come here and live- it’s a privilege,” says Arvid.
The Honor Guard is responsible for providing final military honors to service members of every branch of the United States Armed Forces. As a highly involved volunteer, Arvid takes his position with great dignity and respect for those who have passed on.
Arvid says, “And it’s nice to know that the people appreciated it- we get letters later on thanking us and some of them really indicate that they appreciated what we did. It’s very emotional to a lot of people. It’s quite a privilege and an honor to do.”
Arvid says they could use some new recruits for the Honor Guard. If you are interested in donating your time, contact local Veteran Service Organization or email firstname.lastname@example.org for the contact name and number for Sturgis Honor Guard.