Military Funeral question
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  1. #1

    Military Funeral question

    One of my co-workers approached me today to tell me about her Uncle's funeral that was held last week in Pennsylvania. Her uncle was a proud Marine and she was very close to him. Long story short...... After they presented her Aunt with the flag, the presenter then walked over to where the Rifle Detail was and returned with 3 pieces of brass. Those were presented to her aunt. There was something said about each piece of brass as it was handed to her aunt one at a time. Can someone please educate me on the 3 pieces of brass and what they symbolize?

  2. #2

    Found this after a quick Google search:

    The proper procedure for presenting spent shell casings to the PNOK (Primary Next of Kin) is as follows ...
    • Three spent shell casings, one from each of the three volleys, should be retrieved from the ground after the casings have cooled. Usually, the Rifle Squad Detail Leader retrieves the shells while those in attendance are focusing their attention on the Funeral Flag presentation to the PNOK.

      The three casings are then presented separately to the PNOK after the ceremony has concluded, but before the PNOK leaves the cemetery. The casings can be presented "loose" or they can be placed into a display box.

      The remaining shell casings can be presented separately to the PNOK so that he/she can distribute them to family or friends.

    The three spent shell casings represent Duty, Honor, Country.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3

    I was searching sites listed on yahell and came up close but never that detailed.

    Thanks Brother

  4. #4

    Baxter W McGrew

    Gunny, the three pieces of brass recovered from the volly represents the twenty-one gun salute. I am a member of the DC Metropolitan Police Ceremonial Honor Guard and we place the three pieces of brass in the flag after it has been folded. 3 volleys x 7 rifles = 21 shots fired.
    Semper Fi,,,!!!

  5. #5
    This is what I found on the 3-volley salute.

    VOLLEYS OVER THE GRAVE: This practice originated in the old custom of halting the fighting to remove the dead from the battlefield. Once each army had cleared its dead, it would fire three volleys to indicate that the dead had been cared for and that they were ready to go back to the fight. The fact that the firing party consists of seven riflemen, firing three volleys does not constitute a 21-gun salute.

    And to add to what OB MSG posted...

    Placing spent shell casings into a fold, or folds, of a Military Funeral Flag violates provisions of the U.S. Flag Code as well as several Military Funeral Honors Directives.

    The Funeral Flag is usually lifted from the coffin and folded during, or immediately following, the 3-volley rifle salute and the sounding of Taps. If shell casings are inserted into the Flag while it is being folded for presentation to the Primary Next-Of-Kin (PNOK), then the casings obviously CANNOT be from that particular Veteran's or Servicemember's Funeral Honors ceremony.

    In addition, inserting shell casings into a Military Funeral Flag requires that the Flag be "opened" to retrieve the casings. A Military Funeral Flag should NEVER be opened again after it has been folded and presented to the PNOK.

    If the Funeral Flag and the shell casings are publicly displayed after the funeral, the box holding the shell casings should be positioned to the immediate left (the viewer's right), or directly in front of (but not "on"), the display case holding the Funeral Flag.

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