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Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015

Thank you Mr. Kent for sharing your story

Posted Wednesday, February 24, 2010, at 2:50 PM

Thanks to Mr. Ned B. Kent for sending a note -- I think I'll share. Ned writes ...

"Your article about Grandpa had to be written to me. I am 93, served four years and nine months in World War II and agree with every word. How true, how true.

"Life is so different today. My dad hurried to get the evening chores finished so he could hurry to the house and listen to Lum 'n Abner on the battery-operated radio.

"We didn't have inside plumbing 'til I left for Business College in the fall of 1935.

"I bought a new Chevy Master Deluxe, 1938, and paid $765.

"My college tuition was $1.00 a day and plate lunches were 35 cents. My room rent was $1.50 per week. Oh happy day!

"Anna, God has been good to me, no prescription drugs and I walk two and a quarter miles each morning with two other cronies.

"Keep up the good work! I had to type 65 words a minute to get my diploma and was allowed only three errors on a five minute test."

Well, Mr. Kent, I think I might be able to beat you on that typing test, but you're 93 and walk over two miles a day? Every morning? And don't take any regular Rx medicine? Whoa, I need to get in shape if I'm going to keep up -- don't we all hope we're able to do that when we're 93? Think I'd better drag out my purple and white tennies and start walking around the block a few times on my break.

If anyone else who's reached an age of great wisdom would like to share a short note about days gone by, or how you keep in shape, send it to Anna at the Greene County Daily World, P.O. Box 129, Linton, Ind., 47441.

How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the front of the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery?

I hear this was the subject of a question on Jeopardy one night and all three contestants missed it. The answer is 21 like the 21-gun salute.

Here's some more trivia about this ...

How long does the guard hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk? Again, 21 seconds.

Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time? He carries it on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

How often are the guards changed? Every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Guards on duty at the Tomb, must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall with a waist size not over 30".

Other requirements of the Guard: They must commit two years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform (fighting) or the tomb in any way.

After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the Tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

Guard shoes are specially made with very thick soles and metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe to make a loud click as they come to a halt.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, D.C., the U.S. Congress took two days off with anticipation of the storm. The evening news reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the guards at the Tomb were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer. Soaked and marching in extreme winds and the pelting rain of the storm, they said guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a serviceperson.

The Tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

They say there's more snow on the way, both here and in Washington. While we all hunker down and try to stay inside, guess it's safe to assume those guys won't be taking the day off.

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Nice story about Mr. Kent. Even better story (in fact, fantastic) about the guards. Gave me chicken skin!

-- Posted by RDK on Sat, Feb 27, 2010, at 9:09 AM

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Anna Rochelle is editor of the Greene County Daily World and can be reached on Facebook or by sending an email to indianarose@fastmail.us.