People have respected anyone who has ever been in the military for centuries.
Though not all Veterans receive a proper burying ceremony. My great-grandfather, George Weiss Jr. felt this way when one of his good friends from the military passed away and didn’t get the proper ceremony that he deserved.This influenced him to found the Fort Snelling Memorial Rifle Squad, a volunteer service made up of the Marines, the National Guard, the Navy, the Coast Guard, and the Army, that performs funeral services for veterans, Monday through Friday, rain or shine, and logs over 40,000 hours a year. Out of the original 6 members, George was the youngest, and the last survivor. But that is just one of his many great accomplishments. Weiss 2George J.
Weiss Jr. was born on April 18th, 1927, in Felsonana, Hungary. His family was wealthy because George’s father, George Sr. was a baseball star. They had led a peaceful life until WWII when they were compelled to migrate to Minnesota,US. George had a growing passion to fight for his new country and to be somebody big like his father.This influenced him to join the marines when he was 17.He fought in WWII for about 8 months before returning home, then moving out of his childhood home and buying his own business; Weiss Home builders.
He was then known for his quality arches and masonry work. But in the mid 1950s George got bored with masonry and he found work at Ford Motor Co. as a utility repairman, where he worked for 30 years before retiring. Not long after this did he found the Fort Snelling Memorial Rifle Squad. The presidential citizens medal is awarded every 2 years to citizens of america who have performed honorable deeds for their country or fellow citizens. In 2010, George, along with 12 other people, was awarded this medal by Barack Obama for his services with the Fort Snelling Rifle Squad (The Obama White House, April 16th,2012).
` Weiss 3″We don’t know 99% of the people we’re burying-they’re strangers. But still, we’ve all been in the military, and we try to take care of each other.” George said in an interview in 2008.
The Fort Snelling Rifle squad that George founded, is still doing volunteer military funeral services today. It provides honors for 2,500+ veterans a year, roughly 56,400 in total, and is the last Rifle Squad of it’s old style. The average age of the current members of the Rifle Squad is 77, and the harsh weather can make it hard for them to do their job but they do it no matter what because they are fighting for what they believe in. Sadly, George passed away in 2014, and isn’t around to see how much good his Rifle Squad has done for the nation(Egginton,2014). Other than his passion for fighting for our country , he had a passion for orchestra music. In his early 50s he played the tuba and bass fiddle, meeting up with friends to play at least once a week. He later joined the Johnny Hoffman band.
Some of his other hobbies included playing the card game sheepshead with his friends, and reading.Unfortunately, I never met George in person before he passed, but I was told a lot about him by my grandmother and father. I’ve always been intrigued by his crazy life, as I have never met anyone with a life like his, and I’ve had a thirst to know more for years, but always though it a waste of time. Now that I have taken the time to thoroughly research him I realize how wrong I was.
I was searching the web when I came across this video titled “Still Weiss 4 Serving – George Weiss.” I watched it and was touched when he mentioned that he had just found out that he was going to be a great-grandfather, and that he hoped he could meet his great-granddaughter or great-grandson someday. To be honest, I started tearing up a bit when I heard it. That was when I really realized that not meeting him was a mistake.
Thousands of families across the nation are grateful to George and his Rifle Squad for giving their fallen loved ones a proper burial. I have seen the sad faces in the crowd at a military funeral service, as my step-father was in the National Guard and I have attended a few of the services he has done, and know that they would be even sadder if they weren’t given the chance to say a proper goodbye, and I thank my great-grandfather and all the members of the Rifle Squad for helping military families all over the nation. Work Cited”George Weiss Jr.” , Brookfield, WI, www.harderfuneralhome.
com/obituary/George-Weiss-Jr./Brookfield-WI/1400523.”Presidential Citizens Medal 2010 – George J. Weiss.” YouTube, YouTube, 16 Apr. 2012, www.
youtube.com/watch?v=URsfgnviMas”Fort Snelling Memorial Rifle Squad – For Our Veterans.” Fort Snelling Memorial Rifle Squad, www.
memorialriflesquad.org/.Hostetter, AP Photo/Janet. “Minn. veteran awarded Presidential Citizens Medal.” Minnesota Public Radio News, 4 Aug.
2010, www.mprnews.org/story/2010/08/04/mn-veteran-citizens-medal.Jaklewicz, Greg, editor. “Widow Donates Books to Hesston Library.
” Abilene Reporter News, 23 Aug. 2016, A1,Print