The Operation Honor Guard Story
How did Operation Honor Guard get its start? First, you must know a little about Rich Darby. Rich and his family have been in the business of helping people for over half a century; owning funeral homes and cemeteries in Illinois, Indiana, and Arizona.
In August 2013, Rich, a licensed funeral director, was working a military funeral on an intensely hot and humid day at Sunset Memorial Park in Danville, IL. He recalls thinking, "This heat is unbearable. I hope this service doesn't last much longer."
Admittedly feeling sorry for himself, he shifted his focus to the Honor Guard. The volunteer veterans averaging over 75 years old were standing at attention; all red faced and perspiring. He noticed their worn uniform jackets, mismatched pants, frayed flags and faded hats. Rich began to realize he was pretty fortunate. He thought about how the fact Honor Guard serves in all weather conditions, any time of day, and without compensation.
Rich felt compelled to help. Operation Honor Guard was born. The first item of business was to hold a fundraiser to purchase Danville Illinois' American Legion Post 210's Honor Guard's new uniforms. Since that brutally hot day in 2013, hundreds of Honor Guards have benefited from grants. Operation Honor Guard is now its very own 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.