The obituary for Larry Lyle Leigh’s funeral indicated the service would have military honors at the funeral home chapel. Larry earned the military funeral honors by serving for six years in the Air Force, both stateside and abroad in Guam.
Before the service started, Larry was on view in a lovely wood casket that had the American flag artfully draped over the lower part. Before things got underway, the casket was closed and the flag pulled over its length. The program had a waving American flag on the front, and a bald eagle in front of a flag on the back. The poem inside was the 23rd Psalm.
The proceedings started with Pastor Rick Donaho announcing we would listen to one of Larry’s favorite musicians. Larry was a fan of Ozzy Osbourne and AC/DC. Hmm… Osbourne’s song “Dreamer” was actually a rather nice song with a hopeful philosophy behind it.
The pastor read the obituary and talked a bit about Larry. He married his high school sweetheart, Debbie, in 1969. When he got out of the Air Force, he studied diesel mechanics. For 15 years, he worked the graveyard shift at the post office. He had to take early retirement due to a broken back from an accident.
Larry loved fishing and shooting, old rock music, trips to Las Vegas for the city lights and food (not so much for the casinos), working on cars and watching NASCAR races, and he was a big Dallas Cowboys fan. He taught his daughters how to take care of their own cars and passed along the value of a good education and work ethic.
When it came time for the military honors, a pair of Air Force airmen in dress blue uniforms walked slowly toward the casket. They lifted the flag, folded it twice length-wise, then one began the triangular folding from the striped end. Once he got to the other end, the flag was wrapped in the dark blue field with white stars.
The attendees were asked to stand for the playing of Taps. While it was a recording, its sad, sweet sound brought a tear to many eyes, my own included. The airman then knelt and presented the flag to Larry’s widow, with the whispered words of thanks from a grateful nation. Larry will be buried at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.
Larry Lyle Leigh, I salute you.