NY National Guard performs 10,000 military funerals in 2012 - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

NY National Guard performs 10,000 military funerals in 2012

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The New York Army National Guard's Honor Guard reports that it will perform about 10,200 military funerals in 2012.

New York is home to a large number of Korean War and Vietnam War veterans.

According to the United States Census Bureau there are 950,000 veterans in New York. Almost half are age 65 or older, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Of these veterans, 306,000 served in the Vietnam War era and 170,000 have served in the Persian Gulf region since 1990.

There have been more than 10,000 military funerals a year in the state since 2007.

The number of World War II veterans whose families were taking advantage of  honor guard services peaked a couple of years ago. So the overall number of funerals for that era's veterans is declining.

Any veteran, with an honorable discharge, whether they served during peacetime or wartime, whether they retired or not, is entitled to military honors at their funeral.

The 50 New York Army National Guard Soldiers who work full-time with the Honor Guard, along with 40 who perform duty on a part-time basis, work from nine offices located across New York.

Federal law requires that at least two honor guard members be present to play taps, fold and present a flag to the next of kin for all former soldiers when requested by the family.

The honor guard is funded by federal tax dollars.

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