Transcript for ARCHIVAL VIDEO: Seen But Not Noticed: Arlington National Cemetery's 'Old Guard'
Around the country today memorial there was so many things for so many people there was music and prayers and stories and many tears but for the members of the old guard at Arlington national cemetery there was what there is every day for them respect and honor a simple duty. Here's ABC's dean Reynolds. They are to be seen but not noticed the front and center yet indistinguishable. From each other right. So precise and so disciplined. It was was watching as they expect nothing but perfection please. Out the army's old guard. Your arms the last one to render military honors in the last site that that Stanley sees. When it thinks of their loved ones and what they've done life. Despite his present we have greatly from. The unit was established in 1784. The oldest in the army. And it has become a fixture at ceremonial occasions in the Washington area. At the tomb of the unknown soldier and at Arlington cemeteries military funerals. Sometimes six a day. They are constant drilling always practicing the skills that set them apart. About thirteen hundred soldiers and polish and clean bath and brush everything from the soul of their shoes to the top of their hats. You want to look perfect you want to give family members. Friends and co workers and everything. He perfect image. The army Sargent Jodi Penn run acknowledges it is almost an obsession. It really gives you thinking for the most my new piece of live that might and children that somebody could see if they were looking for a magnifying glass that you knew more. That's the exterior the interior is something else when Irish see that flag. There's a range of emotions going through your head at that point holding that. Some say they attempt to stare off to a distant place or to avoid direct eye contact with the widows or mothers. We're children at the grave. Is setting a wash with sadness you can't let what your feeling and true to you can't let it because it did then you couldn't do the job that we do. And increasingly. Inevitably their job includes casualties from the current war. On terror nearly 300 veterans of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried here at the Arlington national cemetery. We therefore made his remains of these places wrong wolf. Attending those funerals has a certain poignancy. There but for the grace of god feeling for sergeants high gassed and and Penn rod. They're all veterans of the same war. If I'm not gonna go to be overseas with my Brothers in arms and at least I can pay tribute to them in some way. Just days ago the old guard buried one of its own. Sargent David to Brcko once did what these soldiers do before he was sent to Iraq. Where he died in an ambush three weeks ago it was a great honor to. To bury someone that has done its job. Gashton was involved in the first waves of the invasion of both Iraq and Afghanistan and he can relate because of the fact that I am a veteran of war. I understand. That what these ends in a way what these people have been through it. This is the purple heart. Penn rod was wounded in Iraq from being over there and actually being a part of the war in the coming here it teaches you to appreciate everything. Such as the special burden they now bear the special task it is bears to perform. We're the ones that bury people in Arlington cemetery and that's something that no one else says. I'm dean Reynolds for Nightline in Arlington Virginia.
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