In this episode’s Kentucky Life memory, host Dave Shuffet explored Camp Nelson’s current place in history as home of the Camp Nelson Honor Guard. It’s one of only three honor guards in the nation that perform full and enhanced military honors.
“My family is from this area,” says Tracy Lucas, Commander of the Camp Nelson Honor Guard. “I had two grandfathers who served in the Civil War – one from the north and one from the south – and they both came through this area.”
Lucas retired from active military service after an injury, but says he wasn’t ready to quit.
“We started doing our first funerals here in 2008, and it’s just been a calling and a passion,” he says. “People helped me support it and since then it’s grown from nothing to this.”
Camp Nelson’s honor guard conducts around 300 funerals every year, and members tend to the cemetery throughout the year, laying wreaths and guiding visitors who come to pay their respects.
“If you see this ceremony for the first time, it’s a somber ceremony,” says Lucas. “People that I’ve done funerals for in the past, they say they’ll never forget it. I think it’s an important thing that we do to honor the men and women who gave us the rights and privileges to do what we do.”
This segment is part of Kentucky Life episode #2506, which originally aired on November 9, 2019. Watch the full episode.