Area soldier serves as Bush Honor Guard

Local News

TUSCOLA, Ill. (WCIA) — An area family had their eyes glued to the TV Wednesday morning.

They were watching the funeral for George H.W. Bush. Among all the people there, they kept their eyes on the one man who stood out.

Former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral was an emotional event for a lot of people in the country, but especially here for the Blanchard family.

Rick Blanchard is a Vietnam veteran. His son, Tony, served in the Gulf War while George H.W. Bush was Commander-in-Chief. So, Tony can’t help but find it a little funny his son, Christopher, walked behind the casket for the man who sent him to war.

“I mean, that’s your son!”

“Yep, yep.”

Irony aside, the Blanchard family was overwhelmed with pride watching and re-watching the procession on every news channel.

“Feeling good, real good.”

“He’s just an amazing young man. I can’t, it’s hard to put into words how proud we are of him.”

Christopher Blanchard served in Afghanistan.

“Thank the good Lord he made it back safe.”

Then, he made his way up through the ranks to U.S. Army captain. Grandpa says, he’s not surprised he achieved this honor.

“He just does it so elegantly and so well. Everything has to be just right.”

Rick says, even watching his grandson perform his duties on national television, he could see his perfectionism coming through. His family was left almost speechless.

“It’s hard to put into words.”

Seeing how this little boy grew up to become a dignified young man.

“I wish we could be down there to watch it.”

“It’s an excellent thing. He loved me and I do, I love him.”

He also served in this role for late U.S. Senator John McCain. His family laughed as they added, he also has the honor of showing every U.S. president where the bathroom is.

Thousands gathered in the Capitol to watch the funeral in person. Wednesday was declared a National Day of Mourning in remembrance of the 41st president.

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