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When members of our military put on their uniform, they commit to a life of service, dedication and sacrifice, all in defense of something bigger than themselves. As citizens of the nation they so nobly defend, it is our privilege and responsibility to stand behind them, ready and willing to provide them any support necessary. This doesn’t end when these soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines take their last breath.

The 2019 Day of Giving event raised approximately $29,000, thanks to donations from sponsors and individuals throughout southern Illinois.

These heroes have earned the right to be buried with military honors. Unfortunately, many communities lack the funds and resources needed to say farewell to these men and women in the manner they deserve. Operation Honor Guard, NFP provides charitable assistance to organizations working to provide military funerals for veterans and service members.

  • Operation Honor Guard helps fund Honor Guard details in southern and central Illinois.
  • On average there are 7 to 8 Honor Guard members at each military funeral.
  • It takes more than $800 to completely outfit each honor guard member.

How can I help?

You may make a donation to Operation Honor Guard online at:

The event is sponsored by the following local businesses: Anderson’s Warehouse Furniture, Black Diamond Harley-Davidson, Black Diamond RV, First Southern Bank, Golden Eagle Distributing, Laborers-Employers Cooperation & Education Trust (LECET), Reynolds Roofing, Exteriors & Coating and WSIL-TV.

What is Operation Honor Guard?

Operation Honor Guard is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which began in 2013. Funeral director Rich Darby founded Operation Honor Guard to provide charitable assistance for Honor Guard details.

Operation Honor Guard has not only supported organizations monetarily, but has also created a new awareness and appreciation for their commitment to honor fallen veterans.

Operation Honor Guard is a movement that is rapidly growing. In 2015, Operation Honor Guard raised more than $60,000 at three collection sites in central Illinois and distributed money to more than 40 organizations. In 2016, the program is expanded to 10 collections sites across Illinois.

To find out more about Operation Honor Guard, visit this website:

How did Operation Honor Guard begin?

In August 2013, Rich Darby, a licensed funeral director, was working a military funeral on an intensely hot and humid day at Sunset Memorial Park in Danville, Illinois. Rich recalls thinking, "I don’t know how much more of this heat I can take. I hope this service doesn’t last much longer."

Admittedly feeling sorry for himself, he shifted his focus to the Honor Guard. The volunteer veterans averaging well over 75 years of age standing attention; all red faced and perspiring. Ne noticed their extremely worn uniform jackets, mismatched pants, frayed flags and faded hats. Rich began to realize that he had it pretty good. Then he remembered that the Honor Guard serves in all weather conditions, any time of day and without compensation.

Rich knew he needed to help and Operation Honor Guard was born.

The first item of business was to hold a fundraiser to purchase Danville American Legion Post 210’s Honor Guard new uniforms. Since that brutally hot day in 2013, more than 40 Honor Guards have benefited from Operation Honor Guard, NFP grants. You can help that number grow.