Journey of a National Guard Soldier going Active

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Final Roll Call

The Memorial Service for SPC. Anthony Cometa was held today at 1500 at the Chapel in Zone 1 at AJ.

Alot of other people from other units were there, alot of high brass was there too. They had the typical Rifle in the ground with Kevlar and Dogtags hanging from the buttstock. The service went with a singing of the national anthem and an opening prayer. Then the commander talked about Cometa. After him, his 3 of his friends; 2 of em were the bandmates, talked about Tony.

Even at that point it didn't quite hit me. It was sad, the whole ordeal, no way around that. I mean, he was a friend, someone I personally knew, and someone that I would not see for a long long time. Yet; it still seemed unreal.

But then the Final Roll Call came. I've never been to a memorial service before, so I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't really think much of what the Final Roll Call would be like.

The 1SG of our unit came up to the front; we were all called to the position of attention, and he shouted out the names:

"SGT. Allman! HERE, First Sgt"
"SPC. Collins! HERE, First Sgt"

"SPC. Cometa......"

at that point, for some reason, I broke.

"SPC. ANTHONY COMETA"

tears starting welling up....

"SPC. ANTHONY S. COMETA...Final Call...Dropped from Roll Call"

In my head, my mind was yelling out, Answer up Tony...but I knew why there was no answer....

They then proceeded to play "Taps" while the 21 Gun Salute was performed.

I haven't cried like this for as long as I can remember.

When we finally sat down, I got ahold of myself, wiped the tears off, and collected myself.

we had a final prayer and the procession was over. All the people at the ceremony then proceeded to walk by Tony's picture and Rifle display for a final rendering of the salute. Our unit went last. I walked up, looked at Tony one last time, Saluted my fellow "ex-PV2" and said goodbye.

That was that...

3 Comments:

Anonymous Rebecca Williams said...

I feel your pain. I can't stop thinking about him everyday. I miss the turtle, he had and still has such a wonderful spirit that I feel every so often. I feel that he is part of the reason my friends, family and I still have our freedom. I guess God needed him, he was such a good one!!!!!Thank you Tony, I love and miss you so much!

11/04/2006 8:50 AM

 
Blogger TheUsualSuspect said...

Military funerals are weird man. Some of it seems so callous, other parts will straight up kick you in the balls. The salute is a hard one too. Lets drink a beer to the notion of never having to experience one again.

3/04/2007 10:05 PM

 
Blogger pam77 said...

Does anyone know where the sybolism came from for the final role call. I've been searching all over the web. It would mean a lot to understand the traditions upheld at my dad's memorial. Thanks for your help.

11/16/2007 6:37 AM

 

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