Wiregrass Man Earns Prestigious Position in the Army

By: Rayne McKenzie Email
By: Rayne McKenzie Email

After 8 months of training, a Taylor man is chosen to guard the tomb of the unknown soldier. 20-year-old David Johnson will now spend the next one to two years representing soldiers who lost their lives in battle, but were never identified.

David volunteered to fulfill the position.

He said, "My family has always taught me to strive for the best."

And in just twenty years, David has certainley taken that advice to heart. He now proudly stands guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier, come rain or shine.

David said, "We work 24 hour shifts 3 days a week and some people just can't adapt.""

Soldiers have to complete 8 months of training before receiving their medal. David was awarded his on Tuesday and takes the position very seriously.

He said, "Our uniform has to be taken apart and steamed precisely even if we are going to guard for just two minutes."

It takes David anywhere from 4 to 6 hours to shine his shoes before reporting to the tomb. His committment to serve means he cannot swear in public or drink alcohol for the rest of his life.

David said, "In order to maintain focus, we have to keep our minds clear and we represent the unknowns everyday whether we are in uniform or not."

David says while he is living in the moment and enjoying his duty, he plans to one day go back to school and possibly become a pilot in the army.

Soldiers working at Arlington National Cemetery typically serve anywhere from 18 to 24 months at the tomb.

The tomb contains the remains of unknown American soldiers from Word Wars I and II, The Korean Conflict and until 1998 the Vietnam War.


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