Douglas officers place wreath at Tomb of Unknown Soldier |

Douglas officers place wreath at Tomb of Unknown Soldier

Staff Reports

More than a year ago, Capt. Mike Biaggini began corresponding with officials at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Va., to see if members of the sheriff’s honor guard could place a wreath at the site.

That opportunity came last weekend while the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard members were in the nation’s capital for the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

“You have to have a certain mentality to be part of the Honor Guard,” Biaggini said. “But taking part in that ceremony and having an idea how revered this particular monument is, it was absolutely the highest point of the trip.”

Nine honor guard members and their spouses attended the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. They raised money to pay their own way and all their expenses.

“The only thing the county covers is our salaries while we’re away,” Biaggini said.

Attending the ceremony were Biaggini, Sgt. Will Lynch, and deputies Mike Helms, Dean Kumagai, Leland Love, Kevin Schaller, George Schramm, Joanne Cypher and Nathan Almeida.

They were joined in Washington by former Douglas County deputy and honor guard member Ron Autre who now is a South Lake Tahoe police officer.

The honor guard has participated in the ceremony four times since its inception in 1962.

As the senior honor guard members, Biaggini, Lynch, Helms and Kumagai took part in the wreath ceremony which is restricted to four participants.

The department arranged for the wreath through A Wildflower in Gardnerville.

Biaggini said the wreath ceremony follows strict protocol and procedure which left deputies little time for practice.

The wreath was displayed for 30 minutes.