An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | Sept. 29, 2009

Honor Guard Spotlight: Senior Airman Stephen Harper

By Public Affairs 437th Airlift Wing

Name: Senior Airman Stephen Harper

Unit and job title: 437th Aerial Port Squadron, air transportation cargo services journeyman

Time in the Air Force: three years, six months

Time in the honor guard: two years, six months

What inspired you to join the honor guard? Ever since I saw the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team in Washington, D.C., I knew it was the path for me.

What is your favorite aspect of the honor guard? It is presenting the American flag to the next of kin. There is no greater test of selflessness and honor than that.

What are your future career goals? I plan to finish my Community College of the Air Force degree and then go into the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard. After 20 years of service, I'll go on to be a high school teacher.

Who is your role model and why? A prior chief master sergeant named Jose Silva. He helped me realize that it's not about me. It's about how I serve, who I serve and the manner in which I serve.

What is your most memorable moment in the honor guard? It was when I gave the American flag to a wife of a retired master sergeant who passed away. As I handed her the flag, she embraced me, and with tears in her eyes, she said, "Thank you."