Jack Nash honored for his years as Honor Guard

Louise Oleson, DLJ Managing Editor
At Monday’s regular meeting at the VFW Wes Widmer congratulates Jack Nash for his years of service in the Honor Guard as Jack Volk holds up the jacket they had made for him.

Few people in the Devils Lake area are more well-known than Jack Nash.

The 83-year-old has a ready laugh, a mischievous glint in his eye and is always ready to share an amusing story or two from his lifetime in Devils Lake.

Nash was honored at the Devils Lake VFW Monday evening at a ceremony where he was presented with a special jacket for his years of service in the Honor Guard 1999 - 2017.

According to Nash he’s been a member of the Honor Guard for 25 years and of those 25 years he was Commander for 18.

He got involved all those years ago through the urgings of his pals Lyle Baker and Charlie Olson and he says it has been a very rewarding experience.

“And we’ve had a lot of fun, too,” Nash admits.

It was earlier this year, in the spring, that Nash decided it was time to step down as Commander of the Honor Guard, “I’ve slowed down a bit,” he admits. “But I am going to be 84 on Dec. 26, so it was about time.”

Nash served in the United States Air Force 1950 - 1954 during the Korean War. He says he quit school to enlist. “I just wanted to get out of town,” he said.

While serving in the Air Force he got his GED.

Once out of the service and returning to his hometown he got involved with the American Legion. “I was a member there until it closed down,” he reminisced.

“I was also a member of the Eagles - until that closed down, too,” he added claiming he had nothing to do with either of them closing down.

Nash lost his wife Beverly in 2003, they had been married for 47 years.

He was a mail carrier for 27 years and retired in 1990 and served the community as a member of the Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department for 17 years.

He joined the VFW Post in 1990 and it has provided him with a wealth of camaraderie, memories and friends - many of whom are no longer with us. In fact he says a photo was taken when the Honor Guard was presented with the Unsung Hero Award in 2002 and there are only two people in that photo who are still with us.

Nowadays Nash says he attends the VFW meetings and enjoys trips to mystery destinations with the Good Neighbor Club. He has his house and yard to keep up and that keeps him as busy as he wants to be. “I do whatever I want,” he says.

The VFW Honor Guard serves their fellow veterans and their families escorting the deceased veteran to their final resting place and providing a 21-gun salute during burial. They also perform this ritual accompanied by a bugle player and Taps at the graveyard ceremony each Memorial Day.