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Army veteran volunteers for 'Nightwatch' at Eagle Field of Honor

Jay Dover Romline, a local veteran who served in the U.S. Army from 1973-1976, volunteered to stand sentinel at the Field of Honor.

EAGLE, Idaho — The Eagle Field of Honor draws massive crowds each year, full of spectators looking to pay their respects and remember the sacrifices made for their freedoms.

Some choose to show their appreciation by volunteering. For veterans and others, however, visiting the Field of Honor is a way to reflect.

Jay Dover Romline is a local veteran who served in the U.S. Army from 1973-1976 and was in the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment. He decided to volunteer to stand sentinel, a guard whose job is to stand and keep watch during the night.

"Tonight I'm doing what they call Nightwatch," Romline said. "I'm just walking around from 10 [p.m.] to two [a.m.] to keep an eye on things and make sure that nobody tampers with the flags and everybody's respectful."

Romline will be accompanied by a friend and said he is more comfortable standing guard.

"It gives you a chance to think about, you know, maybe what you've done in the past, what you're doing now, where are you going," he said. "It's nice to have time to yourself, to spend alone and with your own thoughts." 

Rather than just veterans paying their respects, Romline feels touched that civilians are showing up to honor veterans. He said this shows that although they may not have served themselves, they understand and appreciate what veterans have done for the country.

"It's really heartwarming to know that the civilians appreciate that. All service counts. And even those that stand and wait to serve," he said. "So there are those that that serve mightily and they're those who've just served, but it all counts. It's all in service to the country." 

The flags in the Field of Honor are purchased by members of the community to honor individual veterans. All 600 flags have a yellow ribbon attached to them and contain the name, branch, rank and years of service.

Once the flags are taken down, the yellow ribbons will be given to the veteran's families.

All money raised from the event will be donated to the Idaho Military Order of the Purple Heart, a veteran's organization that raises awareness of combat-wounded veterans and provides support to military veterans and families.

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