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NEWS | July 14, 2020

The first officer to receive Pa. funeral honors ribbon

By Capt. Travis Mueller

FORT HOOD, Texas - Though it is a great privilege for him to render funeral honors for deceased veterans, 1st Lt. Craig Robbins keeps in mind the pain families feel after they have lost a loved one.

Robbins is a UH-60 Black Hawk medevac pilot with Charlie Company, 2-104th General Support Aviation Battalion, 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade and is currently deployed with the brigade.

Having served on 225 military funerals, he is also the first commissioned officer to ever receive the Pennsylvania Military Funeral Honors Ribbon.

“To be the first came as a surprise for me. It is such a great program to be a part of and I would encourage any Soldier or officer to participate,” said Robbins. “Every funeral I did gave me a different perspective on life and why we all signed up to join the military.”

After coming home from flight school a fellow Soldier recommended that he try out for the military funeral honors program at Fort Indiantown Gap. He then underwent two weeks of training with MFH-certified trainers and passed.

Now, as a detail leader, Robbins is in charge of making sure ceremonies run smoothly and in accordance with Pennsylvania’s MFH regulations. His appreciation for the significance and meaning of those ceremonies stems from the fact that he has attended a few military funerals growing up.

On top of his MFH duties and his duties as a pilot, he is also an engineering technician at Picatinny Arsenal and also enjoys spending time outdoors with his young family.

He describes his duties in the MFH program, serving deceased veterans and their families, as an absolute honor and privilege.

“I would recommend anyone in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard to apply to the MFH program and try out. It is a great opportunity and great for enlisted Soldiers and officers to be a part of,” said Robbins. “I have worked with some of the best Soldiers I know and I can honestly say I am a better officer and a better person today because of the PA MFH program.”