Caisson horses: the 4-legged patriots who honor our American heroes
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Caisson horses: the 4-legged patriots who honor our American heroes

October 20, 2019


King…Mickey… moose these horses are part
of the Caisson platoon of the 3rd US Infantry. They honor fallen service
members every day by carrying them to their final resting place. It’s a very humbling experience being
of being on a horse in Arlington National Cemetary in the mornings. So
hallowed ground. Hours before sunrise the service members and horses of the
Caisson Platoon are up and working. Polishing Brass….shining leather.. grooming coats. Every last detail is taken care of. The horses are tacked up and head to
Arlington National Cemetery to perform the day’s first funeral at 8:00 a.m. So
we’re the last ride so to speak for the Fallen warrior to their final resting
place in Arlington National Cemetery. This
honor is reserved for military members of high rank those who were killed in
action and presidents of the United States. John F Kennedy and Ronald Reagan
are some of the more famous presidential names. So this is Mark, and Mark is one of
the caisson horses at Arlington National Cemetery and I grew up around horses I
don’t know if it shows but I absolutely love being in the barn and I love all
horses but there is something really special about spending time with these
animals who spend many of their days in the cemetery helping families pay
respect to their lost family members. You just want everything to be so
perfect your uniform your posture your you want everything so that you can pay
the highest respects as you possibly can to that fallen service member. The
soldiers top priority is not only to honor the fallen but to honor their
family as well. When you see that family that’s when it just like it all revisits
you know it makes it that much more real. You know what you’re doing when you’re
sitting on the on the horse face in a way but when you actually put the family
of the Fallen with the mission that you’re doing with the funeral it just
it’s a game-changer. This sacred tradition dates all the way back to the
18th century. Horses were used to carry cannons onto the battlefield using a
caisson which means large chests in French. After dropping the cannons they
were then used to transport fallen soldiers from the battlefield. So that’s
kind of how the caisson transitioned into being a memorial affair’s kind of
thing because they were pulling them off off the battlefield from you know day
one really. These horses are more than just beasts of burden to the US Army.
They’re no less than fellow soldiers. I’m a country boy from from you know the
Midwest I’m an Ohio boy I’ve grew up on farms and things like that and and I
just I felt like it was such an honorable thing to do and such an
honorable thing to be a part of to be in this organization and to work with the
horses and the soldiers the Caisson Platoon. The service members of the platoon spend
hours with the horses every day learning about each unique personality. like like king and he’s just kind of
woes me like he’s just got this real Humpty Dumpty kind of kind of attitude
and uh King King is a great horse I think he might be my tops right now. So
this is Wyatt and why it is really cool because why it is a Mustang and Mustangs
are one of America’s oldest icons and unfortunately they are a dying breed and
I think it’s really cool that the military has repurposed them to help
given members who gave all their final rest. Right? the caisson horses are the
last full-time equestrian unit in the US Army. This is their everyday job the unit
consists of different breeds all working together for one common mission. I can’t
get the smile off my face you know I I this will be the pinnacle
in the highlight of my career honestly like regular United States Army
soldiers don’t get to be a part of something like this this is this is a
very special and humbling experience. So that that’s where my passion comes from.
Passion—— for the Patriots on four legs who dedicate a decade of service to
their country

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