ARLINGTON, VA (KWES) - A cold and rainy day filled with emotion here at Arlington National Cemetery as Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter, along with 3 other members of his staff got the chance of a lifetime as they laid the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
"It is a very humbling experience. To be able to stand on these hallowed grounds and to make a presentation as humbling and as wonderful as that, I never expected. I never anticipated it," said Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter.
Even the constant rain couldn't dampen the spirits of the four men who took part in the ceremony.
"A cleansing. A cleansing of hearts and minds. Let's take it back to Texas," said Cmdr. Art Nunez of the Honor Guard.
"That was absolutely the best feeling to have those guys by my side, laying a wreath in recognition of the fallen," said Painter.
For Sheriff Painter, Captain Rory McKinney and Honor Guard members Art Nunez and Herb Fernandez, this event had added meaning as we approach the one-year anniversary of the death of Sergeant Mike Naylor, who also happened to be a veteran.
"To be able to do this, and then have his anniversary on October 9th, it's his honor that we recognize today. And to honor the men and women who've given their lives, it's great," said Painter.
"It just brought back memories of last year. It's still fresh in everybody's mind and heart. I still wait for that call," said Nunez.
And on a day of remembrance for the fallen heroes of our nation, Sheriff Painter also gave thanks to the people who made this event possible.
"There is no way that I ever would have imagined in my lifetime that I would do something as humbling as this, and as great as this. People in Midland that stepped up and made this trip possible, that made the connections, made the calls, had the stroke to get it done, it's absolutely amazing," said Painter.