Honor Guard reunites in West Springfield for 60th anniversary

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A reunion six decades in the making. This Independence Day a group of Navy sailors returned to West Springfield where their military careers began.

July 4th, 1957, the Greater Springfield Honor Guard, also known as Company 125 was formed.

“It’s a true milestone in all of our lives,” said Richard Greene of West Brookfield.

Their journey together started 60 years ago, right here on the grounds of the Big E.

“Myself and 100 other gentlemen who a lot of them are here with me today were sworn into the United States Navy,” said Robert Cahillane of Northampton.

The members were mostly from western Massachusetts. More than a dozen members of the Honor Guard reunited this July 4th, most closing in on 80 years old.

“This is very, very impressive”, said Greene.

Their drill instructor Ken Hagan also attended.

Two members of the Honor Guard were celebrated. The brother of Joe Walski and the son of James Edes took part in a wreath lying ceremony. Walski was lost on the USS Thresser in 1963, Edes died from injuries he suffered in Vietnam.

Cahillane says back in 1957, 22News sent a crew to follow these men during their basic training in Maryland. Once they graduated, they came back to march in the Big E that September.