Veteran Says Late Sen Orrin Hatch Not Entitled to a Military Honors

| May 10, 2022

A Vietnam veteran wrote an op-ed for The Salt Lake Tribune expressing his opinion about the funeral held for US Senator Orrin Hatch.

Letter: Orrin Hatch was not entitled to military honors at his funeral

By Luciano S. Martinez | The Public Forum | May 10, 2022

As a U.S. Army veteran, who served in Vietnam (1967-1968), I was offended to see the pictures in The Tribune of Orrin Hatch being honored by the military at his funeral. He did not deserve this honor. He could have served, like so many of his generation, but chose not to do so.

It does not bother me that the former senator did not serve in our Armed Forces, but he should not receive military honors he did not earn. This is akin to someone wearing military medals he/she does not deserve, and falls under the category of, “stolen valor.”

Department of Defense Instruction 4515.19 Policy 1.2, section b, states, without exception, that under United States Code, “a former member of Congress who is not a veteran is not entitled to military funeral honors.” Military officers associated with the funeral should have been aware of this regulation, and informed civilian funeral planners accordingly.

Even if military officers say they were following directions from Gov. Spencer Cox, as members of the National Guard they are still subject to Department of Defense regulations. A departmental investigation might clear up how military participation was approved, so that this does not occur again.

Orrin Hatch was entitled to law enforcement participation in his funeral as a former elected official of the state. This should have been sufficient to show respect in an exemplary manner.

Not every military veteran can receive a funeral like Orrin Hatch. Citizens do, however, have two opportunities to honor our service members, past and present, this month. Saturday, May 21, is Armed Forces Day. Then, Monday, May 30, is Memorial Day.

We must never forget that without our military, we would not be, “The land of the free, and home of the brave.”

Luciano S. Martinez, Murray

Senator Hatch was the longest-serving Republican in the U.S. Senate and the longest-serving senator from Utah. He died on April 23, 2022 at age 88.

The issue raised about stolen valor is a tough one. On one hand Hatch may have not had input into this but on the other hand funerals for past presidents and other distinguished politicians are planned far in advance of them passing away so there is a possibility he was aware of it. One would have to dig into the arrangements. I also don’t know the rules that surround military honors at funerals and if there are exceptions made for politicians.

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MI Ranger


Congressional leadership must submit requests for exceptions to this issuance to the Secretary of

Defense for approval

He is correct on it clearly stating Members who did not serve, are not entitled to military honors. Wonder if there was an ETP filed and signed by Austin?


“Entitled” is different than permitted or allowed. It’s not saying they can’t have military honors, it’s saying they don’t automatically get them.

MI Ranger

Mason, exactly which is why there is an Exception to Policy requirement…hence my statement


It is doubtful he would have been aware of the letter. They literally made that up five weeks before he died. It is unlikely the family would even have been aware. The Old Guard OTOH, would have known. There may have been a waiver. Lots of information missing out there.



I’m looking forward to the declining of honors because of ideological differences or ‘muh safety issues’.

Just you wait.


IMO the only thing Mr. Hatch is “entitled to”, and which he earned, is the Title of Poster Boy for Term Limits. We don’t need to investigate millionaires that became politicians, we need to investigate politicians that became millionaires. It is also my opinion that giving a non military serving politician Military Funeral Honors is a slap in the face of every person that wore the uniform and Honorably served in the Military.

And yes, exceptions are ALWAYS made for politicians. It’s the nature of the beast. Rest in Pieces.

Tom from East Tennessee

Does anyone still care about this? I quit caring in disgust when bill clinton used a USN destroyer for a burial at sea for JFKs kid in the 90s after he crashed his private plane. That’s sad but no one except me seemed to care then, could care less now this is small beer

Green Thumb


No service, no military funeral.

Unfortunately, the NG has a lot of leeway. Is what it is.

Kind of like flags be lowered. There used to be certain occasions, but now they lower it all the time for whatever whim the Governor or Presidents have.

Hack Stone

Like lowering the American flag in New Jersey when Whitney Houston did her last line of blow. That was all on the Republican Governor, BTW.

Daisy Cutter

That was surreal. I always cringe when they publicly honor someone that committed suicide and/or overdosed. They are often painted as a victim of the grip of drugs or alcohol and it makes me wonder what message it sends to our youth.

Like that “Into the Wild” true movie about Chris McCandless, who shrugged off the civilized world and backpacked into the wilderness determined to live off the land. Well, he found an abandoned school bus and lived out of that – so much for living off the land. He finally, through ignorance and stupidity, ate some poison plants and died. He was hailed as a free-spirit and hero for following his dreams. The movie says “do this and they will honor you with a movie about your life.”

This praise of singers and actors overdosing is usually accompanied with “He/she was taken from us too soon.” “He/she was a creative genius.” who just happened to choke on his/her own vomit. Just makes me question who we prop us as heroes and the message it sends.

Last edited 2 years ago by Daisy Cutter

Thanks for the pic, reminding us of this looney loser who ended up seeking his own demise. Sean Penn made that dishonest movie about him, making him into some kind of martyr for morons.

Green Thumb

I always Penn was a fitting cast, per se, to play this part of that clown.


Daisy Cutter,
When MP/TAH fave phony Alaska Bob Glaves (Jr.)
turns up as a frozen stiff like this
somewhere ELSE in Alasky,
are the Oreganos making a movie on Alaska Bob, too?

The movie could be called
“Wall (South Dakota) Before I Die”

MP/TAH staff volunteers could get movie credits for
Military Consultant.

[UPDATE: ‘Alaska Bob’ Glaves’ “Restricted” Files
Steve Balm | October 11, 2019

Last edited 2 years ago by MarineDad61

Shouldn’t ol’ Alaska Bob be deceased by now? It was over two years ago that he supposedly had only a year to live because of his claimed cancer diagnosis.


Perhaps he was cured by the “miraculous” healing powers of Kelly’s Canyon and the Badlands. (smile)

Daisy Cutter

What happens in Kelly’s Canyon stays in Kelly’s Canyon.


Deploying the FU of Google,
no obituaries on our Robert Glaves, Jr.

Either because no one in his family
will pay for an obit,
or because Alaska Bob is only 4 years into his dying of cancer shtick.

(…. a shtick which, depending on internet access in his remote reaches of Alasky,
could work for free beer, cheap truck and Harley repairs, and possibly even another canyon tour or 2,
for another 15 years.)

BONUS – DILLIGAF patch on his patchy vest.

Alaska Bob Glaves Kenai DILLIGAF Vest 1.jpg
Green Thumb

No obits because he is hanging out in some road side bar drinking up the donation money and spinning his bullshit for more.


Green Thumb,
Or an unclaimed DOA John Doe
found in the Badlands???
With a bottle in 1 hand,
and a joint in the other,
laying next to a Harley
sitting over an oil spill?

Green Thumb

With a Phildo in his mouth and ass.


That, too.


Darwin Award

Daisy Cutter

Lynn Len Bias was a college basketball player who died from a heart attack due to a cocaine overdose two days after being selected by the Boston Celtics in the 1986 NBA draft. I recall listening to his mother comparing him to Jesus Christ – he died so that others could live – suggesting that Bias’ death would steer young people away from cocaine so there was a grand purpose for his death. In 2021, Bias was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

Hack Stone

As Hack recalls, they wanted a military helicopter to medivac him from the scene of his bad judgment. Even read that it was elevated to Ronald Reagan to authorize the military flight, and he wisely declined. Anyone else heard that?


BTW, his name was Len Bias, just in case anyone wanted to look it up.

And now this reminds me of a joke:

Did you hear they honored Len Bias?
They retired his spoon.


He will forever be known as The Rose, because he died two days after he was picked.

Hack Stone

Dat’s a good one.


I’m a Celtics fan, but I have to agree. Bias’ death screwed up the Celtics organization and forced older players to stay on too long. I think they even named a building after him, despite never playing a day in the NBA.


What’s the difference in Len Bias and dandelions? They both die 2 days after you pick them.

Hack Stone

We are going to have to flag your comment at forward it to the Disinformation Governance Board. Your comment did not Hugo any difference between Len Bias and a dandelion, but in fact illustrated what they had in common.


Blast from the past… blame us dang teenagers back then:

How are Len Bias and Rock Hudson alike? They both got some bad crack.


He’s dead Jim.

Daisy Cutter

It’s worse than that. He’s dead, Jim.

USMC Steve

Happens regularly. Remember when the powers that be detoured a US Navy destroyer on the way to the persian gulf to bury that turd Kennedy at sea? He didn’t rate any military honors either.

Hack Stone

Spent a whole week scouring the Atlantic to recover his body, then they dump him back in there. Must be the Navy version of requiring you to show up at 05:30 for a 08:00 formation.

The Stranger

Honestly, the only Kennedy who may have been worth a shit was Joe Kennedy, Jr. Unfortunately, he died in WWII so we’ll never know. The rest of them have been like a shit stain across the pages of American history.

USMC Steve

Everything I read on Joe Jr indicated the enlisted dogs loathed him, and that he was a conceited prick. It may have been possible that his plane blowing up was not an accident. I still like John, and I think he tried to do his part.

The Stranger

So, he was a typical Kennedy. JFK was no great shakes either. His inability to keep his dick in his pants led to him getting caught up in a honeypot scandal with a woman who was alleged to be a German spy. Not to mention that the collision between his PT boat and a Japanese destroyer was caused by him and his crew being asleep. He should have been court-martialed for loss of his ship, instead, he gets a Navy Cross, a Senate seat, and has his bootlegger daddy buy him the Presidency with the connivance of another corrupt, Irish-American machine politician – Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago *spits*. Fuck the Kennedys and fuck the Daleys.


The only one of the Kennedys I thought was reasonably decent was RFK. And even he reputedly had issues keeping his zipper closed.

I will give JFK credit for his handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis, though. One misstep there, and . . . well, let’s just say most or all of us might not be here today.

Last edited 2 years ago by Hondo

I doubt he had any input into this before he died, but yeah, I’m kind of on the same general line of thinking that if you didn’t serve, you don’t get military honors.


Hatch was elected on a promise of term limits, his predecessor in Utah had been in office 18 years. Hatch stayed 42 years. Yeah, that term limit thing didn’t work out so well for Orrin.

The Stranger

42 years? Sounds like it worked out just fine for HIM! For the people of Utah, not so much…


Maybe. But they still kept electing him to the Senate.

The Stranger

True. The power from being an elected official can corrupt anyone, even if they had the best of intentions going in. I know there have been others, but the only member of Congress I remember who actually kept his promise to term limit himself was J.C. Watts.


Have no problem with this if an exception to policy was requested by Hatch’s family and granted by the SECDEF. Per MI Ranger’s comment above, that would be IAW existing DoD policy.

Not a Utah resident, so I also have no problem if it was done on state orders and by direction of the governor. When acting under state orders, NG personnel can do things normally forbidden when Federalized (check out the LA riots for an example). And since I’m not a Utah resident, my opinion regarding the matter in this case is irrelevant.

However, if no exception to policy was granted and it was done on the Federal dime (e.g., as part of Federally-funded funeral detail support) – well, then to me that’s a problem. DoD policy is pretty explicit regarding how that eventuality should be handled: no service, no military honors.

Last edited 2 years ago by Hondo

Well, I hope Mr. Martinez feels the same way when ole Groopy Joe kicks the bucket. Let’s cancel his state funeral and chuck his demented ass in a hole.


Biden can get a lie in state and a military funeral … It just won’t be in our country or by our military. There are plenty of dicatorships that would love to oblige his widow. They wouldn’t be in business without Joe lifting the embargoes and sanctions on them.


The Governor and the TAG can authorize their Title 32 Guardsmen to perform such duties if they see fit.


Careful here. Pretty sure that only applies to state active duty.

Federally-funded Title 32 activation approved by the POTUS appears to be Federal active duty service. In that case, the individual(s) so activated is/are technically employed by the Federal government and thus bound by all DoD regs/policies and Federal laws covering use of the military. (When ordered to state active duty, NG personnel are state employees; the duty is not Federal active duty.)

This was one of the issues noted during the 1992 LA riots. During those riots, the initial activation of CA NG units was under state authority. They were later Federalized.

Under state activation, NG units can perform LE functions; they did initially. Once Federalized, the NG personnel were severely restricted in performing LE functions by the Posse Comitatus Act, DoD policy, and their Federal chain-of-command.

Last edited 2 years ago by Hondo
Daisy Cutter

I’m glad you explained the Posse Comitatus Act because it sounded like a technique you’d encounter at an orgy. 😉


I Read too much into it or wasn’t clear. Governor/TAG can order Guardsmen under State control to do such things. Easiest way to do it is use a full time Guardsmen to do it with State money.and their uniforms were clean already.


Yep. When activated under state authority and funding, NG members are state employees. When performing state active duty, state law – not Federal law and DoD policy – governs how NG members may be employed.

FWIW: as I understand it, Title 32 service can be either Federal or state; which it is depends on the funding source. That’s what prompted my “be careful” statement and clarification above.

Last edited 2 years ago by Hondo

We’re all b**** about this I think because the guy’s a GOP member. I think that was what the vet was kind of complaining About without saying it.

So here’s my question what about John Lewis he had full honor Ceremony.


Just my humble opinion SeaBee, but I don’t think the writer cared either way about whether he was a demonrat or a republirat. Hatch was NOT a Military Veteran and was NOT entitled to a Military Funeral (using Federal Active Duty Trppps), pure and simple. See that section of the thread and my comment above on “…exceptions are made for politicians…”

In re the POS, race baiting John Lewis, he was not ENTITLED to Military Honors either, tho he considered himself a member of the ENTITLED subset. Another that enriched himself and his minions at the Taxpayer’s Trough. And naturally, all of the polititians, of both parties, pandered and preened for the cameras during the entire time he was being Saintified. Again, see that comment on “…exceptions…”.


If an exception to policy was requested for Rep. Lewis and granted by the SECDEF – which I’d guess was the case – I have no problem with his receiving military honors at his funeral. “Entitled” and “authorized if/when an exception is granted” are two different things entirely.

If no exception to policy was granted . . . well, if DoD policy was the same in 2020 as it is today I have a problem with his receiving military honors on the Federal “dime”. Under those conditions, no military service should mean no military funeral honors, period.