Ceremonial guardsman showcases AF excellence in hometown

Symmetry

Airman 1st Class Liam Cain, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard ceremonial guardsman, performs a rifle maneuver during the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston, March 18, 2018. Cain was part of the team’s U.S. northeastern outreach tour from March 16-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valentina Viglianco)

Smiling at the parade

South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade attendees watch as the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard passes by during the parade in Boston, March 18, 2018. The team participated in St. Patrick’s Day parades in New York City and Boston, with both being a part of the Honor Guard’s U.S. northeastern outreach tour to recruit, retain and inspire Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valentina Viglianco)

Parade percussion

Airman 1st Class Mason Yu, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard ceremonial guardsman and drummer, performs during the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston, March 18, 2018. Along with parade performances, the team also visited four high schools in New York and Massachusetts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valentina Viglianco)

Tight grip

Airman 1st Class Liam Cain, right, and other U.S. Air Force Honor Guard ceremonial guardsmen, march in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston, March 18, 2018. Cain, a Boston native, got the opportunity to perform in person for his family and friends for the first time during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valentina Viglianco)

St. Paddy’s Day crowd

U.S. Air Force Honor Guard ceremonial guardsmen march in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston, March 18, 2018. The event was part of the team’s U.S. northeastern outreach tour, which included both the Boston and New York City St. Patrick’s Day parades, as well as for four local high school visits. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valentina Viglianco)

Left, right, left.

U.S. Air Force Honor Guard ceremonial guardsmen march in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston, March 18, 2018. The guardsmen promote the Air Force’s mission by showcasing attention to detail, excellence and discipline at public and military venues to recruit, retain and inspire Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valentina Viglianco)

Banner holder

Airman 1st Class Liam Cain, center, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard ceremonial guardsman, holds a banner during the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, March 17, 2018. The Air Force Honor Guard followed up their New York performance by marching in the Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valentina Viglianco)

BOSTON -- As Airman 1st Class Liam Cain, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard ceremonial guardsman, started marching, cheers erupted from the crowd of parade goers dressed in green. Large groups of attendees lined the city streets as parade performers strode in kilts to Irish themed music while the sounds of bagpipes bounced off the city buildings.

It was the beginning of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade, March 18.

“We are supposed to have our head and eyes straight forward the whole time while we march, but sometimes you just can’t help and glance at all the people on both sides of the street,” Cain said. “You could tell as we marched along the way that people were cheering for the Air Force as a whole. It’s inspiring to witness the love and support we have around the country.”

Cain was part of the Air Force Honor Guard’s U.S. northeastern outreach tour from March 16-19. More than 40 guardsmen traveled to New York and Massachusetts to showcase Air Force excellence.

“The main point of us coming out to these places is to support the Air Force recruiting effort,” said Capt. Riley Platt, Air Force Honor Guard support flight and drill team commander. “We do this by traveling out of the local Washington, D.C., area and interacting with the public, displaying attention to detail, service to the country and discipline of not only the honor guard, but the Air Force as a whole.”

Cain said the trip was different from his previous temporary duty assignments. It offered him the unique opportunity to present his Air Force pride to his hometown of Boston. He said that he has a special connection with the parade because growing up it was tradition to go out and celebrate his Irish heritage by watching it.

“I’ve been going to this parade for many years and it was kind of weird seeing it from the other side,” Cain said. “It felt amazing, and it was a cool opportunity to march down the streets that I walked around as a kid.”

More than 20 friends and family members came out to offer their support as they watched him perform as a guardsman for the first time.

“I was so excited when I saw him go by,” said Kathleen Cain, Liam’s mother. “We brought the whole family out to cheer for him. It was wonderful to see him, and the Air Force looked so sharp during the parade.”

Not only did Cain and his fellow Honor Guard members get to march in Boston, but they also got the chance to display Air Force heritage by marching in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the oldest St. Paddy’s Day parade, first held in 1762. Each year, over 150,000 people participate in the parade and nearly 3 million people line the parade route to watch.

In addition to these large-scale events, the honor guardsmen got to interact with the public on an intimate level by heading out to four high schools in the local area. They performed a color presentation and drill team performance for students. After the presentation, students had an opportunity to talk to guardsmen and ask any questions they have about the Air Force.

“Myself and the other students were so excited when we found out the Air Force Honor Guard was coming to our school,” said Joclin Tapia, Aviation Career & Technical Education High School student. “It was my first time seeing them perform, and I thought it was amazing. ”
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.