Soldier stands at attention for hours to watch LSU championship (5/2)
To your average LSU fan, the idea of “sacrifice” to watch the Tigers’ national championship victory over Ohio State meant over-extending the budget on tickets or a hi-def TV.
Tell it to Army Spc. Benton Thames.
And hold the hanky.
Of course, Thames’ job description is all about the kind of sacrifice few football fans could ever imagine.
A Denham Springs native and lifelong, devout Tigers fan, Thames is one of the select few entrusted with guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
Fewer than 20 percent of the soldiers who apply can cut it. Since the round-the-clock guard was started in 1937, there has been an armed guard at the crypt every single minute of every single day. Yet when Thames earned his tomb guard identification badge about a month ago, he was only the 567th soldier in history to have been able to pin it smartly over his right pocket.
“It’s the rarest badge in the military,” Thames said.