‘SUR­REAL’ DUTY FOR SAILOR

The Fresno Bee - - Front Page - BY AN­THONY GALAVIZ [email protected]­nobee.com An­thony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, @agalav­iz_TheBee

A Navy sailor from Fresno was one of the pall­bear­ers for Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush’s fu­neral.

A U.S. Navy sailor from Fresno was one of the pall­bear­ers for Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush’s fu­neral Wed­nes­day in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Caleb Har­ring­ton of Fresno, part of the U.S. Navy Cer­e­mo­nial Guard, called it a “sur­real ex­pe­ri­ence.”

“I got to stand in­side the Foyer of the Capi­tol Ro­tunda with Pres­i­dent Bush as we’re wait­ing to bring him down the steps,” Har­ring­ton told The Bee Wed­nes­day in a phone in­ter­view from the na­tion’s cap­i­tal. “That was a very sur­real mo­ment to just stand there, think­ing that there’s a pres­i­dent lay­ing in front of me right now and I’m about to carry him down the steps.”

Har­ring­ton, 25 and a mem­ber of the U.S. Navy Cer­e­mo­nial Guard since 2017, has been part of a high-pro­file fu­neral be­fore.

In Septem­ber, Har­ring­ton was at Sen. John Mc­Cain’s ser­vice and helped his widow, Cindy Mc­Cain, lay a wreath at the Viet­nam War Memo­rial.

Har­ring­ton said he re­mem­bers as a six­th­grader won­der­ing what it would be like to be part of the cer­e­mo­nial guard at a pres­i­dent’s fu­neral.

“I ac­tu­ally re­mem­ber sit­ting in the liv­ing room with my par­ents watch­ing Ron­ald Rea­gan’s fu­neral (in 2004) think­ing, ‘Man, I won­der how you can get to be a part of that de­tail to carry that cas­ket and fold that flag?’” he said. “Sure enough, I put in a lot of hard work and I was blessed enough to be cho­sen to carry Pres­i­dent Bush up and down the Capi­tol steps and carry his body.”

Har­ring­ton played foot­ball for Cen­tral High be­fore grad­u­at­ing in 2011, then played one sea­son at Fresno City Col­lege in 2013.

His coaches shared their re­ac­tion to see­ing a for­mer player on na­tional TV.

“We here at Fresno City Col­lege are so proud that one of our play­ers was cho­sen to take an ac­tive part in the farewell of a great man, Ge­orge H.W. Bush,” Fresno City coach Tony Cav­iglia said.

Added Cen­tral coach Kyle Biggs, who was a Grizzlies as­sis­tant when Har­ring­ton played in high school: “Out­stand­ing young man who you al­ways knew was go­ing to grow up to be a great per­son and do some spe­cial things in his life.”

MANUEL BALCE CENETA AP

Cen­tral High grad­u­ate Caleb Har­ring­ton, sec­ond from bot­tom on the right, was part of a joint ser­vices mil­i­tary honor guard car­ry­ing the flag-draped cas­ket of for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush from the U.S. Capi­tol in Wash­ing­ton on Wed­nes­day.

Spe­cial to The Bee

Caleb Har­ring­ton, with his wife, Maken­zie, and their daugh­ter, earned a Wreath Bearer qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

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