Goshen News, Goshen, IN

December 31, 2012

Legion honors 'General Bill'


GOSHEN — Red, white and blue waved in the cold wind as members of the American Legion Post 210 in Middlebury stood guard Sunday at Yoder-Culp Funeral Home, Goshen.

The Legion members stood guard for part of the viewing for Brig. Gen. William H. Reiff, who died Thursday.

Legion Commander Charlie Hostetler said members were standing guard because Reiff was a member and a friend.

“This is our honor guard,” Hostetler said, gesturing to the other men standing in the cold winter air with him. “We come out to honor our vets.”

The Legion members also placed a flag line along Main Street in front of the funeral home. They do similar actions as American Legion Riders, and also as part of the Patriot Guard, where they have also helped welcome soldiers home from war, Hostetler said.

“We came here to pay our respects to General Bill,” Hostetler said.

Reiff enlisted in the National Guard in 1954 and rose in rank from second lieutenant after Officer Candidate School to Brigadier General, according to Reiff’s obituary. He retired after serving 35 years of service in the Army and Army Reserves. He served as Battalion Commander of the Fort Wayne National Guard, served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969, and commanded the seven Midwest Battalions of the 300th Military Police Command in Inkster, Mich.

He earned the Bronze Star Medal and Army Commendation Medal along with numerous other medals and decorations, the obituary stated.

Albert Mitchell, chaplain with the Legion, stood along side Hostetler and several others during Sunday’s viewing.

“He was one of out brothers,” Mitchell said of Reiff. “He fought to keep our freedoms. He was a good serviceman and a good man.”

In the first hour of their guard, the members saw around 100 people pass through, Mitchell said.

The guard stood for around three hours Sunday, and will stand guard during Reiff’s funeral today. In addition to the American Legion guard, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 30 in Goshen will have a ceremony for Reiff.