Chattanooga native honored to lead President George H.W. Bush's casket up Capitol steps

Captain Joseph Royster had the honor of leading President George H.W. Bush's casket up the Capitol steps Wednesday. (Image: WTVC)

A Chattanooga native and US Army soldier had the honor of leading President George H.W. Bush's casket up the Capitol steps for his state funeral Wednesday.

Captain Joseph Royster was the officer in charge of making sure everything went smoothly during that carry.

"I'll never forget marching up to the steps of the Capitol... I just wanted to make sure it was perfect for the Bush family," says Capt. Royster.

He says calling commands was an important part of the service.

"I was saying 'Ceremonial at ease,' which is a position we're going to be standing at for a long time without moving," said Capt. Royster.

His family moved from Chattanooga to Washington less than 2 years ago.

Royster attended Red Bank High, and then UTC where he joined the ROTC program.

Head of the Military Science Department Captain Kevin Beavers says Royster's job was not easy.

"The military faces pressure on a daily basis, but when you add it to a state level presidential level service, where the eyes are on you... that's intense," said Capt. Beavers.

Captain Beavers says he knew Captain Royster could do it.

"He's a leader all around, so there was no surprise when he was selected to be the officer in charge."

Captain Royster says it's a day he will never forget.

"It was such an honor. I feel blessed I got to be a part of history and his funeral," said Capt. Royster.

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