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Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) wrote a letter to Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James calling on the Air Force to restore a full seven-member Honor Guard at military funerals, reported Alabama blog AL.com. The Air Force announced in July 2013 that it would require a minimum of two personnel for retiree military funeral honor details, instead of the seven it previously provided. The change, which is consistent with DOD policy, was necessary because of sequester-related funding cuts, announced the Air Force at the time. “The veterans who have bravely and unselfishly served our country and protected our freedom deserve our highest measure of respect,” wrote Bachus in the letter, according to the blog. “For many families, the presence of a full military Honor Guard at the memorial service for a loved one is not only a comfort, but a demonstration of respect and appreciation from a grateful nation.” Buchus’ letter comes after family members of Herber Steck, an Air Force veteran, started a petition urging full honors be restored. Steck died in late January. Some 6,000 people have signed the petition to date.