The Patriot Guard is an organization with its core comprising of motorcycle riders who perform funeral services for our fallen heroes. Most of the members are veterans even though that is not a requirement. You don’t even need to own a motorcycle to be a member. They are a group that is not politically divided and all they need from you is respect for our lost soldiers.
If there is a protest at a funeral, the Patriotic Guard will get between the mourners and the protesters that are raising the signs. They will hold up flags to steer away the protesters from the view of the mourners. Yes, they will gladly do this for you, although I am quite happy to say that this hasn’t occurred on the many missions that I have attended in the company of the PGR.
My most recent mission with this patriotic group was during the burial of a soldier who died at the very young age of 20 over in Afghanistan. The boy’s father was really moved by how the service was conducted. He said “If you had known him, this would have been his favorite part”. The pain was unimaginable, keeping in mind that it was a young son gone far too soon.
What does hero mean to you? Since it has many so meanings to different people? Those who like fantasy realm will associate the word hero with the brave character that conquers an attacking army and defends his people. Some will name their favorite artist or athlete. But for me, a hero is the one who ventures out into the danger zone and risks their life to protect the freedom of others.
They PGR don’t care what your political views are or who was on the right or wrong side of the issue. Their main focus is their dedication to paying the last and final respects to our fallen military heroes. My wish is that one day there will be no wars to fight because someone in the past started it. The Patriot Guard Riders does their small part of mending the fences and thanking our heroes.
Reporting from the horse’s mouth…
They are from everywhere and anywhere. What is common to all members of the PGR is their love for motorcycles and their burning desire to shield the mourning families from callous and indifferent acts. It is a diverse unification of riders from all over America that honor and respect those who risked their lives for the safety of our country.
According to Bruce Ballou of Charleston, South Carolina, the Assistant State Captain of the riders, the group honors veterans, first responders, and their families. Their goal is to provide the perfect tribute based upon respect.
There are roughly 255,000 members across this great nation, with chapters in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. 2,700 of the riders reside in South Carolina. But one must take note that this is not a typical club and there are no membership dues collected. Communication is typically via the internet and telephone, and they meet only when they are executing a mission.
How it all began…
The Patriotic Guard Riders started in August 2005, based on American Legion Riders Chapter 136 in Kansas. Their motivation was triggered by seeing fallen soldiers that didn’t have the proper tributes after religious fanatics would storm the funeral and protest. They developed a strategy to stop the activities of the Topeka, Kansas based Westboro Baptist Church that was planning to protest the funeral of Sgt. John Doles in Chelsea, Okla. The Westboro Baptist Church has around 100 members that attend funerals as anti-gay advocates, and they claim that 9/11 was a punishment to America because it condones homosexuality. A documentary film maker, Ellen Frick of Seattle, the Director of Patriotic Guard Rider, witnessed the incident as they held up placards and were yelling “Thank God for dead soldiers”. The same church was also the topic of discussion in Louis Theroux’s 2007 BBC documentary, ‘The Most Hated Family in America’. The riders intervened using legal and nonviolent behavior to limit the planned intrusion by the church members at John’s service. Right then and there, they made a mission statement and became the Patriot Guard Riders in October of 2005.
Are you interested in what the group does and want to participate in making sure that there is always an honorable and peaceful tribute for our fallen soldiers? Our customer service rep at Cremation Solutions (Brent Bathon) joined today…..Lets Ride
Register for free at: https://www.patriotguard.org/content.php