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I had the unfortunate task of attending a funeral for my second cousin this past Saturday--a 35 years young ,full of life ,Capt. in the Army National Guard. 2 tours in Iraq and a motorcycle accident with a broken arm kept him from going a third time. What demons he battled that made him take his own life last week we will never know--only that he will be sadly missed...
Along with being a very sad day it was also a very beautiful day with cool temps(70's) and bright blue skies and fluffy white clouds--so I rode my bike the hour and a half it took to get there thru the twisty roads of the WV hills.
Upon arriving at the funeral home I thought there was a wreck out front-lights were flashing everywhere--it was just so packed out that the local fire dept. and law enforcement were there to keep traffic in check. I found a place across the road beside the drugstore and the girls inside let me use their bathroom to get rid of helmet hair and freshen up. As I crossed the road and entered the funeral home I saw the men and women holding the flags on each side of the walkway when you entered. It was also a full military funeral so there were uniformed men and women everywhere-more than one branch of service too. This was the most emotional sevice I have ever attended --probably because Mike and I have 3 navy sons--so it doesn't matter what color the uniform is or how many ribbons it has -it doesn't matter what branch of the service it is from-it is just that-a service uniform-a uniform the men and women wear proudly who serve and protect our country.After the funeral was over and I was walking out I noticed the vest and jackets of the men and women holding the flags---Patriot Riders"Standing for those who stood for us"---how powerful is that??? I talked to my family and headed to my bike to ride to the cemetary and saw the Patriots loading their flags onto their bikes--as I was the only other person on a bike, I ask "could I ride with you guys?"they answered " most definitely!! " They put me in the middle of their group(about 7 bikes with 1trike)they had an SUV with flags that led them and we rode in the front of the procession.I was proud to ride with them.. Living in WV with all our hills most of our cemetaries are on pastured hillsides--this one was no different-after the Harleys tentatively made it across the cattle crossing the SUV driver got out and said they could try the 2 track gravel path that went up over the hill if they wanted -they decided to set up inside the crossing.I went on up over the hill and dropped my kickstand right beside a cowpatty. This part of the service was a gut wrencher also with the 21 gun salute and the guy farther up the hill playing the taps.
The Patriot guard people told me I should join-it's free. I have checked them out online and I have seen them on TV taking measures to keep military funeral protesters away. Seems to be a very upstanding organization...this was a small showing for them-they have had as many as 267 bikes at a funeral before.


Just wondered if anyone here is a member and what the feelings are of the people on this forum......Kay
 

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Sadly there have been way too many people lose their lives in this most recent conflict, but even sadder to me, is the fact that there are people out there, that want to create a political environment out of a funeral for a soldier that gave all for our country and for others around this world. I applaud the Patriot Riders for what they do and to at least try and allow the families to mourn their deep loss without the added attention that these anti war activists try to impose upon the families and the media. There are better and more influential ways to get your point across than to desecrate a sacred ceremony as that of a funeral. I am so sorry for you and your families loss. God Bless America and those that put themselves in harms way for each of us here at home.
 

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First of all let me say how sorry I am that your cousin is no longer with us and that I am sure most of the country is indebted to him for his service. I am a member of the Patriot Guard and have done "missions" in support of fallen troops in NY, CT, and RI. In every case it was an extremely emotional and moving moment when, in hushed silence, the funeral procession passes through the columns of riders holding American flags. With my only son in the Marine Corps, it hits hard to see young lives lost. The Patriot Guard, at least in my area, is comprised primarily of Harley riders but I have never once felt unwelcome when pulling up on one of my Japanese bikes wearing ATGATT cortech. Every rider knows the reason we are there and total respect is shown to the family and friends. I would encourage people to join and add their support....Its amazing how real the war suddenly becomes when there is a face with a name.

http://www.patriotguard.org/
 

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Sorry for your loss Kay, I signed up for the PG, and I get e-mails about gatherings but yet to have the honor of attending a mission. It is always too far or something I had to do.
 

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Sadly there have been way too many people lose their lives in this most recent conflict, but even sadder to me, is the fact that there are people out there, that want to create a political environment out of a funeral for a soldier that gave all for our country and for others around this world. I applaud the Patriot Riders for what they do and to at least try and allow the families to mourn their deep loss without the added attention that these anti war activists try to impose upon the families and the media. There are better and more influential ways to get your point across than to desecrate a sacred ceremony as that of a funeral. I am so sorry for you and your families loss. God Bless America and those that put themselves in harms way for each of us here at home.
Amen. Fred Phelps should lynched.
 

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Kay,

I am sorry for your loss and will keep you and the rest of your family in my prayers tonight.

Hugs!
 
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