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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A while back Kris and I befriended a fella who is in the local Patriot Guard Riders. Sounded like a good bunch so we decided to get in on it. Skip ahead to here in the last few days and one of our young fellas from up in the Wilmington area has been killed overseas. Just so happened also that one of my friends and boat boarders got the call that his son was one of the same bunch that was in that particular explosion. They're still operating, but he's expected to recover. We're keeping tabs.

Anyways, decided to participate in this gig. Also decided not take my bike on this first trip, cause there were some things that needed doing(flags loaded in the Corolla) and I wasn't sure how things worked at such events. So this was a trip of respects and recon. The PGR group was to get there around 7ish. I doled out flags and poles to those who showed. Ended up with about 150 or so in the immediate area, with many more lined along the road out.

After the family's arrival we moved into the hangar where the ceremony was to take place. Stood around the perimeter with our flags as they brought in the family. After a bit this little jet pulls up to the door. A few mins later, the Honor Guard goes out there to do their ceremony with retrieving the coffin from the plane. Once that cleared the door of the plane, I doubt there was a dry eye in the place. And if there was, a few minutes later the sight of Sgt Butler's Mom and wife, holding her baby and crying over the coffin got those. Man, powerful stuff. There ain't words, but this is where the news stories get real. And it ain't the same. They loaded the casket in the hearse not 20ft from me.

We left right after the Honor Guard. Everybody gettin saddled up and gathering the gear for the trip to the funeral home. We were right behind the line of bikes with the gear, I was kindof wishing I'd brought the bike, but glad to be getting the jist of the operation prior to riding in it. A screw up on a fun ride is one thing, this is something different. I couldn't believe all the folks lined up on the way outta the airport area. The Fire Dept's, cops that weren't running stoplight duty, airport employees and just folks. As we got out on the main road there were people pulled over and getting outta their cars, hands over hearts, saluting and so forth. Very touching.

At the funeral home we all got parked and quickly put together a flag line. The family car stopped right in front of me. As they were all getting out of the cars Sgt Butler's Mom got out, she looked dead at us, smiled, and mouthed the words "Thank you".

I'd read somewhere about how the PGR does this and even hasta take days off without pay to do so.
What kindof fool could possibly think that.? d:^) Schneeks..
 

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Yep. Brought a tear to my eye too, and I've been in the PGR for about 4 1/2 years now. I don't know how many missions I've done (lost count somewhere between 25 and 35.) And I STILL get choked up at each one. It is truly an HONOR to serve in this way.
 

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Part two. We skipped the viewing.. There seemed to be enough there already and today was the real deal. We left the house around 730ish. Arrived to find plenty of bikes and supporters amongst the folks of Wilmington. We formed flag lines and such. Gotta hand it to the ILM police dept, those guys did a great job. After the family arrives we're all just kindof grab around waiting to do the escort and word comes down that the ahooles are here (Westboro Baptist Church). They muster up 20 bikes with loud pipes to go counteract the BS, then 20 more, then 20 more.. We're thinkin 60 bikes with loud pipes'll cover it. Hehehe. And they did.
Anyways, after the service inside, the rest of us are called to do the escort to the cemetary. Torturous ride, stop-n-go, never over 5 or 10MPH, but we get it done. Then there's a very hasty "Charlie Foxtrot" to get flag lines formed for the ceremony.
..Then it got tough. Family cars arrive, there's brass and higher up enlisted guys, honor guards, WPD Bagpipe Corp, bugler for taps. The full gig. Still nothing as powerfull as that young gal crying over a coffin. I saw a Major General get nervous and teared up while handing over flags to the family.
It all turned out good as can be given the situation. We're headed to Raeford tomorrow to bury another youngin. Westboro is s'posed to be there, too. So shall we.
More to come. d:^) Schneeks..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, today around 7am we left for the coupla hours ride to Raeford, NC to assist in a peaceful burial for Sgt Donna Johnson. There was a huge turnout. Guess that's to be expected that close to Bragg. I'd guess over 500 bikes, and at least as many "just folks". After the briefing we formed flag lines all around the church. This time Kristen and I were back kindof out of the proceedings on the East side. We could hear a lot of noise from uptown Raeford, tho'. Just a coupla blocks away. If you didn't have any idea what might be going on it could easily be mistaken for a football game or some such. But having an idea of what may possibly be happening and giving a careful listen indicated a large crowd reacting to the antics of the WBC. Loud Patriotic music, sing-alongs, cheers and jeers. All mostly out of earshot for the family and friends, I'd suspect.
When the call came to break the flag lines after the ceremony at the church the PGR did the best they could to keep things orderly. But with so many non-PGR folks there that would prove to be a challenge. But hey, everybody ended up being where they needed to be and the graveside service went off without a hitch (outside of one broken down Harley). Can't say much as to what exactly happened as we were kindof far back. But there were no disturbances, nothing heard from the "opposition", so the mission seems to have been successful.
 

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Standing for Those Who Stood for Us...Honor and Respect... PGR of GA, Georgia National Cemetery. Gotcha Covered... US Army Ret.
 

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Please explain what the Baptist Church was doing. I'm assuming that they are protesting the war. Is that it?
 

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I am not a veteran, I owe all of those folks my way of life. The times I have been asked to ride in the Patriot Guard have been an amazing experience. I am continously humbled by those experiences. Many tears....

The Patriot Guard fulfills a special need in such a way that mere words cannot express.
Thank-you to all veterans who have served us so well. Never, ever hesitate to ride with The Patriot Guard....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Please explain what the Baptist Church was doing. I'm assuming that they are protesting the war. Is that it?
Nossir.. They're a "church" in name only. Not associated with any real church. Most likely for the financial benefits.

They're there to protest against the fallen troops and America in general. Do a google search and plenty comes up. They're a litigious family that causes conflict by exercising their right to free speech in a most tasteless way. Then suing the local municipality if anything happens to them. So best as I can tell it's "for the money".

Very revolting.:mad: d:^) Schneeks..
 

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Nossir.. They're a "church" in name only. Not associated with any real church. Most likely for the financial benefits.

They're there to protest against the fallen troops and America in general. Do a google search and plenty comes up. They're a litigious family that causes conflict by exercising their right to free speech in a most tasteless way. Then suing the local municipality if anything happens to them. So best as I can tell it's "for the money".

Very revolting.:mad: d:^) Schneeks..
Very sad indeed, :confused:
 

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Thank you and thanks to all who assist with the Patriot Guard duties to honor our fallen. Those "church" people who are there to disrupt and make noise should be ashamed. I would fight for their right to do so, but they should know better.
 

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Regarding those ignorant protesters. I have this to say.
It is easy to be a pacifist, while living under the protective wings of the United States Military.
Quote from my Good Friend Lee B.
 

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I have seen some videos of that so called church group showing up at funerals for are fallen troops. These people really piss me off,if my son was in the military and was killed in action and they showed up to mock my sons death, Id go postal or mid evil on there ass!! Id go to jail but Id send a hole lot of them to meet there God. They are not protesting the war or our government,as far as I can see so what are they there for. I have heard of other patriot guards and what they have done at some of the funerals,to try and stop these a-holes. I just can not understand what is going on in these peoples minds,are thy just brain washed in to thinking thy are doing a good thing or what. I have served my country and as Ex military from 1974 to 1977 2nd armor div I know how I feel towards our service men and women and I love everyone of them for joining the armed forces of the U.S.A. (just me venting). I have close friends serving in Afghanistan and One of them I consider as my son even though he is not. But I worry about him and pray that he is safe and will come home to his new wife.And back to us as I miss him, I do get to see pics of him on my face book so it helps. Sorry to be so long winded but Like I said these people do not deserve any thing from me or my family! thanks for letting me vent and sorry if I stepped on anybody's toes. Hal
 

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Here is one of their agendas... God is punishing America by killing US soldiers because our government is allowing gay people to live in America. And of course there is a opposition to the wars but its mainly against gays...Do some Google search you will not believe... There has been some new laws passed that prevents protest up to 2 hours before and after the burial, but its hard to get local law enforcement to enforce the new laws just pasted this year. And there is a new distance law to as to how close they can be too. Here in the south local sheriff dept don't put up with none of this bull, here in GA they remove and lock them up immediately and take no chit. PGR in the south also respect and show for local LEO's funerals too. Heroes don't wear capes they wear dog tags, and, LEO's are hero's too...
 

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cpwomer I was born in Kentucky if they tried that stuff down in southern Ky anywhere near coal country, nobody would ever find the body's.
 
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