Recently we have lost several members and I noticed none were honored by the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) . That begs the question does anyone really know about the PGR, what they do, and how to request a mission.
The Patriot Guard Riders began in 2005 in response to demonstrations against our fallen heroes. Other groups assembled outside cemeteries making noise to disrupt and dishonor a veteran funeral. The PGR, as invited guests of the family, will stand a flag line around the funeral site, thus creating a barrier to protect, and honor the veteran. The PGR has thousands of members across all 50 states. They are 100% volunteer, and a 501(c)3 organization. Since membership has grown they now also honor first responders, and support a program called Help on the Homefront which provides assistance to veterans and their families.
I have been a member for eight years now, and stood at many services at Great Lakes National Cemetery and funeral homes, provided escort for veteran remains, as well as the moving wall. I don’t do this for recognition, but to respect and honor the fallen. It is a humbling experience I recommend highly, and promote often. Although most PG Riders are both veterans and motorcyclists, a volunteers need not be either. All that is required is respect.
The process to request a mission is quite simple. Their website www.patriotguard.org/ has a button marked “Request the PGR”. Click there, include contact information, and select “Honor Mission” for a funeral, or “HOTH” for anything else. An honor mission must be requested by a family member, and a DD214 will be required. Terry Wells