My husband just joined the Patriot Guard and rode on his first mission yesterday. I don't know if you have ever heard of this group, and normally, I don't imagine national motorcycle groups to be something that a lot of moms are particularly interested in (don't get me wrong, there are also a LOT that are, I met a few absolutely wonderful ladies yesterday actually.). However, this is a group that I really love supporting and standing behind.
For those of you who don't know who they are, the Patriot Guard is a group of motorcyclists who ride to support veterans, and soldiers. They were originally started by a group of veterans who were outraged by the pickets and protests by a radical "church" group at soldiers' funerals. What they did, was a group of them rode their bikes to the funeral, they used their bodies and their bikes to provide a physical barrier between these protestors and the family, friends and anyone else attending the funeral. This way those mourning the loss, weren't subject to the hatred spread by this group. If they chanted or were vocal enough for people to hear them, they started turning on motorcycles to drown out the sound.
Since the beginning they have grown to over 250,000 members across the country. They attend funerals, homecomings, and other events geared toward soldiers, veterans, and their families.
Now, I don't ride a bike, so I didn't attend the actual ride yesterday, but my daughter and I went to see them off, and meet the veteran they were escorting. He was a 22 year old man who was finally returning home after a deployment and then a long hospital stay, as he had some serious, and life-changing injuries, including the loss of parts of both of his legs.
Seeing the respect and honor that this group of people showed this man when he showed up was amazing to me. They had flowers and gifts to present to him, including a biker vest with Marine Corp and Patriots Guard patches on it.
If you would like to learn more about the Patriot Guard, what they stand for, or how you can get involved, you can click here to go to their website.