Thursday, August 28, 2008

Patriot Guard Riders

Last Sunday was motorcycle Sunday. After meeting Ken and his Harley, Tall Husband and I were leaving Dry Creek Cafe in the Houston Heights when we spotted two interesting looking bikers having breakfast on the patio. We struck up a conversation with them and learned that they are members of the Patriot Guard Riders.

Jimmie of the Houston Heights

Richard of Houston Sharpstown

Motorcycle eye candy

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Richard explained the function of the Patriot Guard Riders, stressing "by invitation from family" and "respect." He had some poignant stories about the rides in which he had participated.

According to their national website, the Patriot Guard Riders were originally organized to shield the families of deceased U.S. Military men and women from anti-war demonstrators who showed up at their funerals. This is accomplished through their flag lines, a "legal, non-violent and respectful" approach. Their mission, taken from their national website:

The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security. If you share this respect, please join us. We don’t care what you ride, what your political views are, or whether you’re a "hawk" or a "dove". It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn't matter where you’re from or what your income is. You don’t even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect. Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives.

  1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.
  2. Shield the mourning family and friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors.

We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.

To those of you who are currently serving and fighting for the freedoms of others, at home and abroad, please know that we are backing you. We honor and support you with every mission we carry out, and we are praying for a safe return home for all.

Mark Hancock, a photo journalist, has some impressive coverage of the Patriot Guard Riders on his blog.

My eyes weren't dry after these two guys rode away with Texas and U.S. flags flying.


  1. Annie/Jimmie/Richard,
    First, thanks Annie for the writeup and the mention of motorcycle safety. This is Ken the third most famous biker on the board. Could you please leave some contact info so I can join your group. As a Vietnam Vet I welcome the chance to attend some of your outings and events.

  2. Hello Ken,
    Thanks so much for your comment. But above all, my heartfelt thanks for your service to our country.

    I will get the contact information for you, pronto.