Recently, I had the honor of attending the funeral of a beloved client, CMSgt, USAF Retired, Fred C. Powell, Jr. Over the past few years, I have had the honor of getting to know many in Fred’s family. I know that he was a man who was loved very much and highly respected. This was the first military funeral I had been to in several years and I was totally unprepared for what I experienced.
The Patriot Guard, a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who attend funerals to honor fallen military personnel, was invited by the family to attend the funeral and they did. The Patriot Guard Riders were also joined by riders from American Legion Riders, Chapter 593, from Converse, Texas. As I stood with the family and friends at the Cemetery, we heard the roar of motorcycles. In fact, Mr. Powell’s wife rode in to the cemetery on the back of one of the lead motorcycles. We watched as at least 25 motorcycles with American Flags flying on the back pulled into the cemetery. As the riders dismounted their motorcycles, they retrieved American Flags and proceeded to form a wall around the pavilion we were standing in. From the moment I saw them, I choked back tears. The motto of the Patriot Guard is “Standing For Those Who Stood For Us.” They stood in the sun and stayed for the entire service. The family made their way around thanking each rider, many of which were also in tears. Without fail, each rider expressed that it was their honor to be there.
I am also honored to have been there with each of these riders who truly exemplify the America I love. As I relayed the story to my wife, I again was overwhelmed with emotion and had to stop several times. Thank you to each of the riders who came out today and thank you to the family for allowing me to be a part of yours today.
If you are unfamiliar, with The Patriot Guard, please take a moment to look at their website, www.patriotguard.org.