Many have asked – who were all those motorcyclists that led off the processions for Army Specialist Wayne Geiger, killed in Iraq? The answer – most of them are veterans and belong to Patriot Guard Riders, specially designed to honor fallen soldiers and their families.
When Corporal Geiger’s body was flown home to Bishop Airport, dozens were there, including many members of the Patriot Guard Riders and local cyclists from United We Ride.
The Patriot Guard website describes the group as “a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation” with one thing in common – “an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security.”
The group’s main mission – to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests. They also vow to shield families and friends from interruptions by war protestors.
In the case of Corporal Geiger’s services, rumors had circulated about a possible war protest, but this did not materialize.
Members of the Patriot Guard could, however, be overheard suggesting that those along the procession route place their hands over their hearts.
Besides attendance at military funerals, this organization helps veterans who return from the war, provides scholarships and sends flags to Iraq.