Patriot Guard Riders

The Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) is a motorcycle club whose members attend the funerals of members of the United States armed forces at the invitation of the deceased’s family. Patriot Guard Riders’ representatives state that they are not a chartered motorcycle club, but a group of patriotic individuals.

The group was formed in 2005, to shelter and protect the funerals from protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church, who claim that the deaths of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are divine retribution for American tolerance of homosexuality. PGR members position themselves to physically shield the mourners from the presence of the Westboro protesters by blocking the protesters from view with their motorcade, or by having members hold American flags. The group also drowns out the protesters’ chants by singing patriotic songs or by revving motorcycle engines.

Although initially founded by motorcyclists, the organization is open to anyone, regardless of political affiliation, veteran status, or whether they ride or not. The only prerequisite is “a deep respect for those who serve our country; military, firefighters, or law enforcement”. The Patriot Guard was established in Mulvane, Kansas at American Legion Post 136 in 2005.

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52 Responses to Patriot Guard Riders

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Sunday Mar. 6, 2011
    All Times Eastern

    Pres Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    VP Joe and Dr Jill Biden depart for Finland, Russia, and Moldova in the evening.

    8:00 AM
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    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
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  2. CR says:

    Patriot Guard Riders Mission Statement

    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 or if 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 their 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.

    ———–

    PGR Fundraiser
    Donations at no cost…
    Sounds strange but it’s true. Many of us use iTunes and other web stores for our own purchases. Purchase from the iTunes store through their link, and a percentage of your purchase will automatically be donated to the Patriot Guard Riders.

    ———–

    Donations to the PGR, Inc. support many soldier’s and families via our HOTH & FWSF Projects, as well as other projects Nationally. http://www.patriotguard.org/Donations/tabid/535/Default.aspx

    • CR says:

      Patriot Guard reacts to Westboro court win

      3/4/11 Kurt Allemeie – qctimes.com

      The Patriot Guard Riders, often dressed in biker garb, are silent sentinels at the funerals of fallen service members.

      Ask about the Westboro Baptist Church’s protests outside soldier funerals that prompted the group’s creation, and that changes. A listener can get an earful.

      “It is free speech, but it is not common sense,” said Gary Schrock of Oneida, Ill., the Patriot Guard Riders’ Illinois state captain. “I don’t care if any Joe Blow in the country wants to come down here and protest.

      “I’m a Vietnam vet, and I’ve been spit on, but if you want to go to protest at a funeral for a guy who fought for the right for you to be there, that (ticks) me off.”

      Founded in 2005, the all-volunteer Patriot Guard Riders arose from efforts by veterans and bikers in Kansas who wanted to take the focus away from the inflammatory anti-gay protests outside military funerals by activists from Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan.

      Starting with a few riders at the funeral of an Oklahoma soldier that was expected to draw Westboro protesters, they contacted the local police and family of the fallen soldier asking if they could attend. The riders gathered at the funeral and peacefully defused the intrusion by the Westboro protesters.

      For the entire article: http://qctimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/a89b0b18-454e-11e0-84f0-001cc4c002e0.html

      • jacquelineoboomer says:

        CR – What a great topic! I actually used to work with a gentleman who was a member of the Patriot Guard in Florida – and was so proud of it.

    • CR says:

      Oklahoma lawmakers propose bills to inconvenience Westboro Baptist Church protesters

      3/4/11 ANN KELLEY – newsok.com

      Jimmy McCluskey said Westboro Baptist Church protesters are exercising the rights his son and thousands of others gave their lives for.

      He said he thinks members of Baptist fundamentalist church from Topeka, Kan., are hypocrites.

      “I’m more than a bit perturbed,” McCluskey said. “My son was being buried for defending the freedoms we all enjoy, and they’re hanging outside his place of burial like mosquitoes waiting to sting.”

      McCluskey said he wished the U.S. Supreme Court could have taken that into consideration.

      The court ruled 8-1 Wednesday that the First Amendment protects church members’ anti-gay protests at funerals. The group is known for radical messages, including blaming soldiers’ deaths on homosexuality.

      State Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate, said he doesn’t think the ruling will affect a bill he’s proposing to double a time moratorium and the distance such protests can be held in Oklahoma. He said he plans to ask state Attorney General Scott Pruitt for his opinion of the ruling’s impact for Oklahoma

      Read more: http://newsok.com/oklahoma-lawmakers-propose-bills-to-inconvenience-westboro-baptist-church-protesters/article/3545362

    • CR says:

      Patriot Guard documentary being screened at Showplace
      Local connection used to illuminate ‘new patriotism’

      3/4/11 By Rich Davis – courierpress.com

      EVANSVILLE — “Patriot Guard Riders,” the documentary about motorcyclists who ride to honor fallen soldiers and sometimes to shield their families from Westboro Baptist Church protesters, will have its “world preview screening” March 20 at Showplace East Cinemas.

      An Evansville couple who are prominently featured plan to attend the 3 p.m. showing.

      “The movie starts out with us,” said Peggy Jo Hammond, who saw it about a month ago.

      The film explores the origins of Patriot Guard, a “new kind of patriotism,” and its bond with families suffering through a tragedy. About a third of it contains Evansville-area footage.

      Local footage includes independent filmmaker Ellen Frick’s interviews with the Hammonds, a local ride and scenes outside The Centre in Downtown Evansville during the funeral of Peggy Jo Hammond’s son, Pfc. Jonathan Pfender, who was killed in Iraq.

      Riders showed up on that day in January 2006 and formed a line to block the protesters.

      Westboro, out of Kansas, uses military funerals to harass families for letting their sons and daughters serve and also to display hateful messages, including anti-gay slogans.

      For the entire article: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/mar/04/riders-movie-to-screen-here/?partner=yahoo_feeds

      ——–

      If you go:

      What: The debut of the documentary “Patriot Guard Riders

      When: 3 p.m. March 20

      Where: Showplace East Cinemas, 1801 Morgan Center Drive, Evansville, Indiana

      Tickets: $8, available at Bud’s Harley Davidson, next to the theater. Bud’s will be the site of a reception after the movie.
      Tickets also are being sold at brownpapertickets.com The Showplace auditorium seats about 290 people

    • CR says:

      Honor guard helps pack ‘homeless’ vet funeral

      3/5/11 By Sarah Eddington – AP

      SHERWOOD, Ark. — More than 300 people showed up for the funeral of an airman most of them didn’t know Friday, drawn to the cemetery after members of an honor guard feared no one would show up to attend the burial of a veteran believed to be homeless and without a family.

      Leroy Earl Brumbaugh died two weeks at age 74, but until his relatives contacted the funeral home this week it appeared the only ones planning to attend Friday’s graveside service at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery were veterans, active members of the Army and Air Force, and a patriotic group of motorcycle riders.

      “We don’t know what his circumstances were in life or how he ended up where he was, but it’s the same as someone killed in Afghanistan,” said Mark Taylor, a former captain of the Arkansas Patriot Guard Riders who still rides with the group. “We are strangers to them and they are strangers to us, but for that one day, we’re brothers.”

      Jim Bradburn, funeral director of the Little Rock Funeral Home, said he had not been able to contact anyone who knew Brumbaugh, not even family.

      “Nobody had any [working] numbers on the family, and the numbers they did have were disconnected,” he said.

      For the entire article; http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2011/03/ap-honor-guard-helps-pack-homeless-air-force-vet-funeral-030511/

    • CR says:

      Patriot Guard Riders flooded with memberships after Westboro decision

      3/5/11 By BILL LANDAUER – Daily Record/Sunday News

      Tim Young tries not to remember the bad parts about coming home from the Vietnam War.

      Young, who lives in Stewartstown, served in the Navy in the early 1970s. Some returning veterans in those days were spat upon by anti-war protestors. At the time, he heard that wearing his uniform in public was the same as picking a fight.

      Today, a different sort of protester is targeting the funerals of returning servicemembers who died overseas. The protesters’ vitriol is directed at the grieving families and a perception of the U.S.’s religious beliefs.

      Young and his fellow Patriot Guard Riders want to make sure no one has to tolerate it.

      On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Westboro Baptist Church’s demonstrations at funerals of soldiers who died in the line of duty are protected by the U.S. Constitution.

      Since then, about 900 people from around the country have joined the Patriot Guard Riders, a charitable organization that, among other things, attends servicemember funerals and attempts to stifle Westboro Baptist Church.

      Barry Bioni, Pennsylvania state captain of the Patriot Guard Riders, said he’s gotten about 30 requests to join the Pennsylvania branch since the Supreme Court decision.

      Ernie Heffner, director of Heffner Funeral Home on Kenneth Road, tells each family of a fallen soldier about the group. They’ve helped block Westboro Baptist Church demonstrators at several funerals Heffner organized, including the service for U.S. Army Specialist Zachary Clouser of Dover Township in 2007.

      “The Patriot Guard have stood between the picketers and the tribute service hold(ing) an impressive display of large American flags and effectively blocking the view of distasteful signage,” Heffner said in an e-mail. “I cannot say enough about the Patriot Guard and what they do to maintain the dignity of the occasion.”

      For the entire article: http://www.ydr.com/rss/ci_17547121?source=rss

    • CR says:

      Motorcycle Group Supports Military Funerals

      Oct. 28, 2010 By Donna Miles -American Forces Press Service

      WASHINGTON – As the U.S. Supreme Court contemplates whether protestors outside military funerals are protected under First Amendment free-speech rights, a motorcycle group that travels the country attending those funerals as a show of support and respect rides on, undeterred by the political fray.

      About 200,000 members of the Patriot Guard Riders attend military funerals to honor those who died for or served their country and to support their grieving families, Bill Richart, national president of the group’s board of directors, told American Forces Press Service. They also escort the bodies of fallen servicemembers as they arrive from Dover Air Force Base, Del., for burial in their hometowns across America.

      The riders take part in these events only at the family’s request, Richart said, and regardless of whether protestors are expected.

      “What we do is never about the protestors,” he said. “We are not a counterprotest group. We don’t go anywhere because of them, and we don’t not go anywhere because they are not there. … It’s about being there for the families, recognizing their loss and ensuring they know that people care.”

      For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=61457

    • CR says:

      H.RES.1501 — Honoring the Patriot Guard Riders for their steadfast dedication in support of those who have sacrificed their lives for our country. (Introduced in House – IH)

      HRES 1501 IH

      111th CONGRESS
      2d Session

      Honoring the Patriot Guard Riders for their steadfast dedication in support of those who have sacrificed their lives for our country.

      IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

      July 1, 2010

      Mr. BUYER (for himself and Mr. WALZ) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services

      For the entire wording of the bill: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.RES.1501:

    • CR says:

      Unwelcome Westboro Baptist Church Plans to Protest Joplin Tornado Victims

      May 26, 2011 William Browning – Yahoo

      COMMENTARY | As Joplin, Mo., recovers from a devastating blow from an EF5 tornado, residents are beginning to pick up the pieces. Search and rescue efforts are gradually turning to recovery as emergency vehicles are leaving town and volunteers are finishing their work.
      A memorial service is planned for Sunday, May 29, at 1 p.m., the same day President Obama is scheduled to visit the city. An unwelcome group may also be coming to Joplin this weekend.

      Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., has a press release on its website stating they will show up and protest on Sunday. At the same time, a counter protest is also being organized on the Facebook page called “Counter Protest Westboro Coming to Joplin.”

      Yes, the same Westboro Baptist Church that has made national news for protesting military funerals is heading to Joplin. Topeka is about three hours away, an easy drive for anyone in the Phelps family.

      For the entire article: http://goo.gl/avXex

      • CR says:

        Annoucement on the Patriot Guard Riders website:

        JOPLIN MISSOURI

        The Patriot Guard Riders are not a counter protest group. We have a very specific mission statement that focuses on our Fallen Heroes that have served our country and citizens. As a non-profit organization we are bound by law to adhere to our mission statement. Violating that could prevent the organization from continuing to honor our fallen military and first responders.

        We understand the sorrow these families are experiencing and offer our condolences in their loss and hopes that no protesters will attempt to twist their pain for some media exposure. The best way to prevent these folks from attending funerals is to deny them media coverage and attention. That is the only reason they would be there.

  3. CR says:

    Sunday shows: Let’s make a deal

    3/05/11 By Daniel Strauss – TheHill.com

    This week’s Sunday shows are centered around the question of whether legislators can compromise on a federal spending bill.

    On “Fox News Sunday,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D) and GOP Conference Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) will discuss whether Democrats and Republicans can cut a deal and if Vice President Joe Biden, who is being sent up to Capitol Hill to negotiate, can help.

    Likewise on “Meet the Press” White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley will sit down with David Gregory, and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), a Tea Party favorite, will discuss whether the president can take point on a spending compromise. Gregory and Bachmann will also discuss the state of the field for the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

    On CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will discuss the budgetary debates. Additionally, McConnell and Kerry, who leads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will talk about ongoing efforts by Libyan citizens to oust the country’s leader, Moammar Gadhafi. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will talk about the issues on ABC’s “This Week.”

    President Obama has repeatedly called for Ghadafi to step down and both Republican and Democratic members of Congress have echoed Obama.

    On CNN’s “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Security Committee, and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) will talk about next week’s hearings in Congress on the radicalization of Muslims in America.

  4. tigerfists88 says:

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    FIRED UP…!!

    READY TO GO..!!!

  5. CR says:

    Biden plans to “take stock” of reset in US-RF relations – advisor

    05.03.2011 itar-tass.com/

    WASHINGTON, March 5 (Itar-Tass) – Vice President Biden plans to “take stock” of the reset in relations between the United States and Russia that began after President Obama’s January 2009 inauguration, Tony Blinken, a Biden adviser, said on March 4.

    He will also visit Finland and become the first U.S. vice president to visit Moldova during his March 7–11 trip to Europe, Blinken said.

    Two years after the “reset” in the U.S.-Russia relationship, “we can see the practical and important results,” such as the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) cutting the number of nuclear weapons, and deeper bilateral collaboration on Afghanistan and against Iran and North Korea’s nuclear activities. “This trip, for the vice president, is an opportunity to take stock of the reset, what we’ve achieved and where we hope to go next,” Blinken said, speaking to reporters via teleconference.

    Biden will likely discuss bilateral cooperation on missile defence with Russian leaders, as well as Russia’s efforts to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) – a development “we strongly support,” Blinken said.

    Biden will also likely express the U.S. desire to strengthen commercial ties with Russia, which “are growing but still far short of where they could be,” and he plans to meet with leaders from Russia’s civil society groups, political opposition and business community, Blinken said.

    Mike McFaul, the National Security Council’s senior director for Russian and Eurasian affairs, said Russia’s accession to the WTO and missile defence cooperation are “our two top priority issues for 2011.”

    For the entire article: http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=16016652&PageNum=0

  6. CR says:

    Good morning everyone! I HOPE that you have a good day! :)

  7. tigerfists88 says:

    From my twitter timeline:

    RT @LauraDoor2010: TV bosses deny Oprah show heading to Egypt http://bit.ly/fSUHwB #praise #TeamFollowBack

  8. Good morning Tigerfists and CR. HOPE you have a terrific Sunday. Love the thread topic CR.

    • CR says:

      Good Sunday morning Jackie!

      The Patriot Guard Riders is a worthy group to feature! I salute them!

  9. I apologize that I have fallen down on the candle link posting but I am back.

    Please join me in lighting a candle for our President, First Family and the Nation. Continued prayers for Wisconsin’s “freedom fighters” as well as for the people of Libya.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

  10. CR says:

    March 04, 2011

    Presidential Proclamation–National Consumer Protection Week

    NATIONAL CONSUMER PROTECTION WEEK, 2011

    A PROCLAMATION

    Each day, families across America navigate complex financial decisions, from buying a home or car to paying off a loan or using a credit card. Consumer education is vital to protecting American families and preserving economic health in the United States. When fully informed about the potential risks in the marketplace and their rights as consumers, Americans are better able to recognize misinformation, scams, and abusive and deceptive practices that can endanger individual economic security and erode the prosperity of our communities.

    For more than a decade, National Consumer Protection Week has encouraged Americans to make better-informed decisions about saving, buying, borrowing, and investing. This year’s theme, “Your Information Destination: http://www.NCPW.gov,” highlights the resources offered by Federal agencies and partner organizations that encourage the public to manage their money, stay safe online, and understand mortgages and other financial transactions. By seeking out this information, families can both strengthen the economy and protect themselves from fraudulent behavior. For information and resources, I encourage American consumers to visit http://www.NCPW.gov.

    The Federal Government has an important role to play in safeguarding transactions, and my Administration is committed to holding abusive companies accountable and shifting the balance of power back to the American consumer. I was proud to sign into law the strongest consumer protections in our Nation’s history with the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act (Credit CARD Act) and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. One of the centerpieces of this financial reform legislation was the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is charged with enforcing historic financial protections and empowering Americans with clear and concise information to make the best choices for their families. These common-sense reforms will protect both consumers and our economy as a whole.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/03/04/presidential-proclamation-national-consumer-protection-week

  11. tigerfists88 says:

    From my twitter timeline:

    RT @thinkprogress: VIDEO: Fox hosts hate church lawyer who claims Obama is ‘the beast spoken of in the revelation’ http://thkpr.gs/gW5O77

    • CR says:

      Hi Tigerfists!

      I think that if that “Cult” claims to be a Christian church then they better read and learn what the Bible says because their actions are not one of Christ’s teachings:

      Leviticus 19:17
      `You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. ‘

      James 4:11
      ‘Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.’

      James 4:12
      ‘There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?”

      James 5:9
      ‘Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.’

  12. tigerfists88 says:

    From my twitter timeline:

    RT @thinkprogress: Video: Days After voting for government shutdown, Bachmann says ‘nobody wants a shutdown’ http://thkpr.gs/etncCH

  13. tigerfists88 says:

    From my twitter timeline:

    RT @thinkprogress: iTuned Out: McCain claims iPhones and iPads are ‘built in the U.S.’ http://thkpr.gs/eAmy5m

    RT @LMAOTwitpics: iPhone to iPad Free Upgrade http://twitpic.com/46uhsx

  14. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Happy Sunday, all friends!

    CR, thank you for featuring the Patriot Guard Riders!

    >^..^<

  15. CR says:

    whirlybirdbrand on Oct 21, 2008

    Oui, on peut — Yes we can!” OBAMA ZYDECO FROM LOUISIANA 2008!

    Music and Lyrics copyright 2008 Dirk Powell, Crying Bayou Music, BMI

    • jacquelineoboomer says:

      That was one of my favorites in ’08! Glad to be reminded of it.

  16. COS says:

    Happy Sunday CR and O friends. I hope everyone is having a great day. The weather is soooo beautiful here in SCal. I see Bachmann is up to her old tricks.

  17. CR says:

    March 06, 2011

    Remarks of Denis McDonough Deputy National Security Advisor to the President–As Prepared for Delivery

    ADAMS Center
    Sterling, Virginia

    Partnering with Communities to Prevent Violent Extremism in America

    As Prepared for Delivery—

    Thank you, Imam Magid, for your very kind introduction and welcome. I know that President Obama was very grateful that you led the prayer at last summer’s Iftar dinner at the White House—which, as the President noted, is a tradition stretching back more than two centuries to when Thomas Jefferson hosted the first Iftar at the White House.

    Thank you, also, for being one of our nation’s leading voices for the values that make America so strong, especially religious freedom and tolerance. Whether it’s here at the ADAMS Center, or as President of the Islamic Society of North America, you’ve spoken with passion and eloquence, not only about your own Islamic faith, but for the need to build bridges of understanding and trust between faiths.

    That’s evident here today, in the presence of so many different faith communities—Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists. The fact that we can come together in a spirit of respect and fellowship speaks to the bonds that we share, as people of faith and as Americans.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/03/06/remarks-denis-mcdonough-deputy-national-security-advisor-president-prepa

  18. CR says:

    My respect for Gen Colin Powell is going really thin with him defending that TeaBagger-Huckabee (who claims to be a religious man but yet Huckabee states falsehoods about other people)

  19. tigerfists88 says:

    From my twitter timeline:

    RT @thinkprogress: BREAKING: NYT’s @carr2n reports #Fox may dump Beck at the end of the year due to declining ratings http://thkpr.gs/gkIgxW

    RT @thinkprogress: More NYT: @foxnews concerned Beck’s “outrageousness…have made it difficult for Fox to hang onto its credibility” http://thkpr.gs/gkIgxW

    • COS says:

      Hey tigerfist. Even if Fox drops Beck, I am not sure if this will do much to improve their credibility. They continue to lie on a daily basis. Of course Beck is from another planet. :)

  20. CR says:

    *********************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “ State-By-State Breakdown Of Jobs Lost Under Extreme GOP Spending Plan”
    **********************

    To get to newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the page and click on the title of the newest post

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