Why do the Patriot Guard Riders come to funerals?
We come to show our respect and gratitude to fallen heroes of our armed forces, first responders, and to show our support to the family, friends and community who mourn their loss.
What if the family doesn’t want the Patriot Guard Riders to attend?
The Patriot Guard holds absolute respect for the wishes of the family. We attend only as invited guests, and will not attend if the family expresses their wishes for privacy.
What exactly do the Patriot Guard Riders do?
We are an outer circle of support. We stand outside the services, holding flags to show honor and respect to the fallen hero and his or her family, friends and fellow service members. We might escort the funeral procession, and assemble outside the cemetery with flags held in honor. If the family prefers a completely private burial, we do not attend the graveside service. We may be asked to escort the fallen to his or her hometown from the airport prior to the funeral. If the family has any special requests of the Patriot Guard, we do our utmost to carry them out. We place the fallen and their family first and foremost.
What about protestors?
If there are protestors present, the Patriot Guard Riders do our best to visually shield the family from any disruption they may cause. Our actions in providing a shield are strictly legal and non-violent. We are not a counter-protest group, and the protestors are not our main focus. Our focus is respect and honor for those who serve. We are pleased that on October 1, 2007 Connecticut lawmakers passed House Bill No. 6060 for those Killed In Action our state leadership and our national website monitors the Department of Defense news releases; each state has representatives of the Patriot Guard who make contact with a family representative, to ask if our presence is desired at the services. Normally we work with the Casualty Assistance Officer for all family communications and requests, as we do not wish to intrude directly upon a grieving family.