Showing posts with label Patriot Guard Riders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Patriot Guard Riders. Show all posts

Friday, April 26, 2019

Air Force Veteran James Davis had no family until he was buried by huge one

Veteran with no known living relatives given hero's send-off

Hastings Tribune
John Huthmacher
Apr 25, 2019

AYR — A U.S. Air Force veteran who died alone in his apartment in early March was remembered with a hero’s sendoff from a grateful community Tuesday afternoon.
Members of the Patriot Guard Riders and American Legion Riders form a circle around the grave site for James Davis Tuesday at Blue Valley Cemetery near Ayr. Laura Beahm

Around 150 mourners attended the graveside service honoring the memory of James Davis, who died at age 61. Many arrived at the cemetery as part of a motorcade from Livingston Butler Volland Funeral Home to Blue Valley Cemetery near Ayr.

The Rev. Thomas Brouillette, chief administrative officer of Hastings Catholic Schools, presided at the committal service, which included full military honors. The motorcade procession included members of the Patriot Guard Riders and American Legion Riders.

Davis, a Hastings transplant who relocated from Philadelphia in 2006, had no known relatives and but a handful of friends from the various jobs he worked while in the community, including a stint at Dunkin’ Donuts shortly before his death.

Greg Sinner, his landlord for 13 years, discovered Davis’ body inside his apartment at 739 N. Lincoln Ave. He teamed with Mike Butler of the funeral home and Adams County Veterans Service Officer Chris Long to make funeral arrangements.
read more here

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Homeless veteran froze to death at the age of 39

'Another fallen soldier': Tulsa wonders why a homeless vet died the way he did

Tulsa World
By Michael Overall
January 26, 2019

Holder spent two nights last week in a downtown homeless shelter, Haltom said. But he didn’t return last Saturday as overnight temperatures sank into the teens. Firefighters recovered his body the next morning outside the Daily Grill restaurant at the Hyatt Regency, where the 39-year-old veteran apparently froze to death on the patio.
He hadn’t been around for a while, long enough that people couldn’t remember the last time they had seen him. Several weeks, at least. Maybe months.

Then Zaki Holder showed up again last week, coming off the streets to get warm inside the Day Center for the Homeless in the northwest corner of downtown Tulsa.

The staff wondered where he had been but didn’t pry. Chronic homelessness doesn’t hit people in one long burst. It comes and goes and comes again.

Nobody was surprised to see Holder again.

“He was a familiar face,” said Mack Haltom, the Day Center’s associate director. “He was quiet. Stayed to himself. Never caused a problem.”
It was the second memorial service of the day for the Patriot Guard, Smith said. The first had been for a veteran who “joined the 22-a-Day Club” by committing suicide, he said. And as far as the Patriot Guard members were concerned, Holder was “another fallen soldier,” too, Smith said.
read more here

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Homeless Veteran William Eugene Weeks Buried with Honor

Oklahoma homeless veteran laid to rest, honored with dignified military services

October 24, 2018

An Oklahoma homeless veteran was laid to rest Wednesday in Oklahoma City. He was given full military honors. Go here for video

Saturday, June 2, 2018

8 veterans get final salute at Fort Sam

Unclaimed by families, 8 veterans get final salute at Fort Sam
Express News
By Sig Christenson
June 1, 2018
“Eight brothers, from the wars of far-off Asia to the shores of Tripoli. These men from all the ages stood tall for all to see. Today, we call them brothers, for with honor they did serve.” Michael Decker, a decorated Navy veteran of Vietnam
The homecoming was years in the making, in some cases decades, but on Friday, eight veterans were welcomed to their final resting place, the roar of three dozen motorcycles trumpeting their arrival at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

The cremated remains were out of storage at last, escorted into town by state troopers, San Antonio police and Bexar County sheriff’s deputies after a ride of more than 500 miles across West Texas, to be interred with full military honors.

Veterans usually get such treatment days after their deaths surrounded by family, but not these men. They died with no one to claim them and were placed in the basement of the Potter County Courthouse in Amarillo.
Aviation Electronic Tech 2nd Class Petty Officer Coy Washington Black
Tech Sgt. Dana Dean Milton Jr.
Navy Aviation Recruit George Machoul Aswad II, 58.
Army Pfc. Andrew Benson Bramlett, 61.
Army Pvt. Robert Pete Brunner, 71.
Navy Seaman Everett Earl Criss, 71.
Army Pfc. Don Stewart, 83.
Marine Pfc. Floyd Ray White, 65.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

17 Medal of Honor Escorted in Texas

Medal of Honor recipients welcomed with motorcade, hundreds of spectators in Texas
FOX News
By Travis Fedschun
April 5, 2018
A motorcade along a Texas interstate to escort 17 Medal of Honor recipients on Wednesday drew hundreds of participants and spectators to honor the special guests.
The city of Gainesville, located 70 miles north of Dallas, has hosted the Medal of Honor Host City Program since 2001 to "provide residents with a more interactive connection with America’s history, the military and the veteran community."

In the years since founding the program, almost half of the nation’s Medal of Honor Recipients have attended the special weekend to honor their service.

This year's group arrived Wednesday at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, and were escorted by Patriot Guard riders and law enforcement up to Gainesville ahead of this weekend’s ceremonies. Crowds of onlookers stood atop overpasses and alongside the highway to watch them pass.
read more here

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Patriot Guard Riders Honor Service of Wilson Robert Selick

Homeless Veteran Laid to Rest
Arkansas Matters
March 7, 2018
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Arkansas Patriot Guard helped lay to rest a homeless veteran with no known family this morning at the Arkansas State Veteran's Cemetary.

More than 30 Patriot Guard Riders showed up to honor Mr. Wilson Robert Selick, who served in the U.S. Army in the 1960s.

He was the recipient of the Marksmanship medal. Mr. Selick passed away last July but no relatives could be located.
read more here

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Homeless Vietnam Veteran Escorted With Honor to Rest

Homeless Vietnam vet honored by Funeral home with final free farewell

FOX 2 Now St. Louis
Staff Writer
August 8, 2017

ST. LOUIS, Mo. A homeless veteran will get a special final farewell this morning courtesy of a local funeral home and you can be a part of it.

The owners of Michel Funeral Home on Southwest Avenue are donating services for Sergeant John Beard, a Vietnam veteran who had become homeless in his civilian life. He was 67 when he died recently of cancer.
Beard served in the United States Air Force in Vietnam from 1968 to 1971. He received four different awards and later transferred to the Air Force Reserves.
read more here

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Jimmie Smith, Homeless Veteran Laid to Rest


Hundreds honor homeless vet at Sierra Vista funeral

Hundreds gathered at the Southern Arizona Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Sierra Vista to honor the life of a homeless veteran.

Pfc. Jimmie Smith, from Tennessee passed away at the age of 60. He served in the U.S. Army from 1975 to 1977. Smith was discharged from Fort Bliss.
According to officials with the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, not much is known about Smith’s background or family.

Dee Foster and Arthur Parson, both Sierra Vista residents, remember Smith as a man with a gentle heart.

Strangers gather to give homeless Arizona veteran proper burial 
The Republic
Cydney Henderson
July 27, 2017
Smith served in the U.S. Army from September 1975 until August 1977 before getting discharged from Fort Bliss in Texas, according to the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services.
A homeless Arizona Army veteran is going to get the funeral he deserves today, after a call for help on Facebook.

Pfc. Jimmie Smith has no family. Despite bravely serving his country, the 60-year-old died alone.

The Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services is doing its part to make sure the veteran is not alone during his memorial service in Sierra Vista, near Tucson.

The department asked community members to attend Smith’s Thursday morning funeral in place of his family, to give a man who fought for his country a proper send-off.
read more here

Monday, April 17, 2017

Military Honors Funeral For Panhandle Veterans

Now maybe you'll understand why it is so important for families to learn all they can about PTSD and how to help their veterans heal.
"Research indicates that those who served in the late Vietnam and post-Vietnam era are at greatest risk of homelessness. War-related disabilities or disorders often contribute to veteran homelessness, including physical disabilities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, depression and anxiety, and addiction. Their circumstances often create homelessness and isolation from family."
Lost Panhandle Veterans...To be given Military Honors 
My High Plains 
Posted: Apr 17, 2017

On April 21, 2017 at 10 am, the cremains of 4 Panhandle Veterans from Potter and Carson counties will be laid to rest and given a full National Military Honors Funeral Ceremony and burial at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.
The motorcade will be accompanied by the Patriot Guard motorcycle escort from Amarillo to San Antonio with stops along the way and local recognition at each stop in route to the National Cemetery.
The silent and untold story, to this point, is that each of these honored veterans were homeless, forgotten and unclaimed. It is a disheartening reality of our society that to many of our soldiers suffer from a number of debilitating effects of war and service to our country and for whatever reason life has thrown them a curve ball and they find themselves living in shelters, on the streets, park benches and alleys of our cities and towns.
A 2016 study indicates that 1.4 million veterans are at risk of homelessness. This may be due to poverty, overcrowding in government housing, and lack of support networks. Research indicates that those who served in the late Vietnam and post-Vietnam era are at greatest risk of homelessness. War-related disabilities or disorders often contribute to veteran homelessness, including physical disabilities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, depression and anxiety, and addiction. Their circumstances often create homelessness and isolation from family.
read more here

Friday, March 10, 2017

A Hundred Veterans Became Family to Vietnam Veteran At Funeral

Veterans provide burial for fellow veteran without a family
Erika Ferrando
March 9, 2017
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - On February 8, 68-year-old Private First Class William A. Powers died alone in a central Arkansas hospital. He was a veteran who was nearly forgotten, but nearly 100 veterans who never met him, made sure Powers was laid to rest with the honor deserving of a hero.

Powers served as a soldier in the Vietnam War from 1966 until 1969. He was given a proper burial at Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery, thanks to a few phone calls.

"It's a very heartfelt appreciation for the service and sacrifice," said Jerry Ashby, Patriot Guard Riders.

They showed up not because they knew him, but because no one else did.

“We attempted to find family. There was none," said Mike Frazier, manager at Roller-McNutt Funeral Home.

Maybe it's fate Mike Frazier's funeral home received the call from the hospital.

“It's very sad," Frazier said. "No one should leave the world like that."

As a fellow veteran himself, he felt it was his duty to provide a proper burial.
read more here

Monday, September 26, 2016

Patriot Guard Riders Brought Vietnam Veteran from Hospice to Harley

Patriot Guard Riders escort disabled Vietnam War vet for his birthday
FOX 2 St. Louis
SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

TROY, MO (KTVI) - A veteran got quite the escort service to his birthday party. The Patriot Guard Riders escorted hospice patient and Vietnam War veteran Benny Thompson to a flag ceremony in his honor. It's part of the "Gift of a Day" program sponsored by Crossroads Hospice.
read more here

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Message From Veteran's Mom After Funeral "Don't give up on them"

Family lays loved one to rest, hopes to spread awareness of addiction
Your Erie
By Jaclyn Seymour
Published 08/27 2016

"There are many people struggling and it's a vicious cycle. And they need help, they all need help. And I would advise families to not give up on them because no one hates themselves more than the addict does." Diane Robinson
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and drug addition affects millions of men, women and soldiers every day.

One family buried their loved one Saturday - Justin Hoffman Robinson - who lost his life due to both.

Escorted by the Patriot Guard riders, 31-year-old Robinson was laid to rest Saturday at the Erie Cemetary by his military brothers.

Robinson passed away from an accidental overdose on heroin.

Robinson joined the U.S. Army National Guard after graduating high school.

He volunteered to serve two tours in Iraq, and almost a third, after 9/11.

Staff Sergeant Troy Lallemand says, "He always had the values set first honor, loyalty both to his country, his community and his friends and family."

But when he returned home, the battle wasn't over.

Robinson suffered severe PTSD and addiction to heroin, but his mother says he just recently completed a PTSD program and made great progress.
read more here

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Veteran Fighting Cancer Does Not Fight Alone Thanks to Other Veterans

Local Veteran Battling Cancer Surrounded by Love
Tiffany Pelt
July 22, 2016

"We just couldn't hear about someone like Bill and not get involved," said John Hoskin, Texas State President of U.S. Veterans MC. "We have that innate sense to support each other. It's engrained in us in the military to take care of your fellow soldier."
Valley Mills - "It's very expensive to die." Veteran Bill Cote says these words through a raspy voice. He is not crying or upset. As a man who was only given six months to a year to live, he is just being honest.
"They caught the cancer too late," he said. "When they took the tumor out they found a bunch more."

Bill, 62, was diagnosed with Thymoma back in December. It's a rare cancer that wrapped itself around his larynx, left lung and all around his chest. It is now stage four and traveling through his lymph nodes.

The cancer wages war on the veteran's body. He gets weak easily, and is no longer able to do much of anything. But on Thursdays, Bill doesn't seem to mind.

"It's something I look forward to every week. Thursdays are on my mind. Up until then it never mattered what day it was," he said with a smile.

On Thursdays, Bill hears the hum of motorcycles pull up to his home. His fellow Patriot Guard Rider, Barry Dahlquist, is always there. Sometimes other Patriot Guard riders join Barry for the visit. And sometimes veterans who are complete strangers show up at his door. They all arrive with warm smile ready to run errands, clean the house, mow the lawn or what ever needs to be done.

"It's a mindset that only veterans recognize," said Bill. "It's a strong community. They look out for each other. You don't have to know someone to care for them."
read more here

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Marines Welcomed to Seneca With Hundreds of Open Arms

Hundreds line streets to welcome Marines to Upstate
WYFF 4 News
Mandy Gaither
Jun 20, 2016

30 Marines, 10 more who were discharged staying at Keowee Key
SENECA, S.C. —Hundreds of people from Easley to Seneca lined the streets to welcome U.S. Marines from Camp LeJeune who are visiting the Upstate this week.
The Marines arrived in Easley on buses and boarded Jeeps driven by members of the Upstate Legion Jeep Club. The Marines were escorted by the Patriot Guard.

"They lay their lives on the line for us all year long for us, and they miss their families. They miss their friends. They miss everything about being home to protect us. They deserve this," said Tom Giordani, a member of the Patriot Guard.

Those who wanted to show support lined the streets and waved the American flag.
read more here

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Military Funeral For Homeless Veteran

Homeless veteran to receive military burial Area groups honor a man whose life remains a mystery
The Journal Gazette
Rosa Salter Rodriguez
March 30, 2016

A U.S. Army veteran who died homeless in Fort Wayne earlier this month will be given a military funeral today with the aid of several area veterans’ groups.

John Pawlowski, 69, died March 5 at Parkview Hospital of natural causes stemming from septic shock, according to Michael Burris, chief investigator for the Allen County coroner’s office. Septic shock is a full-body infection that causes organ shutdown.

Pawlowski’s birthdate, May 17, 1947, and his military service were verified through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Burris said. But much of his life remains a mystery, and no family members willing to step forward to claim the body could be found, he said.

Nonetheless, contacts made through the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program by staff members at Fort Wayne’s Klaehn, Fahl and Melton funeral home have yielded a chaplain to conduct the services, as well as members of about a half-dozen area veterans groups who make a practice of participating in military funerals.

They include the Indiana Patriot Guard Riders and American Freedom Riders motorcycle groups; members of American Legion Post 241 in Waynedale; a group of Army members in active service; and representatives of Fort Wayne’s Safe Haven home for veterans struggling with addiction.

David Wilson, Safe Haven’s regional program director, said the agency will receive the American flag typically given to members of a veteran’s family – even though Safe Haven never had contact with Pawlowski.

“To me, it’s tragic when you have someone who served his country and dies and has nothing and no one. It’s tragic, but it happens,” Wilson said, adding that it has happened two or three times in the Fort Wayne area in the past two years.
read more here

Friday, February 26, 2016

Two Vietnam Veterans Interred With Huge "Family"

‘They did have family’: More than 100 attend Slidell burial for 2 Vietnam veterans without relatives
New Orleans Advocate
Sara Pagones
February 25, 2016
Advocate Staff photo by Scott Threlkeld
Members of Patriot Guard Riders motorcycle group salute during an interment ceremony
Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 at Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Slidell. Claudie 
Ray Shiftlett and John Henry Huber III, both of whom served in the Army during the 
Vietnam war era, had their ashes interred during a ceremony attended by about 150 people.
No grieving relatives gathered at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Slidell on Thursday to share reminiscences or eulogize the two men who were laid to rest under vivid blue skies as American flags fluttered in the morning breeze.

John Henry Huber III, of Metairie, and Claudie Ray Shiflett, of Slidell, had no next of kin to mourn them. But the two Vietnam veterans, both of whom died late last year, were honored by a different kind of family as their ashes were interred: fellow veterans who turned out in large numbers to bear witness to their service to the nation.

Cemetery staff had reached out to Ken Kimberly, chairman of the St. Tammany Parish President’s Veterans & Military Affairs Advisory Council, asking him to spread the word about the ceremony to military and veterans groups.

More than 100 people answered the call, including members of the American Legion, the Buffalo Soldiers, Louisiana Women Veterans and residents who had learned about the interment on social media.
read more here

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Double Amputee Afghanistan Veteran Reflects of "Good Fortune"

Next stop for wounded JBLM veteran: A new home built just for him
The News Tribune
Adam Ashton
January 9, 2016
“How do I express my gratitude? They welcomed me with open arms. Eatonville, I have this feeling that this is going to be the community where I live the rest of my life.” Sam Shockley
Double amputee Afghanistan veteran Sam Shockley wheels himself past the Patriot Guard to a Homes for our Troops groundbreaking and welcoming event Saturday in Eatonville to celebrate a new custom home that will be built for him and his wife, Emely. Dean J. Koepfler
Samuel Shockley can’t believe his good fortune.

He’s grateful for friends who have lifted him on their backs in the woods so he could hunt and fish like he used to do.

The woman he met on a wild night at a Tacoma piano bar stuck with him through two Army combat deployments and two years of recovery at Walter Reed Military Medical Center.

And fast-acting teammates from Joint Base Lewis-McChord got him off the battlefield in Afghanistan almost instantly when a mine blasted away both of his legs, allowing him to live another day.

“Without those guys, without what they did, I wouldn’t be able to be here today,” he said.
read more here

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Long Island Remembers Staff Sgt. Louis Bonacasa

ABC News
Kristin Thorne
December 31, 2015
"He didn't think twice about what he had to do," "You can see by the outpouring of love here that's evident." friend Billy MacDowall

CORAM, Long Island (WABC) -- A wake was held Thursday for Staff Sergeant Louis Bonacasa, one of the six Americans killed last week in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan.
Friends and family gathered to mourn the death of the 31-year-old Coram resident, who was killed last Monday with five other airmen when his patrol was attacked by a suicide bomber outside Bagram Air Base.

Bonacasa's remains were returned to the United States in a ceremony at the F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard base in Westhampton Beach, followed by a wake at the Branch Funeral Home in Miller Place. A second visitation will follow on Friday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., before funeral services Saturday at 11 a.m. at the New Beginnings Christian Center in Coram. He will be buried at Calverton National Cemetery.

"He was really a great man, a great provider and has a beautiful family," friend Jennifer Nyx said. "And it's just a great loss for everyone."
read more here

Staff Sgt. Chester McBride Killed in Afghanistan, Honored in Georgia

Statesboro parade honors Chester McBride, Air Force Staff Sgt. killed in Afghanistan
By Tori Simkovic
Published 01/01/2016
"We take our kids to see heroes on television like Captain America or Iron Man or the Incredible Hulk, but today we have the opportunity to show them what a real American hero is." Angela Barnes
STATESBORO, Ga. (WJCL)- A parade was held in Statesboro on Friday to honor Air Force Staff Sgt. Chester McBride. McBride was among six Americans killed in a suicide bombing last week in Afghanistan.

People lined the streets for miles to welcome home the Statesboro native.

"Somebody who's willing to do what our military does, we have to support them in any way we possibly can," said Veteran Jeff Tysinger.

As the procession drove through, peopel waved flags and wiped away tears to honor McBride.

"We just feel it's very important for us to come together and show our respect and support for the family," said Statesboro resident Angela Barnes.
read more here

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Homeless Veteran Buried With Dignity After Being Murdered

ABC 36 News Kentucky
By: Melanie Kendall

WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (WTVQ) – A homeless veteran, murder in Lexington a week and a half ago was laid to rest Friday with military honors. James Holiness served in the U.S. Air Force.

He was honorably discharged. “I’m here to honor this U.S. veteran,” said David England with the Kentucky Patriot Guard.

“No veteran should be laid to rest without the military honors and without the dignity that he earned while he was a U.S. Veteran.” read more here