The brave men and women who lose their lives serving our country, deserve a hero’s burial. If they lose their lives overseas, they deserve to return home to have a proper ceremony. Sadly, this isn’t as simple as it should be. One organization, the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR), make it their mission to give fallen heroes all the respect they deserve in spite of obstacles and challenges.
PGR members attend funerals for military men and women, police officers, and firefighters. They also safeguard against potential protestors and anything else that may take away from the service. They also attend funerals for homeless vets, volunteer for veteran organizations and host homecoming parties for troops coming back from active duty.
41-year-old Staff Sgt. Jonathan Turner retired from duty after serving 7 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. A year later, he tragically passed away from combat-related injuries. He was living in California and his family was unable to attend his funeral. The PGR had heard that Turner’s remains were going to be shipped back in boxes via FedEx. That’s when the PGR graciously volunteered to bring his remains back to his family, themselves.
“The California Patriot Guard Riders contacted all of the state captains from California to Georiga and explained the situation, that it wasn’t proper to ship this war hero home via FedEx,” Jeff Goodiel of the Georgia Patriot Guard Riders told Fox 5 Atlanta. “Within days, a convoy was assembled with each state’s Patriot Guard Riders driving Turner’s cremated remains across their state and then passing those remains off to the next group of riders.”
“Within days, a convoy was assembled with each state’s Patriot Guard Riders driving Turner’s cremated remains across their state and then passing those remains off to the next group of riders.”
Every time the remains were given to another group of riders, a special ceremony was conducted to pay respects to the heroic veteran. PGR coordinators said it was a landmark event– the longest trip to deliver remains with hundreds of volunteers riding more than 2,000 miles!
“It’s heartwarming, to see all these people here,” Turner’s mother, Annie Glanton said, “I know that he was loved by a lot of people.”
The PGR said Turner, and heroes like him, deserve all that can be done to show respect and gratitude.
“Turner was a great leader who inspired his fellow Marines, both in the Corps and in daily life,” the PGR website reads. “You were his friend if you knew him for five minutes or five years. He would give you the shirt off his back.”
Feature Image Courtesy Of Wikimedia