Usually when we gather it is with heavy hearts. We stand silently in the flag lines as the family of a departed service member passes by. We ride in a solemn procession to the final resting place of someone’s father, daughter, son or mother. And, before all the tears have fallen, we ride off, in ones and twos, sometimes small groups. No post ride meetings, just relative solitude and reflection.
Once a month however, the riders in the North Texas region of the Patriot Guard Riders try to get together to meet new members and socialize with the old. The meetings are held at different places each month. This month, the meeting spot was a restaurant very close to my home in Poolville, Texas, called the Four C’s. Even with rain in the forecast, as it had been for the last several weeks, there was good participation with almost forty people on twenty bikes and several cages.
Cathy Cannon was the Ride Captain for this recreational mission and led a group of riders from Weatherford to Poolville via FM 4 and FM 2210. FM 4 has been lauded by cyclists all over Texas as a great motorcycle road. Motorcycles generally outnumber the four-wheelers out there, and according to Cathy, the ride was wonderful.
Once at the restaurant everyone became acquainted over some great Texas BBQ. During lunch of course, a little business had to be transacted as John Kammerer (Deputy State Captain) showed all of us the prototype of a new belt buckle that will eventually be offered to members, as well as the other goodies in the store like bumper stickers and PGR patches and caps.
George “Snakebit” Raglin (Ride Captain) also brought out a Patriot Guard flag for everyone to sign that will be sent to Spc. Joseph Stevenson in Iraq. The Guard participated in a ceremony recently where this soldier and his brother folded the Colors over their father, a Navy Veteran killed in a motorcycle accident.
After lunch and a brief discussion of upcoming events, folks started drifting off, much like they do after the missions. Unfortunately, we will soon ride together again, and we will stand guard over the fallen as we have in the past. One day, hopefully, all of our rides will be for pleasure, but until then the Patriot Guard will be ready.
By Michael P. Lousha