Patriot Guard Riders traveling from 6 states for the Dixie Region Gathering of the Guard ride in Mobile

Published: Jun. 25, 2022 at 1:53 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The non-profit organization Patriot Guard Riders came together for a Gathering of the Guard ride to the Battleship Memorial Park.

Riders coming from six states made the trip. One member, Michael Arcement said getting together for rides shows just how strong their comradery is.

“The fellowship, it’s like a brotherhood,” said Arcement.

“We just feel that comradery that we always had in the military,” said Roger Barrett, the Mississippi state captain.

When the Patriot Guard Riders banded together in 2005 they had one mission: to make sure no veteran is laid to rest alone and that no matter what, they would be honored and respected in the process.

“Members that have died in battle were coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan and this church group was out there protesting these funerals,” said Arcement, “bike clubs that were military-affiliated, they would stand their picket line between the protesters and the family.”

Through the years, the mission continues to stay strong, ensuring fallen heroes are escorted to their final resting places. Captains Roger Barrett and Assistant State Captain for South Alabama, Lloyd Pursley said it’s always a great honor being there for the fallen’s family.

“When the family comes up and gives us a hug for being there, that’s all that we want. We want to pay the respect to that veteran and when that family comes up after the service and thanks us for being there that’s all that we really need,” said Pursley.

“When you do those that have been missing for 75,80 years and they finally recognize them and let the families know okay your family member is coming home, and you’re there to be a part of that, that’s unbelievable, said Captain Barrett.

Many members say being a part of the Patriot Guard Riders has also given them a place to call home.

“They are all prior first responders, prior military from all the branches, and I fit in... I found my home,” said Arcement.

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