When creating this blog the original intent was to focus on my personal riding experiences since getting my Harley. This post is a bit off track from that intention but I was compelled to post it. Upon browsing some sites and videos I found a particular video that REALLY moved me. My personality is kind of hard, cold and non-emotional but I lost that composure when I saw this video. I have known about the Patriot Guard Riders and what they do as a riding group, even considered joining their missions when I could. I never did though. Something personal, fun, or selfish always comes up for most of us to make an excuse not to participate in humanitarian causes. It is in our human nature to be this way.
Then I watched this video and it gave me a deep understanding of the important role The Patriot Guard has with our veterans. The flag lines, funeral escorts, send offs, welcome home escorts, blocking off protesters, respect, and honor are all pieces of what this group is about.
Americans in general don’t appreciate the freedoms we have in our own country. We take our lifestyle for granted simply because we wear the citizenship tag. We have this idea in our head that we deserve the things we have and deserve the life of freedom we live. We rarely consider the sacrifices our soldiers have made both past and present which has helped create and defend our ability to “freely” abuse our privileged lifestyle.
I have not served in any branch of our armed services. There is some regret that comes with that because I enjoy the freedoms we have without having put my life in harm’s way to attain that freedom. I have however lived and travelled across a good portion of the world. Living and going to school in Belgium, Holland, and Egypt allowed me to see and involve myself with other lifestyles, cultures, and freedoms that people outside America live in. Travelling Europe, the Middle East, and South America expanded my world view. From my experiences I can proudly say there is no other country in the world I would rather live in and be a citizen of than America.
Our military personnel both past and present who have fought for our freedoms are often forgotten or victimized by self-righteous, indignant, and ungrateful protesters. Our deceased veterans are often overlooked and forgotten and their funerals go unattended. The families of veterans, while suffering the loss of a loved one are sometimes harassed by ignorant and hateful protesters. The Patriot Guard was formed to combat these issues and have made an extraordinary positive impact by filling a serious need.
Watch the video from start to finish, don’t skip through it, take it in, reflect on what the speakers are saying, and feel their emotion and hurt. It is very powerful and will give you an appreciation for things you may not have considered being thankful for. I reflected on it for a good week, I just couldn’t get away from the feelings that were provoked. Yesterday I registered with The Patriot Guard and began receiving mission emails that I can attend if available. I work full time and have to in order to support my family so it is impossible to make every mission. I will participate in missions when I can though. At least in some way I can give back something to the families and soldiers that have given their life and defend the freedoms we all share.