American Legion Riders, American Legion Post 104, Aloha OR, Mike Graves Commander
The Patriot Guard Riders is a 100% Volunteer, Federally registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which ensures dignity and respect at memorial services honoring Fallen Military Heroes, First Responders and honorably discharged Veterans.
The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security including Fallen Military Heroes, First Responders and honorably discharged Veterans. If you share this respect, please join us.
"Not all Patriot Guard Riders can be Legion Riders, but all Legion Riders should be Patriot Guard"!
We don’t care what you ride or if you ride, what your political views are, or whether you’re a hawk or a dove. It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your income is; you don’t even have to ride.
The only prerequisite is Respect.
Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives:
We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.
To those of you who are currently serving and fighting for the freedoms of others, at home and abroad, please know that we are backing you. We honor and support you with every mission we carry out, and we are praying for a safe return home for all.
The group was formed in 2005 to shelter and protect the deceased's family against protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church, who claim that the deaths of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are divine retribution for American tolerance of homosexuality.
PGR members position themselves to physically shield the mourners from the presence of the Westboro protesters by blocking the protesters from view with their motorcade, or by having members hold American flags. The group also drowns out the protesters' chants by singing patriotic songs or by revving motorcycle engines.
Although initially founded by motorcyclists, the organization is open to anyone, regardless of political affiliation, veteran status, or whether they ride or not. The only prerequisite is "a deep respect for those who serve our country; military and first responders".
The Patriot Guard was established in Mulvane, Kansas, by Chuck "Pappy" Barshney, and Legion Riders at American Legion Post 136 in 2005. The founding members incorporated the organization as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in the State of Oklahoma on February 21, 2006.
The group's mission quickly expanded to include the funerals of law enforcement officers, fire department personnel, all first responders, and any active duty member or veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces from all previous wars and conflicts and is now largely focused on recognizing and honoring the sacrifices of dead service members as well as their families and loved ones.
As of March 2011, PGR reported over 220,000 members. In addition to their attendance at funerals, the group also greets troops returning from overseas at welcome home celebrations, deployment ceremonies, and performs volunteer work for veteran organizations such as Veterans Homes.
The group also assists families in financial difficulties with travel and housing arrangements and visits military hospitals to encourage and honor wounded service members of the United States Armed Forces.
The Chapter's initial mission under 'Patriot Guard Riders' and 'NW Flag Line' was 7 JAN 2020. Riders escorted Private Jerry Mallett USMC from Lebanon to Albany, and finally, from Albany to Portland, and then to his final resting place at Willamette National Ceremony.
January 7TH, 2020
Private Jerry Mallett USMC
January 28TH, 2020
Private Darel “Butch” Pierce USMC
February 5TH, 2020
Specialist Edward Francis Foerster USA
February 17TH, 2020
PO2 James Christopher Atkisson USN
February 21TH, 2020
SPEC 5 Terry Lee Morton USA