Patriot Guard Riders in this area use those words over and over when describing why they are involved with the national organization that has attracted 56,000 members in its first year.
When Army Pfc. Tony Seig, 19, Sunman, was killed Sept. 9 in Baghdad, Iraq, his mother, Linda, wanted him to be remembered as a patriot.
Patriot Guard Riders gave her a way to do that.
Upon hearing the tragic news, member Tim Kieffer approached Rob Seig, Linda’s nephew, offering to assist with the funeral.
Rob contacted the grieving mother, who had already heard about a similar group’s reputation. A casualty assistance officer advised her, “You'll want their assistance. They're a good group to have around.”
Local Patriot Guard Riders invited the Seigs to a recent gathering in Batesville. When she arrived, Linda Seig demonstrated how much their actions before her son’s Sept. 17 funeral meant to the family.
One by one, she hugged Kieffer, Doug Graham, Tim Macyauski, Brian Greiwe, Ron Decker and Bob Narwold, Batesville; former neighbor Randy Zimmer, Lawrenceburg; and John Klimczewski, Dillsboro.
“Tim (Kieffer) and Doug did an awesome job getting things together” so PGR could accompany the soldier’s body from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to the Sunman American Legion Hall, according to Decker.
Rob Seig was comforted when he arrived at the airport. “It was kind of neat to see those familiar faces (of the Patriot Guard Riders) ... to see all the support that everybody was willing to give.”
About a dozen cyclists, organized by Kieffer, brought up the end of the procession. “It was an honor” to be a part of that motorcade, Macyauski recalls. “Sept. 9 meant something to me. That was my birthday. That whole day (of the funeral) standing around talking to everybody, you don't think of anything else. It was all relative to Tony. You see cars pulled off along the interstate, flags draped over bridges. I teared up several times .... It was the most impressive thing I've ever been associated with.”
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