Kieffer Patriot Guard at VFW ceremony

Indiana Patriot Guard Southeast Region senior ride captain Tim Kieffer (center of center row wearing maroon cap and colorful vest) was applauded at a recent Batesville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3183 meeting by (front row from left) Jim Wagner, Tom Williams, Ed Gerdowsky, Steve Doerflein, Cliff Meer; (center row) Patriot Guard members Josh Bannister, Dave Tscheulin, John Griffioen; Commander Del Williamson, Don King, Logan Johnson, Al Federick; (back row) Jerry Eckerle, Dallas Suding, Steve Kramer, Andy Weisenbach, Joe Wietlisbach, Tom Fritsch (mostly obscured from view), Denis Schutte, Bill Wintz, Joe Miller and Bart Pfautz.

Batesville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3183 members presented Tim Kieffer with a letter of appreciation Jan. 14 “for his selfless dedication as a leader and organizer” of the Indiana Patriot Guard Southeast Region, said post Commander Del Williamson.

He explained, “For those not familiar with the Indiana Patriot Guard Riders, they are comprised of an all-volunteer group of men and women from all walks of life, many who are not veterans, whose primary mission is to escort local fallen servicemembers to their final resting places in the communities where they once lived or grew up in.”

The letter noted, “Indiana Patriot Guard Riders have shown unwavering support during an extremely emotional and difficult time for the families” of deceased military members. “Your organization flawlessly performs its mission well over a dozen times each year, in all manner of weather, devoting a day away from your own families and asking for nothing in return. In most cases, you perform this service for an individual you have never known. This puts you and your organization in a very unique position, one that is truly enviable. For that one day, you and your team become family with the family of the fallen and they become your family. It might be for only a few hours, but as you well know, it might last a lifetime.”

Williamson pointed out, “But the Patriot Guard Riders do much more throughout the community that goes unnoticed. For one, if you have ever attended any patriotic event in Batesville, whether a Memorial Day celebration at Liberty Park or the annual Fourth of July VFW cookout in front of Kroger and noticed all the U.S. flags set up in neat rows, that’s through the efforts of the Patriot Guard.

“We as a veterans organization are very lucky to be associated with this incredible group of individuals,” he concluded.

Anyone who wants more information on the Indiana Patriot Guard can contact Tim Kieffer at tkief@yahoo.com or go online at www.inpatriotguard.org.

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