HONORING A VETERAN WITH ALZHEIMER’S

Honor Guard Veteran pin

Following Ken’s funeral, because he was a WWII Veteran, I received this logo coin from the Riders in honor and in memory of my husband Ken.

HONORING MY VETERAN TWO YEARS AGO

November 11, 2016 – When you’ve been married most of your adult life, it feels like forever. Yet when one spouse passes to the other side and the years continue, that time afterward also feels like forever. It’s been just two years since Ken passed on to the other side. The grief subsides, but the missing of your best friend and loving companion never goes away.

I was pleased with the day we all said our goodbyes to our veteran husband/friend/father. Our children shared remembrances of him as they recalled their fun-loving father and his endless stories. Ken loved his time in the Navy and the years before sailing on a sea-going tugboat with the Merchant Marines where the little craft towed portable dry docks from island to island in the South Pacific.

Our son Keith spoke of his years as Scout Master for our local church troop, pack nights, and the memories gleaned by other young men as he praised their accomplishments and earned badges.

THE PATRIOT GUARD RIDERS ESCORT

With the church services over we were escorted to the cemetery by the Patriot Guard Riders. Perhaps you have seen them on Facebook or other social media. Often when people notice all of the riders on motorcycles their first thought is a group of Hell’s Angels. Some of the riders may belong to that club or other clubs, but when you see them as part of a funeral procession, all carrying flags, they are Patriot Guard Riders. These men come from all walks of life: doctors, lawyers, accountants, tinkers, tailors, cowboys and maybe even some sailors. The commonality they share, however, is they are all veterans, many of whom were Vietnam Vets. If ever there was a group of honorable men and women who should have had the thanks and recognition of a grateful nation it was the veterans from that unpopular war,but it was not forthcoming from the American people. A returning Army nurse from a field unit mentioned that she had been spat upon by a citizen when she walked down the street in uniform. The vets began to organize vowing that every vet should and wuld be honored. If circumstances had been different with Ken, and Alzheimer’s had not been a part of his life, I truly believe that he would have been a part of the Patriot Guard Riders.

COUNCILMAN KEVIN AND SOMETIMES MAYOR OF OAKLEY, CA.

As a councilman for his small city in Contra Costa County, CA., Councilman Kevin , our oldest son,and his committee organized and brought about a Veterans’ Memorial section to their Town Square. To cover the cost. families were invited to purchase a brick which would be engraved with the veteran’s name and service. The bricks were laid as the flooring for the outdoor memorial. The Patriot Guard Riders were part of the dedication. It was  Kevin who asked if I wanted a flag escort to see Ken to his final resting place. I thought it would be something my husband would have treasured, so Kevin made the contact and the men on bikes with flags were there for the escort.

I’ve seen the Riders on social media as they escort human remains of military personnel from the airport to a final resting place throughout the U. S. , as well as a small-town veteran, the Riders once again giving their final salute to one of their veteran brothers.

If you happen to see them, give a thumbs up and a thank you sir, for your service. It’s never too late to show your gratitude.

Originally posted 2016-11-11 20:32:55.

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