Friday, August 22, 2008

Patriot Guard Mission

Yesterday I rode with other Patriot Guard Riders as part of an honor guard escorting a fallen Marine to his final rest. It was an emotional, moving event and I was grateful for the opportunity to participate in rendering honors to a local hero. Standing in the blistering heat for 4+ hours made me reflect on what the last few months of this Marine's life were like and the discomfort he endured in Afghanistan so that I could be free and safe here in the States. I couldn't help but imagine what it was like for his parents when they received the news that their son was gone. My heart was completely full of gratitude for this wonderful young man, his family, and the brave men and women who are still in the fight over there "in the sandbox."

When I got home last night, I held my own son close and thanked God for Lance Corporal Juan Lopez-Castañeda and his parents. As a father I would be proud to have my son serve, but I don't know if I could bear to lose him. My heart goes out to the Lopez-Castañeda family.

God Bless our military and their family members!

For a short video on yesterday's ride click on the following link:

For information on the Patriot Guard Riders go to:


RhondaLue said...


You can't imagine the comfort it brings to the family that you were there. When my cousin was killed in Iraq and we flew to NC for the service it was very moving and emotional to see these men and women stand in the hot sun for hours just to show respect and reverence for my cousin.

The patriot guard riders will ALWAYS be held in a soft spot in my heart for what they do...getting and wanting nothing in return. I'm honored to have a cousin who participates in these rides. Thank you,
cousin to Steven Elrod

Melinda Pink said...

Good for you Paul. It is awesome that you gave that service. Thanks! Hey I am still waiting on my ride:)

Tulsi said...

The Patriot Guard fill you with such awe to see. I've never seen anyone without tears to see them. What a great thing to be involved in. And such a humbling thing. My husband returned from Afghanistan A year ago August 24 with the Utah National Guard. There was one fatality in their group who went as ETT's. Great men. My son is now at Ft. Sill, OK for Basic Training. I know how you feel about your son. I sort of felt that my husband was old enough to take care of himself. Kass still needs some life experience. When asked why he would join given the times we are in, he just said "because it is the right thing for me to do." It's his heart. Thanks for what you do. I don't remember what the name of the Harley riders my dad rides with, but they ride for those who didn't come home.