The Patriot Guard Riders are a diverse group of individuals with one thing in common: we all have tremendous respect for those who risk their lives every day, whether on American soil or abroad, in securing our Nation’s freedoms and liberties. We welcome those who do not ride motorcycles, those who are not veterans, and those who come from different states. We encourage those who share this respect to join us in support of all those that have stood for us.

We Honor Our Defenders, Veterans, First Responders & Their Families - We Stand

I Can Make a Difference By Simply “Being There”

Recently, I saw how a person can make a difference by doing something very simple, and it has inspired me to see how I can make a difference, too. So often, when you think about making a difference, you think of someone changing the world. But, in reality, making a difference can be something as simple as being there for someone who needs a person to lean on, or in this case, just being there to honor and show support for a fallen veteran.

In January of 1971, my grandfather, Lieutenant Colonel James Henry Ayres, was shot down in the Vietnam War. For the past 36 years he has been considered MIA, or Missing In Action. Then, on July 6th, my family received a call from the Joint POW /MIA Accounting Command informing us that they had found and identified the remains of the grandfather I never knew, as well as the remains of his copilot.

On August 10th, we finally got to have a funeral with full military honors in Pampa, Texas, which brought closure to my father’s, my grandmother’s, and my great-grandmother’s questions about their loss. Then on October 10, we held another graveside service at the National Cemetery here in Dallas, Texas to bury the common remains of my grandfather and his copilot. 1broughout both services, the caring and compassion of those who hardly knew my grandfather blew me away. These people included old childhood friends and acquaintances and the military detail out of Oklahoma who honored my grandfather with a 21-gun salute and a missing man formation flyover by F-16 jets. But, the people I really noticed were the men and women of the Patriot Guard motorcycle group who went out of their way to show their respect for a fellow war veteran whom they had never met. These people came a long way and took time out of their everyday lives to help us honor these fallen soldiers. For my brothers and me, it was an awkward feeling to not know how to feel about a funeral for a man we never knew, but who was still very closely tied to us. It just put into perspective how amazing it was that people who didn’t have any ties to these men came to help lay to rest James H. Ayres and Charles W. Stratton.

I will never forget the impression it made on me when I first saw the dozens of motorcycles approaching from behind me. When the group called the Patriot Guard arrived, we were waiting patiently in our cars for the funeral procession, when the thunderous roar of engines grabbed our attention. Dozens, or maybe even a hundred motorcycles, ridden by the Patriot Guard of past wars, led the procession. By the time we reached the graveside, most of the motorcyclists had dismounted their rides, adorned with flags, and were standing at attention, each one holding an American flag, waving proudly in the wind. I was very moved by the sight of these complete strangers honoring two other complete strangers.

Each of the men and women of the Patriot Guard showed me that making a difference doesn’t have to mean changing the lives of millions of people. It can simply mean being kind enough to put your life on hold to “be there” for two families searching for closure.

Nathan Ayres
2008

REQUEST US

The North Texas Patriot Guard Riders are honored to be invited to show honor and respect to our fallen or participate on patriotic community events honoring our military, first responders and veterans.

Our presence can be requested by anyone with the family’s permission. However, we must be invited by the family so contact with an immediate family member is required to obtain their invitation.

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JOIN US

A common misconception is that you must be a veteran or ride a motorcycle. This is simply not the case. While the majority of our members are veterans and do ride motorcycles, we have many who have never served a day in the military and many who attend missions in their vehicles we call “cages”. If you share our passion, please join us. Our common bond is an unwavering respect for those who risk their lives for America’s freedom and security.

Join Us

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 active duty military, first responders and honorably discharged veterans.

We are an organization whose volunteer members attend the funerals of members of the U.S. military, firefighters, and police at the invitation of a decedent’s family.  Our organization is made up from volunteers from across the nation and all walks of life.  Some of our ranks are veterans.  Some are retired professionals.  Some are doctors and lawyers.  Some of us ride motorcycles while the rest drive their cars and trucks.  You don’t need to be a veteran.  You don’t need to ride a bike.  You just need to respect what our veterans and first responders have done for us.

DONATE

The Patriot Guard Riders of North Texas thank you for your generous donation. Your commitment to helping show honor and respect to the families of our community is appreciated by those who stand the Flag Lines and most importantly, by those who benefit from our services. 

100% of all donations go directly to our veterans programs.

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UPCOMING MISSIONS

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