Patriot Guard Honored at Combat Air Museum

(Frank) And we’re back again. (Deb) So, Celebrity Pancake Feed at the Combat Air Museum. I got to flip pancakes next to Vice Commander Chris Turner, a great guy from the 190th. And it was just a fantastic time. I love the Combat Air Museum. I loved seeing all the veterans come through. It was just wonderful. And I just loved spending time with all those great folks. So, that’s their big fundraiser every year. So go out and support that. But afterwards there was a big salute to not only the 190th Air Refueling Wing that goes out all over the world, folks. They aren’t just sitting here in our backyard with the planes apart. They do stuff all over the world. But, also to the Patriot Guard and– (Frank) [clears throat] After the Iraq war, when they all returned home and they flew in formation into Forbes Field, I mean I still see that today in my mind and get chills. (Deb) [sighs] They’re an amazing group. (Frank) Yes. (Deb) And this is an amazing story. The Celebrity Pancake Feed at the Combat Air Museum had folks waiting in line a long time to help support the mission of this incredible museum. But this year, there was even more to look forward to. Once everyone was fed folks moved outside and congregated next to the KC-135 Stratotanker flown by the 190th Air Refueling Wing of the Kansas Air National Guard. Brown paper covered part of the nose and lots of folks on motorcycles lined up alongside. The brown paper covered the newly painted nose art honoring the Patriot Guard, the motorcycle riders who were organized to form a shield between families and protesters at military funerals, and later expanded to include fallen police officers as well. Vietnam veteran Terry Houck, who founded the Patriot Guard with his wife, Carol, told the crowd that he had been angered by the protests at funerals but the sign that read, Thank God for Dead Soldiers, was too much. No family in the midst of laying their loved one to rest should be subjected to that spectacle, he thought, and others agreed, and the Patriot Guard was born. From their website: The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security including Fallen Military Heroes, First Responders and honorably discharged Veterans. If you share this respect, please join us. We don’t care what you ride or if you ride, what your political views are, or whether you’re a hawk or a dove. It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your income is; you don’t even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect. Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Col. Jarrod Frantz, wing commander, told the assembly, the artwork honors those who rose up to serve something greater than themselves and to fight for those who fought for them. The artwork was primarily the work of190th Senior Airman Skylar Caldwell who talked about iconic nose art images familiar to most of us, the Flying Tigers or the Memphis Belle. The words PATRIOT GUARD were emblazoned over the image of figures standing with American flags and the phrase, Standing guard for our fallen heroes. It was cool, in the 50s, with threatening, heavy skies. I counted many friends among those gathered. I counted it an honor to flip pancakes beside the 190th’s vice commander, Col. Chris Turner. Col. Frantz and Chief Master Sergeant Von Burns were at the other end of the line serving sausage. These guys make me so proud that they represent Kansas to the world. We could not ask for better. God bless the Patriot Guard in their selfless, volunteer mission, and kudos for being honored on the nose of a plane that does good work around the globe