Presence of Patriot Guard Riders Felt in Many Ways
During the last year, the Patriot Guard Riders of New York have attended some 400 funerals; the majority of them funerals of veterans.
They were there on Monday, leading a 40-mile escort for Army Sgt. Shaina Schmigel, from the airport in Buffalo to Medina to Batavia. Schmigel died in a paratrooper training accident in May at Fort Bragg.
“We recognize them as heroes. You know, they sacrifice in the line of duty. It’s very important to us, our firemen, and police officers, and those who just put it all on the line for us,” said Dave Kern, Patriot Guard rider.
In addition to attending funerals, the group is also honored to host the second annual Heroes Run Fundraiser this Saturday in Rochester. The ride will include a stop at the West Webster Fireman’s Memorial dedicated to fallen firefighters Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka. The two died during an ambush Christmas Eve in 2012.
The second stop will be at the CDS Monarch Veterans Monument. Proceeds will benefit Help on the Homefront and the New York Warrior Alliance – programs that helps the military community.
“We’re honored to be able to do this stuff. The recognition, the families how touched they are to have complete strangers there for them. That’s just something that until you experience it, it’s hard to explain, a beautiful thing,” Kern said.