Sunday, August 30, 2009

Staff Sgt. Clayton P. Bowen

Tuesday morning, August 18, 2009, Staff Sgt. Bowen was riding in a Humvee with four other soldiers to provide security for Afghanistan’s presidential election when it hit an improvised explosive device. The explosion killed Staff Sgt. Bowen and Pfc. Morris L. Walker. The three other soldiers were injured.

Staff Sgt. Bowen was deployed to Afghanistan in February, 2009, and was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division. He joined the Army at the age of 17. He was scheduled to return home in September on leave, and would have been home for his 30th birthday. Instead, he made his last trip home on Monday, August 24.

Left to cherish his memory are his Mother, step-father, step-brother, grandparents and numerous other relatives.

Funeral services were held at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas on Friday, August 28.

Members of the Patriot Guard Riders participated in the final honors rendered. Over 160 motorcycle riders rode as a group in the funeral procession from the funeral home to the cemetery. Approximately 25 other members were staged at the cemetery with American flags and cold water. When the motorcycles arrived, over 200 people formed lines of American Flags on both sides of the street, at shelter four.

At noon, a caisson bearing the remains of Staff Sgt. Bowen passed between the flag lines, and delivered his casket to shelter four for the rendering of full military honors.

At the completion of the honors, the American flag covering the casket was folded. It was presented to Staff Sgt. Bowen’s mother by Brigadier General Manuel Ortiz, deputy commander of U.S. Army South.

The ceremony was covered by local television stations and the newspaper.

Patriot Guard Riders Mission Statement

“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. 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. If 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. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives.

1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.
2. Shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protester or group of protesters.

We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.

To those of you who are currently serving and fighting for the freedoms of others, at home and abroad, please know that we are backing you. We honor and support you with every mission we carry out, and we are praying for a safe return home for all.”

Please learn more by visiting our web site.

Photos - Flag line, shelter four and the cemetery.

1 comment:

  1. Honoring those who have fallen; honoring those who stand and carry on. God bless those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and those who honor them. May all our men and women in uniform return safely to their loved ones here at home as soon as the work is done.