Sunday, September 6, 2009

SFC Ronald W. Sawyer

SFC Ronald Sawyer was killed on August 25, 2009, in Afghanistan, at the age of 38. [see post dated September 2 for details] He was laid to rest on the wind swept grassy plain of the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery on September 5, 2009, at 1:50 PM.

Earlier that morning, a funeral was held for SFC Sawyer at Heights Assembly of God Church in Austin, Texas.

Over 60 Patriot Guard Riders, from all over central Texas, rode their motorcycles to the funeral home, and formed a line of American flags, to honor this hero.

After the funeral, the Riders rode in the funeral procession, as a group, for the 75 mile drive to the cemetery at Killeen, Texas. Another 40 individuals were staged at the cemetery with American flags.

The last leg of the trip, on State Highway 195, took the procession past the entrance to Sun City, Texas and through the town of Florence. At the entrance to Sun City, residents of that retirement community lined both sides of the highway. They were dressed in red and white, and held American flags and signs that said “thank you’.

As the procession passed through Florence, American flags lined the highway and it seemed that every resident of the town lined the highway. The Chief of Police and his son, a soldier, stood in the main intersection. As the procession arrived at the cemetery, Patriot Guard Riders, American Legion Riders, spouses and children, formed a line of American flags on both sides of the roadway, through which the hearse passed.

As the committal service began, an enveloping flag line was formed around the Commitment Shelter.

Full military honors were rendered for SFC Sawyer; the playing of taps, three volleys of fire by seven rifles and the folding of the flag that covered the casket.

A Brigadier General of the United States Army presented flags to SFC Sawyer’s wife, son, mother and father.

SFC Sawyer was transported to his final resting place, leaving wife, son, parents, and numerous relatives and friends to cherish his memory.

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.

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