When Sgt. Manny Arredondo returned to Kingman on Aug. 4 following a 12-month deployment to Iraq with the National Guard, he received a tribute for his service in the form of an escort from the Kingman Patriots.
Patriot members on 21 motorcycles and in two cars accompanied Arredondo, who rode in a Hummer with family members, to the American Legion Hall on Oak Street, where he presented a flag flown in Iraq to Mayor Les Byram. Byram once taught Arredondo in junior high school and was principal while he was there.
The procession included two representatives from the Patriot Guard Riders, an amalgamation of bikers from around the country who show an unwavering respect for those who risk their lives for America's freedom and security, according to that group's Web site.
"We were part of the Bullhead Patriots until I took over here last September," said Dianne Donenfeld, Kingman Patriots coordinator.
"We have 30-35 members."
The Kingman Patriots have no formal mission statement or Web site. Donenfeld may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com. Enter Kingman Patriots on the subject line, she said.
"Not only do we welcome home soldiers or attend their funerals, we also do it for policemen and firemen," Donenfeld said. "We're non-profit and receive no money. All of us furnish our own gear and vehicles."
The Aug. 4 escort was not the first for the Kingman Patriots. They previously escorted a funeral in town, along with Patriot Guard Riders, she said.
Anyone interested in joining the Kingman Patriots should notify Donenfeld and she will add that individual to her e-mail list. When an event comes up, she sends out an e-mail to all members, telling them of the time and location to assemble.
In addition to the e-mail address, Donenfeld may be contacted at 681-4591.
"It's not whether we agree with war," she said. "We support our soldiers, law enforcement and firefighters because they're the ones that keep us free."