Patriots will gather to honor soldiers

Bullhead Patriots co-founders Rich Poliska and Heather Ching have issued a challenge to about 450 county residents who have signed up to participate in organization events.

Navy Corpsman Dustin Burnett, a 2006 graduate of Mohave High School in Bullhead City, is attached to a Marine Corps unit deploying around April 1 to Afghanistan. A deployment celebration for him is planned at 3 p.m. Saturday at American Legion Post No. 87 at 2249 Clearwater Drive in Bullhead.

"The Patriot Guard Riders has really stepped up and we have gone from an average of 20-30 escorters to 50-60," Ching said. "But we need more people waiting at the event site for the escorters and heroes with flags, signs and smiles."

Staging for Patriot Guard Riders will be at Highway 95 and Boundary Cone Road at 1 p.m.

Residents who support our troops are encouraged to arrive before 3 p.m. at the American Legion Post with signs, banners and flags of support.

Members of another Marine unit are due to arrive in Mohave County this weekend and will attend the event as well, Ching said.

The Bullhead Patriots conduct deployment and welcome home celebrations for military personnel returning or headed overseas.

"We hope to see a lot of new faces there," she said. "Remember, talk is cheap - actions speak louder than words."

Ching may be contacted at (928) 542-6807.

Residents also are invited to welcome home Navy Aviation Ordinance Seaman Christopher Till on Saturday. Till is attached to the aircraft carrier US Dwight D. Eisenhower and is returning following deployment to Afghanistan and Somalia, said Jim Smith, his father.

Patriot Guard Riders will escort Till from the Fireside Lounge at 1716 Hoover St. in Kingman between 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to VFW Post 3516 at 2826 Wikieup Ave. arriving around 4 p.m., Smith said.

He added that Colorado River Ford will loan his son a car during his leave in Kingman, and the VFW Post will give Till a one-year membership.