Letter: A special invitation to Kingman

With Memorial Day quickly approaching, we would like to remind the community of the importance of supporting our troops, both past and present. The Patriot Guard Riders invite the people of Kingman to participate and show their support for our troops.

Patriot Guard Riders were initially formed to shelter and protect the funerals of our military against protestors of the Westboro Baptist Church who claim the deaths of U.S. servicemembers in Iraq and Afghanistan are divine retribution for American tolerance of homosexuality.

At the request of the families, the Patriot Guard positions themselves to physically shield the mourners from the presence of protestors by blocking the protestors from view with their motorcade, or by having members hold American flags.

The mission of the Patriot Guard Riders expanded to include funerals of law enforcement officers, fire department personnel, all first-responders and any active duty member or veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces from all previous wars and conflicts, and is now focused on recognizing and honoring the sacrifices of deceased soldiers as well as their loved ones.

As of April 2008, the group throughout the United States has reported more than 190,000 members. In addition to their attendance at funerals, the group also greets the soldiers at "welcome home" celebrations, deployment ceremonies and perform volunteer work for veterans' organizations.

Patriot Guard Riders consider it their honor to escort our military. We know here in Kingman that there are many more people who would like to come out and support this group and do not know how.

You don't have to ride a motorcycle to be a member, just have the desire to honor our soldiers and their families for the sacrifices they give to keep us free.

This Memorial Day, May 31, help the Patriot Guard Riders by supporting those who have made the ultimate sacrifices that have given the rest of us the right of choice and freedom.

If you would like more information, please contact our local ride captains at lorenlars@yahoo.com or s.casey89@gmail.com, or go to the Patriot Guard Riders. Web site www.patriotguard.org for more information.

Renia Rohlfing

Patriot Guard Rider

Kingman