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Patriot Guard Riders a security risk?

I try to stay away from political commentary on this blog, but I am making this post for a few reasons.

  1. I recently read a news article that is still eating at me (to be discussed below)
  2. I have not made a post in a long time. I have been busy.
  3. There are a lot of things going on in this country that can’t continually be overlooked.
  4. This post is about dignity, dying , veterans and a motorcycle organization of honor.

Recently I stumbled across an post entitled Obama Tells Patriot Guard Get Lost. Yes, it is kind of an old article, April of this year, but not old enough to raise a valid concern over it. First off, the title of the post is a little misleading as no one apparently no for sure who called off the Patriot Guard Riders from being allowed. One thing was for sure the families of the 29 miners killed in a West Virginia mine accident asked for and welcomed the riders. Evidently so did the Governor of the state. So to set the scene a little better, on April 5, 2010 there was a huge coal mine disaster that took the lives of 29 miners. A memorial was planed for late April and the families of the miners asked the Patriot Guard Riders to attend and escort with honor their loved ones. Somewhere along the line a message was sent that the Patriot Guard were to “stand down” for this mission as Obama and Bidden were to attend. Again, no one has come forward with who actually issued the order, but I am sure it was relayed through the secret service.

Whoever made the decision is under a huge misconception on what this group of people stand for and exactly what it is that they do. They certainly would not have posed any type of a security risk for Obama, if anything security would have been tighter. They are a nationwide organization many of which are law enforcement officers and veterans. What possible threat could they have posed. Did they see them as a motorcycle gang, just because they ride motorcycles? Was there some sort of paranoia fear that some rival gang might ride in and have a big shootout? By far, the Patriot Riders are not a gang, they are motorcycle riders period. It is the mode of transportation that they choose and I speak from experience when I say that they add a great deal of honor and dignity to a funeral procession and memorial. My brother died on the streets a homeless vet in July of 2005. I asked the Sanford Chapter of Rolling Thunder if they would give my brother Lonny one last ride before I scattered his ashes in the water at the Veterans Memorial Park in Titusville. My brother loved and respected the grounds of this park and spent a lot of time there. On the day of his last ride along with Rolling Thunder there were also members of the Patriot Guard riders. I have the deepest respect for what they did that day and how they honored my Brother. I have some pictures of that day that I would like to share with you, this is what the Patriot Guard is

These people took the time out of their life to honor my brother and asked for nothing in return

over 30 motorcycles lined up for the memorial service

A short service was given before I set my brother free

 This is what the Patriot Guard Riders mean for me. They brought honor and dignity to the last ride and memorial service for my brother Lonny Odom. For the families of the 29 miners to be denied the same honor and respect was wrong. Whoever made the decision not to allow these people their rights were very wrong. My heart goes out to the 29 men who lost their lives and the loved ones they left behind. Now I share with you a documentary on the Patriot Guard Riders, who they are and what they stand for. How could these men and women have been considered a threat?

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So now those who did not know may be a little wiser as to not only the Patriot Guard Riders and groups like Rolling Thunder, but the entire biker community in general. Respect is always given were respect is due. One more video of a funeral escorted by the Patriot Guard below. This video brings chills to me, just to see the endless line of motorcycles following in honor of a fallen military hero that has paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

YouTube Preview Image

Thanks again to those who came out to honor my brother, this post has been a long time coming. You don’t have to support the war folks, but always support our troops!

Dedicated to my dearly loved brother Marvin Lonny Odom

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  • 5 Responses to “Patriot Guard Riders a security risk?”

    1. Micah Says:

      After working 2 Presidents, VPs, and their families multiple times from an air traffic contol perspective, I can tell you that the Secret Service wants everything to be choreographed down to the second. They mitigate risk by controlling variables. I think they saw a group of that size as a variable that they could not account for.

      I don’t believe it’s personal, nor do I believe that it was a slight to the PGR despite the linked article’s title and comments. I also doubt that the President was even aware that they were told to stay home.

      The Secret Service does not mess around when the President is on the move. They don’t have time to play politics either.

      The PGR is a great organization, and it is too bad that they couldn’t attend. However, when it comes to the safety of the President, the Secret Service doesn’t mess around, and they don’t care if feelings get hurt.

      Take care!
      Micah

    2. Mike Odom Says:

      Hi Micah,
      Thanks for the comment. I think we met in Daytona out on the loop one year?
      Any way, I am sure as I said that Obama was probably not the one or even aware of the shut down. I am sure it was the SS. Cindi and I recently visited DC for the Second Amendment March and we almost got hit by one of those famous black suburbans. Those guys open the gate turn on their lights and move! We were in the crosswalk on the west side walking back to the Washington memorial.

      I wouldn’t want to have their job, that’s for sure. I do wonder, given the choice, would those families preferred the PGR over Obama? I think there is a huge difference in someone who comes and brings honor to the memorial of your loved one vs someone who is playing it off for the media and to gain points in a poll. But that is all about politics.
      Air Force One is awesome! I recently got into a brush with the guys out at PAFB here in Florida because I saw a look a like 747-200 (one of four) that had landed out there. Silly me, I pulled over to take a picture with my IPhone and they were all over me.

      Stay Alert, Be Safe.
      Mike

    3. Monty Odom Says:

      This has been a long time coming Mike Thanks to all that made this possible
      for my Brother Lonny and all the familys that they do this for God Bless and THANKS AGAIN Monty Odom

    4. Micah Says:

      I think we did. The Loop is my favorite stretch of road anywhere.

      They certainly don’t mess around. As far as the choice, I think they would have preferred both be there, and if there was enough lead time for the Secret Service to be satisfied, I think it would have happened that way.

      I wouldn’t want any of their jobs. In politics, you’re darned if you do and darned if you don’t. If you go, it’s politically motivated. If you don’t go, you don’t care about what happened.

      The AF1 planes are amazing. I have a picture of myself (pre-9/11) standing on the ramp in front of AF1 when Bush was in town. We just walked up to the airplane while on duty at the tower. Of course, after 9/11, that stopped.

      The pics from your brother’s memorial were very touching.

    5. Mike Odom Says:

      Hey Bro!
      You are up pretty early. Glad you approve of the post and it has been overdue.
      I see you have your own web site going now : )
      Love Ya!
      Mike

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