When our military men and women are killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, a rapidly growing group back home hopes to send an important message to their families.
The Patriot Guard Riders is made up of thousands of motorcyclists. Their goal is to honor fallen soldiers at funeral services across the nation.
News on 6 anchor Craig Day talked with their executive director who lives in Green Country.
When a fallen soldier is brought home, chances are members of the Patriot Guard Riders will be there. Their goal is to show respect for fallen heroes and their familes.
Executive Director Jeff Brown says, "You don't even have to ride a motorcycle to the patriot guard riders. The only prerequisite is that you do have an unwavering respect for our men and women in uniform."
Patriot Guard Riders started with a loose group of motorcyclists. It is now an organized and coordinated effort which has grown to more than 2,500 members in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
"It's just unbelievable the support that we're getting across the country," says Brown.
Brown lives in Broken Arrow. He says the group is not a protest or counter-protest organization. But riders will work to protect mourning family and friends from interruptions created by protestors if the family asks them to.
"I can't think of any circumstance that is any more personal than burying a loved one," says Brown. "And any type of protest is absolutely incredible to me. That someone could do that."
In a few cases, the motorcycle riders have revved their engines to drown out protestors.
"These young men and women have fought and died for the right of these people to demonstrate and we recognize that and we appreciate that, but it's just not the time and place," Brown answers.
They say it is a time for respect, and a place for a solemn tribute to those who've served and died for their country.
The Patriot Guard Riders website has had two million hits in the past 30 days.