Veterans Voices

Patriot Guard Riders: Honor, respect, brotherhood

MIDDLEVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — A nationwide network of volunteers works to ensure our veterans feel respected and honored.

Patriot Guard Riders, Inc. maintains chapters all over the country, including in Michigan. Each takes on missions to show appreciation for members of the military, most often in the form of motorcycle escorts.

"Our first and most important ones are what's called honor missions," PGR Assistant State Capt. Mike Meyers explained to 24 Hour News 8 Saturday morning. "And those are funerals where we stand for our fallen."

The group also escorts service member sendoffs and welcome homes for those returning from deployment.

On Saturday, despite rain and cold temperatures, volunteers formed an escort for a Middleville veteran who will receive a new home through Homes For Our Troops.

"Sgt. Michael Gower, he stood for us so we're going to stand for him. It's really about that honor and respect and the brotherhood of being in the service. Although, you don't have to be a service member to be a PGR either. It's simply about being willing to do this," Meyers said.

Gower was injured while serving in Iraq. His family's new home will make it easier for him to get around.

Homes For Our Troops on Saturday hosted a community celebration for the beginning of construction. PGR escorted Gower to the party.

"Today is amazing just due to the fact that you get to see the community support that's there in the communities in supporting veterans and disabled veterans," Gower said. "It gives you those goosebumps, that pride. These individuals are dedicated."

24 Hour News 8 will have an update the Gower family once Homes For Our Troops completes its building project.


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