Military stories from past to present, both wars.

A Hero is buried

September 6th, 2006 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

This is from one of my Crew. A great American who my wife and I were able to meet up in York Neb while on vacation. Her story tells the simple tale of how a hero should be taken care. We need more great Americans like the Patriot Guard Riders as well!!!
Semper Fi,

Today I attended the funeral of SSG Jeffrey H. SSG H. was killed in Iraq when the humvee he was riding in flipped over and went into a canal. He was the only fatality.

This was the first military funeral I attended. Knowing the proximity of the Kansas church group who protests military funerals, I was so glad to hear that the Patriot Guard Riders would also be in attendance. What a phenomenal group of people.

I took water, pop, and munchies to the staging area for the PGR and had the opportunity to talk to several members of the group. One of the riders had left at 3am to drive all the way here for the funeral a 4.5 hours ride. The group assembled at the fairgrounds at 8:30am. It was such an awesome sound to hear them coming down the road. They were surprised that I was there to greet them which really surprised me. I would think that anywhere they went, someone would be there to say thank you to them for taking time off from work to ride for a fallen warrior. Many of them had sons who were in the military. One has a son in the Marines just back from Iraq who will be deploying again in July 2007. One has a son in the Army who just deployed three days ago. Several guys I talked to were Vietnam vets. One is a Marine who is getting ready to retire after 22 years in the service. Again…such a phenomenal group of guys I had the privilege of meeting.

The protestors were here of course. One of the locals and one of the protestors got into a verbal confrontation. I guess it got pretty heated. I couldn’t see them, but you could hear them singing their filthy songs. As soon as the PGR heard them, first one, then two, then more came over and started their bikes up. What a beautiful sound! That silenced the protestors…the roar of approximately 100 gorgeous motorcycles.

The church is across from the elementary school and the teachers had lined the schoolyard fence with flags. When the funeral procession left for the cemetery, the kids, who were just finishing up with their lunch recess, stood along the fence with their hands over their hearts. It was really nice to see that.

I would imagine there was over 300 people at the funeral. It wasn’t as big as I had thought it would be. The service was decent. I don’t care for the minister who gave the service, but it was ok overall. The PGR had their flags at the burial site. As the 21 gun salute and then taps sounded, you could hear the sniffles..not just from me, but from the veterans I was standing with. This was one of the most incredibly touching things I have ever witnessed.

My boss…the idiot….asked me this morning when I stopped into the office….”What’s the big deal? What’s with all the notoriety? He’s not a local kid.” Now you know why I really dislike my boss. He just doesn’t get it. If you’re ever in Nebraska, I’d be more than happy to introduce you to him and let you explain it to him.

Rest in Peace, SSG Jeffrey H. Thank you for your service. May God bless your family, and may He keep safe those in your unit who still fight in Iraq.

God Bless the USA!