The day started out very hectic as I was trying to stay in contact with (4) members that I knew were making the trek from the metro out to Ortonville to be in the escort at my request (and with permission from the local RC). We were to meet at the funeral home at 1:30 in order to sign in, get briefed and give me time to get back to the farm for the staging. As time drew closer, the pacing began. At one point the funeral director (family friend) told me I was wearing a path in the sidewalk and needed to calm down. Imagine if you can the calming effect that came over me when I heard the rumble of the bikes coming down Main Street. The Cavalry had arrived..
Once the route and other items for the day were finalized I left for the staging area, and was completely overwhelmed when I got there. There were an additional 14 members waiting there. They briefed, said the pledge and were on their way to set the Flag Line. 2 lines were formed so the family would be comforted on both sides, and what a calming effect it was, as I stood watching the Flags Flowing in the breeze waiting for my wife and my in-laws to arrive, because today I would be on the other side of the line.
Once the service was done myself and the other family members walked both lines thanking the members who had taken time from their schedules to come and show respect and pay silent tribute to a great man, and family. It was hard to walk the line and see familiar faces (my brother (Alex Member) and fellow metro members) standing in the line telling me it was an Honor to be there. These are words we as members have said countless times on the line, but until you are on the other side "hearing" them you don't realize the impact they have.
During the luncheon at the Home Site a lot of the conversations evolved around the Patriot Guard and the impact that was felt by the family. Words like "Breathe Taking", "Awesome", "Unbelievable", and "Emotional" were a few that were used to describe the members dedication to our Military and their families.
I have been on the receiving side of the line for both my father, and father in-law, in a very short time frame, and I can tell you first hand that seeing the flags flying, the members standing in silent tribute, and the respect shown for someone they do not know is one of the most calming and emotional feelings you will ever experience.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the continued dedication to our Military past and present, as well as their family members. I know my father in-law was looking down on Saturday with a smile on his face.