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Frequently Asked Questions

This information applies to Kansas - home of the Patriot Guard

What is the purpose of the Patriot Guard? Is it the same as the Patriot Guard Riders?

The Patriot Guard is a mission* with one purpose - standing guard at funerals of Fallen Heroes to provide a shield between grieving families and protesters.
* Please read the Mission Statement on this web site.

We are not the Patriot Guard Riders. They are a different group with their own website.   They started at end of November 2005 after they attended two of our Patriot Guard Fallen Hero funeral missions.

A Fallen Hero is defined as a KIA or Casualty of War of the current wars, and Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters killed in the line of duty.

Our only mission is Fallen Hero funerals.  If the Patriot Guard is present, a Fallen Hero is being laid to rest.

Our motorcycle procession and our presence draws attention from the public and the media, but always remember - this is not about us.  We must strive to remain humble and reverent, keeping in mind the purpose of the mission.  This mission is about our Fallen Heroes and their families.  We have been invited by the Fallen Hero's family to attend the funeral as their guests.  We must keep our focus on the Fallen Hero and family.

Where are Patriot Guard chapters, and where can I attend a Patriot Guard meeting?

There are no chapters, and there are no meetings.  The Patriot Guard is not a club.

We do not wear backpatches, bar patches, or rockers on the backs of our vests that bear the words "Patriot Guard".   Such patches are not authorized by us, and are not approved by the Coalition of Motorcycle Clubs.
There are no "officers" of the Patriot Guard.   Persons wearing a patch bearing the words "Patriot Guard Officer" are not part of the Patriot Guard, and absolutely are not part of our leadership.

Who declares or establishes a Patriot Guard Fallen Hero mission - can anyone do that?

Only the Patriot Guard leadership team - State Captain and designated Ride Captains - has authority to declare a Patriot Guard Fallen Hero funeral mission, and ONLY if the family has personally invited the Patriot Guard to attend.  No other person has the authority to declare or establish a mission or to accept invitations on behalf of the Patriot Guard.   All invitations must be forwarded to the leadership.  If not in scope, it cannot be a Patriot Guard mission.

Why don’t I receive e-mails about other events like welcome homes, sendoffs, parades, parties, fundraisers, poker runs, and past-war veteran funerals? Does the Patriot Guard support those events?
The Patriot Guard mission is very limited - we stand guard at funerals of Fallen Heroes.  All other events are out of scope.
If you wish to participate in other veteran-support activities, then we strongly encourage you to join a Veterans Service Organization such as American Legion, Sons of American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, American Legion Riders, VFW, VFW Riders, etc.
The Patriot Guard does not include past-war veteran, retired military, and active military (non-KIA/casualty) funerals in our mission scope because those funerals are included in the mission scope of Veterans Service Organizations.

Where are the chat forums on the web site?
Does the Patriot Guard use Facebook and Twitter to post mission information?

We do not provide chat forums.   We DO NOT use Facebook and Twitter. All mission information is posted on this website and emailed to members.   We do not use blogs or chat forums.  Any other website or social media that claims to be "The Patriot Guard" is not sanctioned by us and is not associated with us - the original Patriot Guard.

How do I buy Patriot Guard merchandise, meaning pins, patches, armbands, hats, shirts, and other items?

We do not sell Patriot Guard merchandise. There is no merchandise store.
We do not authorize the sale of Patriot Guard merchandise by any person or organization.

Do I have to ride a motorcycle to be in the Patriot Guard?
Are 3-wheelers (trikes, Spiders) allowed?

No, you do not have to ride a motorcycle.  Yes, 3-wheelers are allowed.
You can drive your car or truck as long as the Ride Captain approves.
Be aware that parking may be very limited if you are not on a motorcycle.

Do I have to be a veteran to be in the Patriot Guard?

No, you do not have to be a veteran.  The Patriot Guard is a group of patriotic citizens who come together to support the Patriot Guard mission.  The only requirement is that you love and support our nation, the soldiers who fight for our freedom, and the Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters who protect our communities.  Some of us are veterans, some are active military, some are members of Veterans Service Organizations, and some are citizens who are none of the above.  Some ride motorcycles, and some do not ride.  We're all citizens and patriots who wish to honor our Fallen Heroes.

What am I expected to do on a funeral mission when I participate?

1. Read the itinerary prior to showing up for the mission.

2. Arrive at the staging area at the designated time so that you are present for the briefing.
Staging Crew Captains and Road Guards will direct you where to park.
They will direct motorcycles with flagpoles to one area, and motorcycles without poles to another.
Automobiles will be directed to another area and will follow the motorcycles in the procession.

3. Pay attention to the Ride Captain's briefing and follow instructions.

4. If you are a first-timer and are riding a motorcycle, ride at the back of the motorcycle group. Listen carefully to instructions from those in charge.

5. Be cautious and attentive when in the procession.  It is an emotional experience. Motorcycle trick-riding and unsafe practices are not allowed.

6. When standing in the flag line, be solemn and reverent.   You are there to stand guard and show respect to the Fallen Hero.   No smoking.  No cell phone calls or texting.  No chatting, joking, or horsing around.
Your cell phone should be on silent mode or turned off.
Step away from the line and move out of sight to smoke, visit, or use your phone.

7. Be self-sufficient and prepared - bring your own water and snacks, dress for the weather conditions. 8. Designated people will walk the flag line and offer to relieve you for a break.  If you wish to smoke, use your phone, or visit with someone, move away from the flagline, well beyond the church, mortuary, graveside, family, or guests.

What is meant by flag protocol?

The Patriot Guard missions follow the Department of Defense Flag Protocol.
Flag protocol means “proper placement, handling, and use of flags“.
   Placement:  order in which flags are flown.
   Handling: proper handling of flags in the flag line.
   Use of flags:  how the flags are mounted on moving vehicles.
We use the term “flag order” to refer to placement of flags in funeral processions.

This is not a matter of us expressing our personal preference.   Flag order as established by the D.O.D. applies to military and non-military processions.  We refer to it as military flag protocol because these are military funerals with full military honors.
“Flag order will be followed” means that the US flag always leads, and state flags are next.
Military branch flags follow, then organizational flags - all flown based on birth date.
The youngest organization's flag flies last. Organization flags should never precede the American flag.
Escort motorcycles for hearse and family cars may display the various flags listed above, but only in proper order. All other motorcycles with flag mounted must display the American flag.

We fly only one flag per motorcycle, for safety reasons.
To read more about flag protocol, check our Flag Protocol page on this site.

Why do you ask us to fly only one large flag on our motorcycle?

We request that you fly only one large flag on your motorcycle for uniformity and safety.
Safety - if it is a windy day, your flag could whip around into your face or the rider next to you.
The flag could also be blown against the wheel or chain of the motorcycle next to you.
Two flags compound the problem.  A single flag is easier to manage.

When I'm holding a flag, how do I stand at attention and salute?

You do not do a hand-salute when holding the flag.
When you are holding a flag and are called to attention, you stand at attention.
The flag pole is held upright with your right hand.
When "present arms" is called, you do not salute.   Standing at attention is your salute.
During prayer, and they say "uncover" while you hold a flag, you do not take off your hat.
Anyone not holding a flag can salute, if qualified to do so, or put his/her hand over the heart.
For example, Active Duty Military, Veterans, Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, will salute.  Those who have not served must put their right hand over their heart.

What sort of clothing should I wear?

Dress appropriately for a funeral or memorial service. We urge you to wear clothing that reflects respect and reverence for the Fallen Hero and family.
We encourage attendees to wear black. We discourage clothing such as tank tops, cut-off jeans-shorts, torn jeans, and anything else that is disrespectful to the grieving family and Fallen Hero.

If you are riding a motorcycle, wear protective clothing.  Many of us wear helmets, gloves, and leathers.
Leathers will be too hot in the heat of summer.
If you are driving an automobile, dress appropriately for the weather, but be sensible and respectful.

What should I do if the protesters jeer at us and make obscene gestures?

Turn your back and ignore them.  They want a reaction from you.  Don't give them one. Do not touch the protesters. You could be arrested and face legal processes.

How can I participate in Patriot Guard fundraisers?

The Patriot Guard does not have fundraisers.  We do not solicit donations.

We prefer that you donate to local charities that provide assistance to homeless veterans and homeless Americans, or to your local Veterans Service Organizations such as the American Legion / American Legion Riders, Disabled American Veterans, or Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Where can I get small flags to mount on my motorcycle, and a flagpole for the large U.S. flag?

You can buy the small flags locally at motorcycle accessory shops.  If you want a standard flagpole, you can buy 5-foot fiberglass poles at Lowes or Home Depot.

Following is a web site that sells standard poles and telescoping poles and flags.   If the site is unavailable, use a search engine and search for "hide-a-pole flag pole" or "flagpoletogo".

Click here for JTD Enterprises Motorcycle Mounts

What is the difference between a funeral service and a memorial service, and who determines which term is correct for a mission?

Some people use the terms interchangeably.  The traditional definition of each follows.
Funeral services  take place with the body or the ashes of the deceased person present.

Memorial services  traditionally are ceremonies without the presence of the body although an urn containing the ashes may be present.

Funerals are usually held immediately following death whereas memorial services may take place weeks or months after.  The terms "funeral" and "memorial" service are both used to describe the service of celebrating the life of the deceased.

Patriot Guard itineraries use the term that the family and funeral director use for that particular service. Several recent missions have been memorial services, based on the traditional definition, but were called funeral services by those who planned the services.
Some of the previous memorial services supported:
Spc Tom Moffitt, Chief Stanley Giles, PO2 Charles Milam, Sgt Joel Murray, Sgt Milton Gist, SSgt Henry Linck

Can my horse-riding club ride in a Patriot Guard procession?

No.  Due to safety concerns for horses and riders, as well as for the motorcycle riders, we do not allow horses in the procession.