Patriot Guard Riders honored by military families - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Patriot Guard Riders honored by military families

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REINBECK (KWWL)-- The Patriot Guard Riders are well known for supporting the troops, including the escort and color guard for military funerals.  Sunday, families of two fallen soldiers paid tribute to them for that support.

"We hate the lime light to be right honest with you," said Charlie Neill of the Patriot Guard Riders.

The Patriot Guard Riders are humble about their mission to support the troops and families of fallen soldiers.

"These boys are over there giving their lives for us, it's the least we can do to show a little honor and respect for them," Neill said.

And military families sincerely appreciate what the Patriot Guard does.  Earlier this year, the riders provided a funeral escort for Sgt. Major John Laborde after he died while training in Afghanistan.  Three years ago, the guard was there to support the family of Spc. Travis Vaughn following his death in an Afghanistan helicopter crash.  Sunday, the two families came together to honor the Patriot Guard for all they do.

"For me, I've just been really upset the last couple of weeks about the cult from Kansas that has gotten so much news media; when you turn around and look on the other side of it and what the Patriot Guard Riders do at those funerals to keep the cult from bother the family.  They're just an amazing group of people," said Kandie Vaughn, step-mother of Spc. Travis Vaughn.

So the families served the riders a meal and presented them with a check to help the group carry on its mission.

"It takes a lot of gas to get these guys from point A to point B, because they're not just doing it in the state of Iowa.  It's all over the nation.  So we did this to say our thanks and help offset some costs of fuel and lodging for these guys," said Shawn Laborde, son of Sgt. Major John Laborde.

But the Patriot Guard has opted to use the donation for another cause.

"We have some wounded soldiers here in Iowa, and we will be able to help some of them now with the donation these families gave us," Neill said.

And while they're helping those soldiers recover, they'll still keep riding to support the fallen and their families.

The Patriot Guard also had special gifts for the Laborde and Vaughn families, including pins depicting their fallen soldiers and Patriot Guard flags signed by all the riders.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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