The Patriot Guard Riders Mission Statement

Mission Statement:

The Patriot Guard Riders is a 100% volunteer, federally registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization which ensures dignity and respect at memorial services honoring fallen military heroes, first responders, and honorably discharged veterans.

Vision Statement:

The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security, including fallen military heroes, first responders, and honorably discharged veterans. If you share this respect, please join us.

We don’t care what you ride or if you ride, what your political views are, or whether you’re a hawk or a dove. It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your income is; you don’t even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect.

Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives:

1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.

2. Shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protester or group of protesters.

We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.

To those of you who are currently serving and fighting for the freedom of others, at home and abroad, please know that we are backing you. We honor and support you with every mission we carry out, and we are praying for a safe return home for all.

Welcome To The RGVPGR Website

Attention RGVPGR members and friends:

This blog site has been created to help spread the word about the local PGR and the services we provide and to share information regarding upcoming missions, past missions, and other events. Photos and other event descriptions will be posted here unless otherwise requested. Comments and suggestions are welcome. In keeping with the dignified mission of the PGR, please keep all comments respectful and bear in mind that others besides ourselves will be able to view this site. All comments will be moderated before being posted.

Monday, January 10, 2011

***ALERT*** Fallen Soldier From Zapata

RGVPGR members, take notice:

From The Monitor:

A Zapata man was one of two 10th Mountain Division Soldiers killed Friday in Afghanistan.

Pfc. Ira B. Laningham, 22, of Zapata and Spc. Ethan C. Hardin, 25, of Fayetteville, Ark,, were serving in Logar Province when insurgents attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire. Both were infantrymen from the 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, based in Fort Polk, La.

Laningham joined the Army in November 2009 and arrived in Fort Polk in June 2010 after completing training.

He was married Oct. 18, 2010, to Pfc. Stephanie Laningham, who he had met at Fort Polk and dated for only a few short months. The two were deployed to Afghanistan together four days later.

“He called me and told me he was engaged and said, ‘Mom, I think I’m in love,’” Laningham’s mother, Norma Cantu, said. “I didn’t get to attend, it was such short notice.”

Laningham told his mother not to worry—he and Stephanie were planning a big wedding at Disney World when they got back from Afghanistan.

Stephanie Laningham accompanied her husband’s body back to U.S. soil, arriving at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware Sunday night. She will get 30 days of emergency leave from her tour of duty and plans to spend at least part of that time staying with Cantu, who has only met her once.

Cantu said her son was a music lover who sang, played the trumpet and taught himself how to play the guitar. He enjoyed spending time with his family, including two brothers and a sister.

“Oh my gosh, they were a group,” Cantu said of her sons and their cousins.

Laningham’s brother Pfc. Joseph Cantu is also in the army, stationed in Oklahoma.

Cantu struggled to keep from breaking down in tears when she described how she and the rest of the family were coping.

“I’m trying to be strong because he didn’t want me to cry,” she said.

At Zapata High School, where he graduated in 2006, Laningham is remembered as a popular student who played in the school marching band and mariachi band. Principal Jose Flores said the school had to create a schedule so Laningham could fit in band, ROTC and advanced placement courses.

Sometimes, families of Zapata veterans would call the school to see if anyone could play taps at funerals, Flores said. While he was in high school, that person was always Laningham.

“He took a lot of pride in going and playing taps for the veterans,” Flores said.

Funeral plans have not been finalized for Laningham yet, because the family doesn’t know when his body will arrive in Texas, but Flores said the school will be ready to assist if asked.

“I’m sure we can find someone to play taps for him,” he said.

More info will be posted as I receive it.

Our thoughts are with the family of this brave soldier. Rest in peace, our brother.

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