Patriot Guard Riders return from Chris Kyle funeral to help Texo - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Patriot Guard Riders return from Chris Kyle funeral to help Texoma family

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GAINESVILLE, TX -- Before the family arrives at a funeral for a veteran, often times, men who never even knew him are already there.

"It's important to me to get here early to these missions," Charles Zikowsky said. "It's definitely no sweat off my back. It's the least I can do for this gentlemen."

The men are members of the Patriot Guard Riders.

Hundreds of them, including many from north Texas and southern Oklahoma, held American flags at the funeral for Navy Seal Chris Kyle this week.

"We actually were on the field. We surrounded the family and close friends with flags," north Texas PGR member Carl Feltner said.

Feltner says he was in Arlington when he received an e-mail from the family of Roger Hill asking Patriot Guard Riders to attend his funeral in Gainesville on Wednesday. Dozens of people turned out for the service to honor the 45-year-old Gulf War veteran who was killed in a car accident on Saturday.

His daughter says it was important to her for the riders to be there. "It means to me that two of my dad's favorite things in this world, both serving in the military and his love for motorcycles come together to pay a tribute to him," Rachel Boyd said.

From Gainesville, the riders traveled 30 miles north to Marietta, Oklahoma where members of the southern Oklahoma Patriot Guard Riders had already set up flags for the burial.

Despite having just returned from a 200 mile ride to Arlington hours earlier to honor the Navy Seal, the Patriot Guard Riders revved up their engines and rolled out their flags once again to stand guard outside Hill's funeral. The point, they say, is to honor the veteran and protect the family as they grieve.

"This is my way of honoring all of those veterans who went out and made life free for me in this country," Zikowsky said.