Osgood man among Patriot Guard Riders who participated in ceremony on Wednesday

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

Ed Schmidt of Osgood, was among the Patriot Guard Riders who participated in the departure ceremony of the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team on Wednesday, January 2 in the RCA Dome in Indianapolis.

The 114,000 member strong national organization was the only civilian entity invited to take part in the event, according to Schmidt.

The local veteran said the organization was begun two and a half years ago by a group of American Legion motorcycle riders in Kansas. Their primary focus in the beginning was to combat those who would protest at military funerals. “We serve as a shield for the grieving families,” Schmidt told The Versailles Republican.

Schmidt said while they haven’t heard much from the protestors recently, the riders attend many military funerals at the request of the family showing respect for the deceased and serving as a support for the family.

Patriot Guard Riders displayed their patriotism with pride and were posted at the entrances to the dome before the ceremony began. Standing guard displaying large American flags, several members lined the curtain that later opened to dispel thousands of soldiers who marched onto the floor, where they were the guests of honor.

Schmidt was one of 40 members who attended a funeral at Westport last Saturday, December 29 where 16 of the members rolled in on motorcycles despite the cold temperatures. Schmidt is a member of the Osgood American Legion and the Lawrenceburg American Legion Riders. To find out more about the organization, you can go online: patriotguard.org.

Ed Schmidt of Osgood, was posted at one entrance to the RCA Dome. He is a member of the Patriot Guard Riders.