to honor the service of Sgt Suter began at our staging
area in west Wichita at the Quik Trip. The short notice
had us questioning the turnout we would receive, but as
has happened so many times in the past two years, our
patriotic Kansans began arriving early and kept coming
until approximately seventy-five motorcycles and about
10 four-wheelers assembled.
rider to arrive from out of town traveled over 225 miles
from Stockton, Kansas to show his respects. Other long
distance riders came from Overland Park and Salina.
Local American Legion Riders and just good hearted
people from Post 4 (Wichita), Post 18 (Arkansas City),
Post 68 (Hutchinson), Post 81 (El Dorado), Post 106 (Larned),
Post 136 (Mulvane), Post 256 (Wichita), Post 401
(Wichita), Post 406 (Andover), and Post 420 (Rose Hill)
rounded out our group of supporters (if I missed anyone
please accept my apologies).
(Jarhead – new alias Deer Killer) Allen and Leroy
Perkins were instrumental in lining up bikes and passing
our flags. Many others pitched in and made this run
short briefing, our mission began. Although our ride to
the Resthaven Mortuary and Cemetery was only about a
mile, we had to cross traffic on busy Maize Road and
merge onto heavily traveled Kellogg Street. A special
thank you goes out to Mike Shock for putting together a
team of Road Guards who ensured our safe ride. They all
did a superb job.
arrival at Resthaven, Jarhead was already in place with
3 X 5 flags mounted on 10-foot poles. Everyone pitched
in and lined the front entrance to Resthaven. A breeze
kept the flags a flying and provided an awesome sight.
Three of our riders stepped up and volunteered to open
the doors for arriving family, friends, and military
guests. Terry (Darkhorse) Houck and I placed a
certificate and signed Army flag in the viewing area as
our recognition to Sgt Suter for his service to our
after the services started and everyone had arrived, the
next part of our mission was to roll up the flags and
move our procession to the grave site. Everyone then
had a few minutes to find some shade and take a break
before again getting a flag and forming a semicircle
around the area of the grave site. The wind whipped the
flags on the bikes and on the poles as the Army marched
from Resthaven. Many favorable comments were received
from soldiers about how moving it was to see all the
(Charlie Lies), bugler, honor guard, firing squad, and
military procession performed to perfection.
honor of mine was to present Sgt Suter’s wife, Julie,
with an American flag. As is our procedure, we present
the flag that is flown on the lead bike to her on behalf
of the Patriot Guard and in honor of her husband. We
encourage her to display this flag in any way she
desires and to use it for special occasions she deems
thanks go to each and every person who supported our
mission. Everyone stepped up when another member needed
some water or a break from the heat. A team of
professionals is my best description of how everyone
performed today. It was especially encouraging to see
all our first timers. Thank you for standing beside us
and showing your respect. The parents who brought their
children to stand along with everyone are to be
commended as well. You have set an excellent example
for our future leaders and provided them with an
experience they will remember for a lifetime.
mentioned earlier, everyone made this a mission of
honor. Darkhorse, Jarhead, Leroy, and all of you –
thank you! A final thank you goes to Cregg (Bronco)
Hansen for having faith in me to be your Road Captain.
You made my job easy.
As we go
back to our routines, please keep all our soldiers, like
Sgt Ralph Suter, who battle to protect our freedoms,
foremost in your prayers. God bless Ralph, his family