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Bikers gather by the hundreds to drive deceased marine’s remains to family 2,000 miles away

They heard the fallen marine’s remains would be sent in a UPS box and knew they couldn’t let that happen.

Our armed servicemen and women vow to protect our country and the lives within it even to the point of death if they have to.

Considering the weight of that vow, it’s only right that we make sure they get the honor and respect of a proper ceremony to see them off when they make good on their promise.

That’s where Patriot Guard Riders come in.

Known as PGR for short, the Patriot Guard Riders are an organization that attends funerals for members of the military, firefighters, and police officers.

They also protect those funerals from protesters and harassment.

But that’s not all they do.

In addition to these good deeds, the Patriot Guard Riders pay their respects by attending funerals for indigent and homeless veterans.

When they’re not busy with funerals, PGR performs volunteer work for veteran’s organizations and host homecoming celebrations for troops returning from overseas.

The organization welcomes anyone who wants to join with open arms. In fact, a person doesn’t have to be a veteran or motorcyclist to join their ranks.

The only requirement, according to PGR, is a “deep respect for those who serve our country.”

As stated on their website:

“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 doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your income is; you don’t even have to ride.”

“The only prerequisite is respect.”

PGR was originally created to protect mourning veteran families from the Westboro Baptist Church.

Members of the WBC often protest and harass families attending veteran funerals, claiming soldiers’ deaths are “divine retribution” for the acceptance of homosexuality in America.

All in all, these protests are extremely disrespectful and hurtful to the grieving families – and, in an attempt to make a difference, PGR was born.

PGR learned about Staff Sgt. Jonathan Turner.

Turner had served seven tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and had later died in California from combat-related injuries a year after his retirement.

Unfortunately, the 41-year-old veteran’s family lived in Georgia and was unable to attend his funeral in California.

So, the California PGR stepped in to ensure that Turner’s remains would make their way back to his family in a respectable manner.

And they gathered in huge numbers.

“The California Patriot Guard Riders contacted all of the state captains from California to Georiga and explained the situation, that it wasn’t proper to ship this war hero home via FedEx,” Jeff Goodiel of the Georgia Patriot Guard Riders told Fox 5 Atlanta.

“Within days, a convoy was assembled with each state’s Patriot Guard Riders driving Turner’s cremated remains across their state and then passing those remains off to the next group of riders.”

The longest trip in PGR history

Hundreds of volunteers transported Turner’s remains more than 2,000 miles.

“It’s heartwarming, to see all these people here,” said Annie Glanton, Turner’s mother.

“I know that he was loved by a lot of people.”

PGR said Turner was worth the effort.

“Turner was a great leader who inspired his fellow Marines, both in the Corps and in daily life,” their website reads.

“You were his friend if you knew him for five minutes or five years. He would give you the shirt off his back.”

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