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Patriot Guard Riders on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

Patriot Guard Riders on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

by November 9, 2014

Story & photos by: Sandie Schlett Biloxi MS

Hello I’m Sandie Schlett.  Senior Ride Captain for the Patriot Guard Riders on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, American Red Cross Volunteer, wife of an Air Force Veteran and mom of 3 active duty military! One of the most important things I learned from my mother was to be a giver and to serve and help others as you are able. I remember helping my mom get care packages ready to mail. We popped so much popcorn in a skillet on the stove and used it like packing peanuts! My hope in doing this article is to inspire others to do their part, however small in making our country and our world a better place.

I have tried to give back in many ways over the years, but I feel like I have found my place honoring our military. My father was in the Army in WWII and three of my six brothers were in the Navy.  My Uncle was Navy and a first cousin was a Seabee. Another cousin was in the Army during Vietnam and was killed in action at the age of 23. Another cousin is currently serving in Afghanistan as a Lt Colonel in the Air Force. My husband retired after being in the Air Force for 21 years. We have 5 children and three of them are active duty military. It is hard having them far away and not getting to see them too often. Thanks to technology we can connect with them better than my parents could my brothers back in the 70’s. We are so proud of them and know firsthand the sacrifices they make.               I started riding my motorcycle with the Patriot Guard Riders in 2012. The Patriot Guard Riders is a National Organization made up of 100% volunteers. We provide flag lines and escorts to cemeteries with motorcycles for Fallen Military Heroes, Law Enforcement, First Responders, as well as Veterans. We go to services at the request of the family. With two military bases here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast along with the VA and Biloxi National Cemetery, this is a busy area. There was a need for a leader here on the coast, and earlier this year I accepted the position. I’m the Senior Ride Captain for the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I must say as hard as it is sometimes, it is so very rewarding. It is a blessing and an honor to do what I do. I have met so many wonderful people and families and heard so many stories. People are so grateful that we came, and are so moved that we took the time to honor their loved one.

Freedom Isn’t Free but membership to the Patriot Guard is. No meetings, no dues, and you don’t have to be military or ride a motorcycle to join us in honoring America’s Heroes.   Go to www.PatriotGuard.org to join and/or contact me at PGRGulfCoastSandie@gmail.com

“There is no greater reward than working from your heart, and making a difference in the world.”-Carlos Santana

28July Carlis Sullivan (1) 28July Carlis Sullivan (4) Biloxi National Cemetery (3) IMGP2846