Patriot Guard members honor and protect at funeral of soldier

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LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- Justin Sisson, the soldier from Overland Park killed while serving his country in Afghanistan, was honored Saturday by people who didn't know him personally, but who knew his heart and his loyalty to all he loved.

Members of the Patriot Guard were vigilant at Sisson's funeral. The Patriot Guard is a motorcycle group whose mission it is to honor servicemen and women and their families by keeping the peace at funerals, blocking protesters from disturbing those in mourning.

"We are here to show our support and protect the family from outside influences.  We are here to escort the family as well as our hero to his final resting place," said Deems "Doc" Peterson, a Patriot Guard founder.

Many who attended the funeral didn't know Lt. Sisson, but they were there to support his family and recognize his sacrifice.

Debbie Murchison-Perri, whose son died in Iraq, said the Patriot Guard's presence at her son's funeral was unforgettable.

"It's miles and miles of motorcycles and flags. We would drive down 435 and people would stand on the side and put their hand over their hearts or wait with flags," she said.

Thomas and Charlotte Dick lost their son Eddie in 2005 in Iraq.  They said they needed to come to Lt. Sisson's funeral.

"There is a hole in your life when your child is ripped out of it.  You have to fill it somehow. This is how we fill ours."

Those Patriot Guard riders who gave up their weekend to remember a soldier who gave up his life say there's one main thing that drives them.

"It's totally about the family. We like to do our job and fade into the background until we are needed again."



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