Saturday, January 06, 2007

Honoring Staff Sgt. David R. Staats

Today I rode in my second Patriot Guard Ride ( ) . About 50 Motocycles, (about 98% Harleys) and about a dozen cars escorted the family of Staff Sgt. David R. Staats:

No. 1297-06 IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 19, 2006 Media Contact: (703) 697-5131/697-5132Public/Industry(703) 428-0711DoD Identifies Army Casualties The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died of injuries suffered when their HMMWV struck an improvised explosive device while on mounted patrol Dec. 16 inTaji, Iraq. They were assigned to the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1stBrigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.Killed were:Staff Sgt. David R. Staats, 30, of Pueblo, Colo, died Dec. 16 in Taji, Iraq.Spc. Matthew J. Stanley, 22, of Wolfeboro Falls, N.H., died Dec. 16 in Taji,Iraq.Pfc. Seth M. Stanton, 19, of Colorado Springs, Colo., died Dec. 17 in Balad,Iraq.

The Riders met at a parking lot not far from the family's home where we received instructions and then stood in a circle and held hands while the Lee Greenwood song "God Bless the U.S.A." played. I tried to sing along, but it was hard to do while trying to hold back the tears. It was a very emotional experience. We escorted the family for about 5 miles to an American Legion Hall where a memorial service was held for friends and family. The Patriot Guards did an excellent job of stopping traffic for the riders. We encounted several Americans who gave us a thumbs-up or a honk, to express their approval of what we were doing. Actually I was a bit disappointed that more people didn't show signs of appreciation for our efforts. Almost every motorcycle and car had an American flag attached and waving in the breeze.It was a beautiful sight!!


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