BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF)
Two deceased American war veterans made their way through the Ohio Valley Wednesday and Thursday.
They were on their way to Arlington National Cemetery to be laid to rest.
Patriot Guard Riders escorted them from their home state of Arizona for the entire trip.
Don Harvel and Carl Walker were both decorated Air Force veterans.
Harvel was a brigadier general serving in Operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
Walker was a sergeant in Vietnam, receiving the Silver Star for gallantry.
As their procession passed through the various states, the Patriot Guard Riders of each state joined in.
“The Patriot Guard in Arizona were asked to escort their cremains from Arizona through all the states to Arlington,” said Susan Whitlach, West Virginia Patriot Guard captain. “It’s an honor to be part of this.”
“I do this because when I came home from Vietnam, I was treated with nothing but disrespect,” said Bill Wooster, Arizona Patriot Guard captain. “And then when the Patriot Guard Riders started up nationwide in 2005, I thought that was for me, so we could show honor and respect to all these heroes.”
Any veteran who served honorably in the military is eligible to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
The Patriot Guard Riders organization was formed to ensure dignity and respect for fallen military members.
It’s a volunteer organization.