Monday, September 6, 2010


On Monday, 8-30-10, the funeral of PFC Alexis Maldonado was held at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church with internment at the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery. PFC Maldonado was KIA on 8-21-10 in a firefight in Afghanistan. Scroll down and join us on this PGR Mission when we attend the funeral and internment of this American Hero. REMEMBER: IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE PICTURE BIGGER, JUST CLICK ON THE PICTURE.

I arrive at the parking area for the nonE large flag bikes in the 1600 block of 8th st. There are already many bikes and riders there.

Another view of the bikes and different club members in the parking lot of the URHCS Hospital 8th Street Campus in the 1600 block of 8th Street

This is Barbara's bike. She is a North Texas PGR Ride Captain.

Charlie arrives and Inez walks over to say hi. Inez is married to Ted, another of our North Texas PGR Ride Captains. He was directing bikes where to park and she was looking for him.

Inez in the parking lot, 1600 block of 8th Street. She makes alot of PGR Missions

This is Charlie, a good friend and PGR member. He drove up from Archer City Texas to make this Mission.

This is the back patch of Chell, a member of the Red Knights as well as a PGR Regional Contact Coordinator

This is Chell. She rode in from Childress Texas, which is about 110 miles or so West of Wichita Falls Texas.

This is me and Inez. Ted and Inez are good friends of mine and I think of them as almost blood relatives. I love these folks.

This is me, Inez and Ted. Having gotten the majority of the bikes parked, Ted had come over to walk with us over to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, where we would be part of the Flag Line

This is Larry & Louis. Both are friends of mine and fellow PGR Members. Several clubs and organizations have been with us the last three days, showing their support to the family of PFC Alexis Maldonado

This is, left to right: Ector, Larry, Yolanda (Ector's wife), Louis and Dylan. Dylan is also a member of C.M.A. (Christian Motorcyclist Association. Glory Bound Chapter), as well as one of the guitar players at our Church, Broken Chains Freedom Church, here in Wichita Falls Texas

This is Kat and her Mom, Genevieve. Gen asked if Kat could ride with me to the Cemetery and I said it was ok with me.

Here is Larry standing by his Harley Tri-Glide Trike.

Here are some of the bikes that would head to the cemetery to get set up when the funeral started. The bikes with the big flags attached, would ride escort in the funeral procession.

This is Barbara's bike. She got this bike recently and loves it. It is a 900cc Kawasaki Vulcan. It is big enough to keep up with the bigger bikes but not too big as to cause handling problems for Barbara..

This is Nubbin. He rode up from Windthorst Texas with his wife Angela. They both have Trikes

A view of the big flag bikes from in front of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church

This Liberty Bell replica makes it to almost all the KIA's in Texas. I believe the Bell is stationed down in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. It is very impressive when, on site, they start the bell tolling...

The owner of the Bell, David Hall, couldn't be here today due to pulling several muscles trying to get a vehicle off a person who had been ejected in an accident. His associate, who goes by Duck, is seen here filling in for David. Duck know the procedures with the bell and he rings the bell every 20 seconds. When the remains of the soldier arrives and is being moved into the Church, he rings it every 3 seconds. When the Soldier is laid to rest, he rings the Bell seven times to proclaim a life lost for liberty. See this news story on You Tube:

Ector & Yolanda across the street from the Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Yolanda and Ector by the Liberty Bell in front of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Here, Duck allows Ector to assist in the ringing of the Bell.

Duck telling Ector about the truck David uses to transport the Bell all over North Texas & Oklahoma. David & the Liberty bell has even made PGR missions up in Illinois.

Here is Inez out front of the Church waiting for us to get our flags out of the support vehicle.

Two members of the Iron Soldiers M/C are in attendance

Mike & Barbara give the briefing just prior to the flag line being set up and everyone listens up.

That's the "Grinch" in the gray t-shirt flanked by Laura on his right and Joe off to his left in the black leather vest and maroon bandana.

Laura, Angela, Nubbin, Katie, Charlie, Chell, Gary and Jimmy listen in to the briefing

Barbara & Mike giving the briefing before we get the flags and set up the flag line. They did an outstanding job with this mission.

Mike (blue Vest) & Eddie (left) listen to the briefing

Here's Katie as we wait in line for our flags.

Charlie gets his flag as Kirby stands by and hands out flags

Kirby handing out flags with Charlie. Members wait for traffic to clear on 9th St. before crossing over to the Church and the flag line.

As I got in my spot, I took pics of folks as they walked by heading to their positions in the flag line. Here is Angela. Wish I would've thought to bring a chair...

Here is Nubbin, Angela's husband, heading to his place next to Angela

Inez heads to her spot.

Chell comes by and stops for a quick picture

Here is Dylan. He is on the steps to my immediate right. Dylan is also known by his nickname "The Kid"

Barbara and the other PGR Ride Captains check out the alignment and position of the flag line

The U.S. Army Honor Guard. The officer is a Brigadier General (One Star). I did not get his name. But he came out last night at the Funeral Home and thanked us for being there and for being Patriots.

Part of the U.S.A.F. Honor Guard from out at Shappard AFB, located here in Wichita Falls Texas, arrive to get final instructions and directions to the Cemetery

Mike and another PGR Ride Captain, check on the flag line and see if we need water or a break.

Here are Charlie, Laura and Mike in the flag line to my left.

Laura & Mike in the flag line. PGR Ride Captains and Officials wear Maroon ballcaps or bandana's. Regular PGR members wear the blue ballcaps or bandana's

As the funeral starts, those of us not in the funeral procession head back to our bikes to head to the cemetery and get set up there. Here are Angela & Nubbin heading to the parking lot. Only the motorcycles with the big flags will be in the procession as escorts.

Charlie & Laura and their side of the flag line will be dismissed next to head to the bikes.

On my way to the bike, I see Ann Arnold, local T.V. Reporter and Personality. She went to college and graduated with my son, Matt and is one of our friends. Here are: Jeanette (the camera person & photojournalist), Ann and me. Jeanette and Ann are part of the KFDX Channel 3 News Team.

Left to right: Jeanette, Ann and me. Thanks for covering this story Ann. You did an EXCELLENT job as always.

Jeanette and Ann, KFDX News Channel 3 Wichita Falls Texas News Team Members. On Part I of PFC Maldonado's Service, Ann was accompanied by Eddie, another great cameraman and member of the KFDX News Team

Our good friend, Gary, pauses for a picture. Gary is also a Vietnam Vet and PGR member.

As we get to the bikes, Joe, heads out to find Ted. Joe is one of the PGR members recently
promoted to North Texas PGR Ride Captains. One of my goals, is to, one day, be presented with a maroon cap and promoted to PGR Ride Captain. And trust me, it is an HONOR to be a PGR Ride Captain.

Back at the bikes, Dylan gets ready to head to the cemetery

Louis will be riding with us to the cemetery.

Tex and Laura talk with a PGR members as we get lined up to depart for the cemetery

Laura gets in line. We have a lot of folks riding with us with the same first name, but Laura K is from the Bowie Texas area and always wears her pink vest. She is also a member of C.M.A. and her Chapter is the Chisholm Trail Riders.

The group I am riding with to the cemetery..

The riders are in good spirits and ready to go.

The Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery is located in the middle of a residential area. Here we are heading West down Ave K heading for Santa Fe St.

Kat, my passenger from the church to the cemetery, takes this pic of the riders behind us. That is Dylan, directly behind us with the ape hangers.

This is Kat and Kevin off to her left. I was gonna follow her Mom home and drop Kat off at the house, but as you wil see shortly, the sky opened up and we had a heavy rain and were soaked. I thought it better she ride with her Mom in the car than risk something happening on the wet roads riding with me.

We lined the bikes up on the road between the new and old cemetery sections and then had to move over to the South side

Once repositioned, we had a short time to stand and talk. Here are Doug, Louis, and Dylan talking to Bobby, the PGR photographer who rode up from the Dallas/Ft.Worth area

Here is Dylan standing in amongst the bikes

We line both sides of the street on the South side of the cemetery for two blockds. That is Laura (Tex's wife) crossing the street.

Ted and Laura head to the support truck for a flag as another PGR member rolls in

Charlie waits for me to get his picture before we head to the truck to get our flags

We get to the truck and get in line behind Dylan. Kirby and Jody are busy handing out the flags

Before getting our flags, we see this ice chest filled with ice and bottled water

They also had these little packets of Gatorade that you put in the bottled water and then after shaking the bottle, you had Gatorade.

Here is Jody, handing out flags. She and Kirby did an OUTSTANDING job today, with the flags and keeping us watered up and relieved so we could take a break, if needed. Jody also started "Project Jody: A Cadence For Life". see these links for more:
And here is Jimmy, a veteran of 2 tours in Iraq, demonstrating the proper way to mix Gatorade powder and water.. Thanks for your service dedication and sacrifice during your time in the US Navy Jimmy. We appreciate it.

I was called to the cemetery where everyone was standing around and I saw my good friend, former co-worker, and Afghanistan War Veteran and Bronze Star winner, Manuel. He is a Captain with the Wichita Falls Police Dept. and we were also on the same FIST team when assigned to the 2/131 FA 49 Armour Division. He was my APC driver and one hell of a Forward Observer. He is now a Commaand Sgt. Major in the USAR and just returned from his tour in Afghanistan.

Here is Manuel out in the field in Afghanistan with his interpreter. Contrary to popular belief, Sgt. Major's do go out on Humanitarian Patrols and other patrols. Not all stay in the rear with the beer. I know personally, that Manuel is a motivated soldier who could not stay in the rear. He would be out in the field with his men. And he was. Thank you Manuel for your dedication, service and sacrifice on the civillian side and on the military side. You are a TRUE American Hero and I am proud to have served with you and have you as a long time friend!

Manuel & me at the sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Wichita Falls Texas

Here is Manuel with another co-worker of ours, Doug. Doug is PGR member, Blue Knights TX XX member, a C.M.A member and spends his free time transporting disabled Vets from Wichita Falls Texas up to the VA Hospital in Oklahoma City Oklahoma, about 140 miles one way. Doug is also a Veteran and a good friend.

Manuel & Doug talking prior to the Funeral Procession arriving

Looking around I see Ann and Jeanette (KFDX Channel 3 NEWS CREW) and Charlie and Mike.

Barbara & Mike get everyone gathered around and they give us our final briefing before forming up our flag lines at the cemetery.

The members listening to our final instructions

We listen as we get our flag line area and also, reminders of behavior while in the flag line..

Mike & Barbara finish up the briefing and dismiss us.

Yolanda and Ector as we get ready to get in our positions in the flag lines

This is Smokey. He is a member of the Wichita Falls Chapter of B.A.C.A. (Bikers Against Child Abuse)

As I went to my position in the flag line, near the Liberty Bell, I noticed they had added Soldier Crosses at each end of the trailer. see:

The flag line across from my position. They would have the service here in the older section of the cemetery and then afterward, they would intern PFC Maldonado in the new section of the cemetery.

Looking down the road the funeral procession would come up

The second and third in the flag line on my side, down from me, are Katie and Jimmy

Across from me in the grey shirt and black vest is Eddie

Here is Eddie in the flag line, while the flag flutters in the breeze

Left to right: Kirby, Jody, Grinch, Barbara & Mike. They did a great job in organizing this Mission and keeping us all watered down and relieved if necessary

Looking down the back of our part of the flag line

Turning around, this is the view behind me..

The wind picks up and large dark greay clouds begin to appear.. hmmmm

Another view of the Bell from my position

Barbara and others talk to Duck, who is filling in for David, owner of the Liberty Bell. See more at: and

Here's Jimmy standing at his position in the flag line as we await the funeral procession to arrive

Here is Jody getting Katie a cold drink. Jody, Tex, Kirby, Barbara, Mike and a few others made rounds of the flag line keeping us in cold water. Thanks ya'll. You were appreciated more than you'll ever know.

Here is Katie in place in the flag line. She has her bottled water close at hand..

Jody making her way around the lines with the ice water

Ted comes over and stands with me. Ted is a Vietnam Vet and was awarded the Bronze Star for gallantry in action.

I felt rain and looked down at the drive. the light rain felt good and I didn't think it would last. Afterall, they were not calling for rain today...

As the procession enters the cemetery at the far end of the drive, I take a picture of the members getting ready. As a rule, we don't take pictures of the hearse, casket or family members, at the funeral home, church or cemetery.

My "light Rain" turned into a full blown thunderstorm with heavy rain and lightning & thunder during the service at the cemetery. Here we head to the support vehicles to turn in the flags, after the service, and we all were soaked thru & thru..

Here is a soaked Kirby

Here is a soaked Genevieve. The rain was over or so we thought..

Here are Kirby and Ted. Note the deep water in the street behind them. And then it started to rain again. REALLY rain!!

As it poured, some ran to the porches of nearby houses and some of us went for the trees. Here are Chell, Ted, Grinch and Laura

As a hard rain fell, we got just as wet standing under the tree than if we had been standing out in the rain. Here are Genevieve and Kat, soaking up the rain.

It rain like this for a good 15 minutes or so.. Even under the tree you can see how hard it was coming down and that the tree was absolutely no protection.. Again, here is Genevieve & Kat

Since I was already soaked, I walked down to Chell's bike and got a picture of her M&M Helmet. Looking at her helmet facing down, it dawned on me that I had my helmet,with gloves inside facing up on my handlebars... When I eventually got to my bike, I turned my helmet upside down and the water poured out of it and dripped out for a good minute or so..It really sucked.

At the last PGR Mission we did in Iowa Park Texas, the rain drenched us and we got to looking at each other, being all wet. We started the PGR wet T-shirt contest, then and there, and Ted won, hands down and was the reigning wet T-shirt contest King. That was, until today. We stood around watching it rain and then we noticed Grinch. With loud proclamation, we named Grinch, the new wet t-shirt contest winner, de-throneing Ted. So, Grinch is the 2nd and current wet t-shirt contest King!! Who will dethrone him? We'll have to wait and see....

The rain eased up to a drizzle and we walked to our bikes. The rain stopped. Here is Ted and his Harley, both wet. Inez, Ted's wife will have her hands full getting Ted's harley back to being clean & shiny. If I could only get Janice to keep my Harley clean and shiny...

When we parked it was dry. This is how much rain fell. here are Laura and Tex with their Harley reflected in the pool of water it now sits in. My Harley is the black & chrome one down by the entrance to the cemetery.

The last picture of the PGR Mission is of the view West as I headed down US82 (Kell Freeway) toward home.
I was proud to be apart of this PGR Mission that was supported by so many other area bike clubs, organizations and out of town and out of state clubs, groups and organizations. The show of support to this Hero's family was just Outstanding. It was good seeing old friends again and making new friends.
Scroll WAY down for more rides, events and runs and don't forget to click on the "OLDER POSTS" link at the bottom of EACH page or directly under the last post on the page.
You may access NORTH TEXAS BIKERS (I), NORTH TEXAS BIKERS II and NORTH TEXAS BIKERS III at the following links: (I);
Continue to pray for ALL of our troops, both in and out of Harm's Way.
Until next post, ya'll be careful out there, keep the rubber on the road, keep your head on a swivel and most importantly of all...............RIDE SAFE ...........................JOHN

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