Entries in kia (5)



It has been 2 years since this tragedy and there have been too many more cops killed in the line of duty since.  One more killed today.  This video is a tribute to all who have fallen in the line of duty.



Private First Class Austin Staggs of Weatherford, TX was killed on November 29, in the Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, along with 5 of his battle mates.  Pfc. Staggs died of wounds suffered when an insurgent attacked their unit with small arms fire.  Also killed in the attack were:

                Sgt. 1st Class Barry E. Jarvis, 36, of Tell City, Ind. 

                Staff Sgt. Curtis A. Oakes, 29, of Athens, Ohio. 

                Spc. Matthew W. Ramsey, 20, of Quartz Hill, Calif. 

                Pfc. Jacob A. Gassen, 21, of Beaver Dam, Wis.

                Pvt. Buddy W. McLain, 24, of Mexico, Maine. 

They were assigned to the 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, KY.

********** UPDATE **********

I had the honor of escorting Pfc. Staggs home yesterday.  As part of the Patriot Guard Riders, we escorted Pfc. Staggs and his family from his arrival at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth to the Mt. Olivet Funeral Home.  His funeral will be Saturday morning.  Check www.TXPGR.org for full details.

God bless Pfc. Staggs' family and friends.

PFC Austin Staggs Arrival - 12-09-2010 



Is it possible to be a conservative, believe in Constitutional rights, such as the Second Amendment, and not support extremists?  Absolutely!  I bring this video to your attention as a reminder that if you wear a uniform, you are a target to extremist on either side of the polictical spectrum.

This is a video produced by the Southern Poverty Law Center on the killing of two West Memphis, Arkansas, police officers on May 20, 2010.  The suspects were a father and son team who were part of the "sovereignty movement".  They were both killed during a shootout with police later the same day.




On Saturday, November 13, 2010 I made the trip from DFW to McAlester, OK to attend the funeral of another fallen soldier, Army Sgt. Jason McCluskey.  While I try to attend any local funeral I can, this one was a little further than normal but I felt it was important to be there since there were supposed to be "protestors" there to offend the family, town and get publicity.  Everyone knows who these inbred nutbags are, so I will not mention their name here to give them more publicity.  They did show up and were dealt with by the locals and chose to leave before the funeral started.  God bless the locals!

Here is a quick video of how the town reacted, if you want to see them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpHTP7mmJTE 

Here are my observations of the funeral of Sgt. Jason McCluskey, KIA November 4, 2010 in Afghanistan.  

According to news reports there were approximately 200 relatives and friends inside the church and there were several hundreds more lined up and down the downtown streets near the church.  There were approximatley 200 motorcycles and riders from various motorcycle groups; Patriot Guard Riders, American Legion Riders, BACA MC, Outlaws MC (Oklahoma) and many others.  Once the funeral was concluded, the PGR lead trucks and the 200 or so motorcycles lined up through the middle of downtown to escort Sgt. McCluskey and his family to the cemetary which was approximlatey 10 miles away.  I wasn't looking at my watch, but I am guessing the procession took approximately 1 hour and we saw hundreds (if not over 1,000) people lined up the entire route holding American flags and signs honoring Sgt. McCluskey.  There is nothing quite like small town America turning out for one of their own.  Once we arrived at the cemetary there were probably another 100 or so people lined up at the entrance to pay their respects to Sgt. McCluskey and the family. 

At the cemetary, the bikers and others in attendance, stood a flag line silently while Sgt. McCluskey was carried by the U.S. Army Honor Guard from Fort Sill, OK to the gravesite.  Sgt. McCluskey's father related the last telephone conversation he had with his son and how it had ended with his son laughingly telling him he was an "ass" because he was giving him a hard time about not being a Marine like he and his grandfather were before hime and then each saying "I love you".  After all the words were said, the travelling Liberty Bell rang several times and then the 21 gun salute began, followed by the playing of Taps and the fading bagpipes. 

When the funeral was over everyone picked up the dozens of large American flags that were all around the cemetary and stowed them away for the next mission.  We departed, some by themselves and some in groups to head back home.  We leave with a heavy heart that we have lost another of America's finest and bravest, but knowing that we did our part, in a small way, in honoring his life and protecting the family from further attack by a very small group of evil.

God bless Sgt. McCluskey's familiy and battlemates who are still serving on the front lines as he is laid to rest.  Again, I hope to never need to be called upon to honor another fallen American hero, but I will be ready if called.


Jason's official obituary: http://www.meaningfulfunerals.net/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=745373&fh_id=11576&s_id=008D5E31-E0CA-1FE5-E94F88CFB8BB0AC3

A news report about the funeral services for Sgt. McCluskey:


 A news report about Sgt. McCluskey:

And, finally a quick video of the sounds and a few images of the funeral (no soundtrack or post production, just raw video from a camera hanging around my neck). 

Finally, a video from the roof of the First Baptist Church.




Thursday, October 21, 2010

Today I had the honor of escorting an American hero home after being killed in action in Afghanistan.  As part of the Patriot Guard Riders we met the Kalitta Air jet, carrying the body of Army Sgt. Carlos Benitez (Carrollton, Texas), at the DFW airport.  After transfer of the casket to the hearse was complete, the DFW Airport Police and the Irving, Texas, Police Department escorted the hearse and family to the road where approximately 60 motorcycles and 10 vehicles had staged for the escort.  The Irving Police Department’s motor units led the way for the entire 15 mile trip to the funeral home.  They did an absolutely perfect job in watching traffic and blocking roads, where needed, to ensure that this hero did not have to stop enroute to the funeral home.  Along the way I noticed many people looked puzzled as to why the police and all these motorcycles were there.  Hopefully they figured it out as the hearse approached.  It was certainly noticeable when we saw people pulled over to the side of the road or standing on the side of the road and saluting out of respect for this fallen soldier.  One of the most memorable moments was as we were driving down the freeway and at each overpass at least one Irving PD unit had stopped and the officer was out of the vehicle saluting our hero as the procession passed.  On a couple of the overpasses there were citizens doing the same thing.  This was an appropriate showing of respect for a fallen soldier’s final trip home.

Once we arrived at the funeral home all of the Patriot Guard Riders parked our bikes and stood tall and silent by the hearse while they prepared to take the coffin into the funeral home.   The Funeral Director asked our Ride Captain if we could assist with bringing the coffin into the chapel.  Six of us were chosen and we lined up at the rear of the hearse to receive our hero.  It was my honor to carry this soldier the last few feet of the day.   

Seeing his young wife, two young children and small extended family standing there as we started to walk away drove home the fact that while we get to go home, to work or wherever we may want to go, his family will be living this tragedy for the rest of their lives and will never truly be able to ride away from it.  As we left, an older lady that I believe was his mother thanked each of us for honoring him in this way.  It was our honor to be able to do it. 

While I hope that the need for us to be called upon again never arises, I know that it is likely that it will.  I will be honored to escort any of our soldiers and American heroes whenever called upon. 

May God be with the family, friends and colleagues of Sgt. Carlos Benitez. 

David Bailey

Irving PD during procession to the funeral home:

Carrying the casket of a fallen hero the last few feet of the day: