American Legion Riders Chapter 7 and the Indiana Patriot Guard will provide a flag line at the funeral of any veteran.
"It doesn't matter if the veteran was dishonorably discharged or AWOL, as long as they raised their hand to support the Constitution," says Joie Jodrie, secretary of American Legion Riders Chapter 7 and Indiana captain of the Indiana Patriot Guard. Jan Bartrom and Penny Garretson serve as assistant ride captains.
The free service is also available for firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians, as well as anyone who was a member of any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
"Anyone who protects and serves," Jodrie says.
Families can request a flag line through the funeral home or by contacting American Legion Post 7, Jodrie says. Members of the two organizations will provide a flag line at the funeral home during visitation and on the day of the funeral.
American Legion Riders Chapter 7 was organized in 2009 and currently has 32 members. They can be members of any American Legion post or related organization, including Sons of the Legion (SAL) and the auxiliary unit. Although many of the American Legion Riders members ride motorcycles, that is not required for membership.
The organization provides flag lines for the annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies held at the First Church of the Nazarene, in Huntington, and travels throughout northeast Indiana to provide that service at funerals and participate in other events.
The Indiana Patriot Guard is open to all.
"You don't need to be affiliated with any military organization, you don't need to ride a bike," Jodrie says.
"The only thing you need is honor and respect," Bartrom adds.