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The Patriot Guard Riders find themselves protecting each other and the families of the fallen from the coronavirus threat

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by: Chris Best

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — They were founded to protect fallen heroes and their families during funerals. Now, the Patriot Guard Riders find themselves protecting each other and the families of the fallen from the coronavirus threat during those same funerals.

The PRG announced this week that it will continue to honor veterans and first responders, while making changes to help prevent the spread of covid-19, “our concern is for the safety of each and everyone one of you, your family, and those in attendance during our missions,” District Ride Captain for the Mobile District of the PGR, Lloyd Pursely, told members in an email this week.

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The changes: they will stand a flag line only outdoors at cemeteries. The line will be at least 12 feet away from attendees at graveside. Pursley wrote, “flag line participants will be spaced at least 6 feet apart.We should avoid contact with attendees, if at all possible.  Many wish to thank us for being there. Avoid handshakes.  Use the elbow bump or a head nod.”

Pursely points out this is not to be anti-social, but for precaution, “continue to wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially in public place…Most of us are at that age bracket that is most susceptible to this virus just like we are to the flu. We shall resume flag lines and escorts when this pandemic subsides and it shall be deemed safe to do so.”

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