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American Legion Rider
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19,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Not sure how well this will post, but here is the PGR mission I was very proud to be part of yesterday as we escorted the remains of a Navy Fireman 1st Class Bethel Walters back to Bowie Texas. The escort was accompanied by law enforcement who blocked both north bound lanes of interstate 287 the 35 miles from Decatur Texas after being escorted from Dallas International. This was very emotional for all involved but the turnout of people standing along the route waving our flag was overwhelming and made me proud to be an American and Texan. Part 1 of this mission is now complete and Part 2 will be this Saturday. We also have video but it will take a bit more time to get it edited into something not totally boring. Anyway, hope these news articles explain it better than I ever could.






 

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American Legion Rider
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19,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Here are 2 news clips about the return...


 

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American Legion Rider
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19,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
We are friends with some of the family and they said when the West Virginia was raised they found one water tight room with 3 bodies and the guys left a diary of sorts and they survived a little over 2 weeks and the rescue crew said they heard tapping until there was none. Today we might be able to get to people trapped like that. Fireman Walters was not one of them. He was deep down in the boiler room. They were getting ready for a big inspection so they were all caught off guard. The history of what really happened that day is slowly coming out but it will be buried with time. I really feel honored to escort this man on his final ride. At least he is back on Texas soil, soon to be in, and the family finally has closure. It has been a long wait but tomorrow it will finally end. I would like to post the video of the procession but I won’t unless the family wants it so. That’s only right. Plus it’s a huge file. So large that we can’t even transfer it by email to the family members. Have to use a thumbdrive.
 

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American Legion Rider
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19,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
The last part of the mission was Saturday and after PGR issued a stand down on future missions due to the current panic virus and it was as also cold and rainy, only 6 of us showed up. That's the reverse of the norm. During the middle of the week, we normally get low turnout with Saturdays getting the most. And due to the rain the video was worthless. But he got buried with full military honors and the family now has closure. It's so sad though that no one living at the time he was killed in action in Pearl Harbor was still alive to see this. It did get some more of the family found during this whole process. That's kind of nice. Bethel Walters was one of 8 bothers that all went their own way so some long lost cousins were found in this whole process. This identification by DNA is great. That's how this guy got to come home.

Notice I said panic virus, not the COVID-19 thing.
 
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