Patriot Guard Riders of Illinois General Guidelines

Welcome to the Patriot Guard Riders of Illinois. Although you will not be receiving any sort of membership packet, this will introduce you to our organization and provide you with some basic information that we hope you will find helpful.

We come from diverse professional and personal backgrounds, but all of us share an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America's freedom and security. Our main mission is attending the funeral services of fallen American heroes (military and first responders) as invited guests of the family. We seek to honor the fallen; support their families, friends, and communities; and shield them from uninvited guests and/or protestors. We do not engage in political, protest, or counter-protest activities in the execution of our mission. lnstead, we shield those who might be affected by uninvited guests and/or protestors by strategically positioning ourselves while holding American flags. We do not charge any money for our support, because we are honored and privileged to be able to provide it. We also believe that membership in the Patriot Guard Riders of Illinois is a privilege.

Every member of the Patriot Guard Riders is a volunteer who donates his or her time, energy, and other personal resources in the furtherance of our mission. Our members are extraordinary folks who, because of their dedication and commitment, are the engine of our organization. Being a military veteran is not a requirement for membership, and many of our members are not. Riding a motorcycle is not a requirement, and many of our members participate in vehicles for a variety of reasons. Regardless, the thread that binds everyone in our organization is a requisite level of honor and respect that is consistent with our mission, and patriotism

ln addition to our main mission, we also participate when invited in welcome home celebrations honoring military men and women who are returning from a theater of war; deployment ceremonies for groups of military men and women who are leaving for a theater of war; honor missions for military veterans who have passed away; and memorial missions honoring the service of our fallen military and first responders.

Every mission that we are involved in is planned and executed under the direction of our Ride Captains, in accordance with the wishes of the family and in consultation with other participants (i.e. the military; the funeral home; and the local law enforcement agency) who may also be involved.

With every volunteer organization there are some rules and regulations to be adhered to so as to show the utmost respect to the veteran, families and other members of the Patriot Guard Riders.

There are no membership dues or regularly scheduled membership meetings, with the exception of our annual Board of Directors meeting. Members are welcome to attend that meeting but are not required to do so. The date, time, and location of the meeting are announced in advance for those who are interested in attending.

lf you have not already done so, please subscribe to our statewide email list by entering your email address in that area of our website ( By subscribing you will receive email notifications and updates concerning all missions and events throughout the State of Illinois, and various announcements from time to time. The statewide mission emails will provide you with the what, when, and where that you will need to know if you plan to attend, and the updates will keep you posted accordingly. Since itineraries can sometimes change on short notice for various reasons, it is important to stay on top of those. Our missions and various events are also posted on our calendar located here.

On our website, you will find a State of Illinois map with regional boundaries and a list of regional Senior Ride Captains. Please find the region in which you live and the name and email address of that regional Senior Ride Captain. Although it is not required, you may want to email your Senior Ride Captain to introduce yourself and let them know that you have joined. You will not automatically hear from them otherwise.

Although you have joined the Patriot Guard Riders of Illinois, it is strongly recommended that you also join the national Patriot Guard Riders organization here ( That will provide you with access to a wealth of information and to the national forums, where mission details are also posted and updated. ln addition to receiving our statewide emails, it is very important that you also check for mission updates there. That will provide you with two sources of information for any given mission and is helpful in the event that for some reason one or the other source is delayed. Although every effort is made to communicate mission details in a timely and efficient manner via statewide email, it is the member's responsibility to follow the mission threads on the national forums.

ln addition to our main mission, we also participate when invited in welcome home celebrations honoring military men and women who are returning from a theater of war; deployment ceremonies for groups of military men and women who are leaving for a theater of war; honor missions for military veterans who have passed away; and memorial missions honoring the service of our fallen military and first responders.

Every mission that we are involved in is planned and executed under the direction of our Ride Captains, in accordance with the wishes of the family and in consultation with other participants (the military; the funeral home; and the local law enforcement agency) who may also be involved. We believe that a cooperative and coordinated effort by all participants is critical to the safe and successful execution of our mission. In every instance, we strive to leave a positive footprint in the communities in which we are invited to execute our mission.

Once you have decided to attend a mission or event, please arrive at the staging location at the appointed time. Please introduce yourself to the Ride Captain as a new member and follow any and all instructions. It is not necessary to call or email the Ride Captain in advance of the mission to let them know that you will be attending. Although you may call him or her in advance if you have a specific concern or question, please remember that our Ride Captains are also volunteers with other life commitments and responsibilities. Since the planning of a mission takes a considerable amount of time and energy on top of those, please be mindful that they are very busy juggling many things.

Dress comfortably and safely for a mission or event and keep in mind that you may be outdoors for a considerable amount of time. Due to circumstances beyond the control of the mission Ride Captain(s), there may be occasions wherein times get moved up or pushed back on the ground at the last minute. Your patience and understanding should that happen will be greatly appreciated. During the mission briefing, the Ride Captain(s) will provide members attending with the information that is needed for that particular mission. Please pay attention and ask questions if something is not clear to you, and please follow the instructions.

Please choose your method of transportation according to weather conditions, and any other circumstance that might have an impact on your safety or the safety of others. Although various law enforcement agencies often provide logistical support during mission escorts, it is possible that for various reasons it may not be available. When a law enforcement agency is on the ground and providing support, all of our members are expected to follow their instructions regardless of method of transportation. All traffic taws must be obeyed, and safety and consideration are paramount. Road or traffic blocking is not permitted, nor is any other activity during a moving escort that is either prohibited by law or potentially unsafe. Any questions or concerns that you may have in that regard should be brought to the attention of the Ride Captain(s).

Members should not be in contact with families, police agencies, funeral homes, military representatives, or other planners around missions or potential missions. lf you are contacted by one or more among them as the result of an acquaintance or relationship, please refer them to the assigned mission Ride Captain or your regional Senior Ride Captain. Lines of communication are established and need to be maintained in order to preserve consistency and clarity of information. Once again, it is important to remember that everyone associated with a mission or potential mission is quite likely very busy attending to a wide range of details and circumstances.

Occasionally, another source might publish or bring to your attention certain mission details (dates, times, locations, escort routes, etc.) in advance of a statewide email or national forum mission thread posting. Since that information might be inaccurate or inconsistent with our operational security guidelines, that information should not be further published or distributed by members. lnstead, any such information that might come your way should be communicated to the mission Ride Captain(s) or your Senior Ride Captain.

Although it is not a requirement, you can purchase Patriot Guard Riders gear (patches, decals, clothing, etc.) through our gear store. With regard to patches and articles of clothing, in general, any that contain obscene; politically oriented; or objectionable content should either not be worn at missions or covered with tape. Because our mission activities bring us into contact with children, families, and a diverse public, it is important that we strive to leave a positive and apolitical footprint wherever those activities take us. lt is also expected that the conduct of members should reflect positively on our organization. Whenever and wherever the National Patriot Guard Riders name or logo is worn, the person wearing it assumes the larger role of an organizational representative. 

Flag’s at missions are provided or arranged for by the mission Ride Captain(s). You may bring your own American flag, but it is generally not necessary unless asked to do so via the statewide email mission announcement. Although you will receive mission specific information at the mission briefing, generally be aware that flags should be held perpendicular and kept off of the ground at all times. There should be no smoking, eating, or drinking (with the exception of water for proper hydration when necessary) while you are standing in a flag line. Talking should
be kept to a minimum and very low volume and should stop altogether when members of the family or community are in close proximity. Phones should be silenced, and all calls made or received away from the flag line. Breaks should also be taken away from the flag line and there should be no littering. Photographs and/or videos should not be taken while you are in a flag line. Photographs and/or videos should not be taken of a casket or of family members. They should not be taken inside an airport hangar, cemetery, church, or other place of worship. Many of our missions are solemn or otherwise intimate occasions, and should be treated accordingly with the highest degree of sensitivity and dignity. Again, any questions or concerns that you have in that regard should be brought to the attention of the Ride Captain (s).

Members should refer all media requests for interviews, comments, or photographs to the mission Ride Captain(s). He or she will be familiar with the mission parameters and organizational guidelines in that regard. ln the event that someone expresses an interest in donating services, merchandise, or money to the Patriot Guard Riders they should be referred to the mission Ride Captain (if applicable), your Senior Ride Captain, or to our website where they can donate directly or contact one of the state leadership officers. Members should not solicit donations of any kind or enter into any agreements on behalf of the organization, without the specific and advance approval of the Board of Directors. Any ideas or suggestions that you have in that regard should be brought to the attention of your Senior Ride Captain or one of the state leadership officers.

The Patriot Guard Riders also reaches out to the community of military veterans in a variety of supportive ways through our Help on the Home Front Program (HOTH). Over the years, we have provided wheelchair ramps, loaded moving trucks for the disabled, purchased plane tickets in critical situations, donated money to off,set costs associated with family visits to the severely wounded, and a variety of other things consistent with our organizational mission. Those projects are funded through our Gear Store purchases and financial contributions made to the Patriot Guard Riders, and those that do not involve any financial commitment are completed by our dedicated volunteer members who donate their time and other individual resources. lf there is a request for HOTH services that involves volunteer time or expertise, you will receive a statewide email.

In addition to the guidelines that are listed above, the Patriot Guard Riders of Illinois want to include by-laws and a Code of Conduct for our members to follow.

Code of Conduct As a Patriot Guard Member, I will:

  • Treat other members with the same respect as I would expect for myself.
  • Show respect to families, veterans and all event attendees.
  • Refer media, general public, funeral home to the RC when questions or comments arise.
  • Not to wear PGR colors while attending political rallies.
  • Not to wear obscene clothing while at PGR missions.
  • Refer family members to RC regarding donations.
  • Not use drugs or alcohol at PGR missions.

Flag line Reminders:

  • Do not smoke. Hand your flag off and remove yourself from the line.
  • Unfurl and re-furl the flag at vehicle or motorcycle.
  • Hold flag in left hand.
  • Not to take any photographs or video of funeral attendees, family or casket.
  • Remain silent as family and visitors come and go.
  • Escorts and Other Mission Information:

Each mission a member attends, a Ride Captain (RC) will be the point person

Refer to your RC for proper protocols regarding an escort of any kind. Patriot Guard Riders Merchandise.

Merchandise can be purchased on the National website ( You must become a member before any purchases can be made.

There is also a brick and mortar store located at: 

  • 200 Alder Dr. North Aurora, IL  60542
  • (630) 340-5156

                                                                                   Patriot Guard Riders of Illinois By-Laws

                                                                                                                                                              Article I

Purpose and Duration of Organization:
The following are the purposes for which this organization has been organized.

The Patriot Guard Riders of Illinois Mission Statement:

Ensure dignity and respect at funeral services and other events honoring our currently- serving military members, honorably discharged veterans, and first responders.

About the PGR:
The PGR is a diverse composition of patriots with one thing in common: an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America's freedom and security. It doesn't matter if you ride a motorcycle or what your political views are. It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn't matter where you're from or what your income is. The only prerequisite for membership is respect. Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives.

  • Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.
  • Shield the mourning family and friends from interruptions created by a protestor or group of protestors via strictly legal and non-confrontational means.

To those of you who are currently serving for the security of our nation and communities, at home and abroad, please know that we are backing you. We honor and support you with every mission we carry out, and we are praying for your safety.

The PGR will participate in activities which honor and show respect for all current and former military members, first responders, and their families.

The PGR may accept donations under the National Patriot Guard Riders 501c3 umbrella.

Bruce Martin
Patriot Guard Riders of Illinois State Captain

Bridget Krupa
Patriot Guard Riders of Illinois Deputy Assistant State Captain

1 May 2022