Call for public to attend burial for unaccompanied veteran gets faith-filled bikers on the road


After learning that Air Force veteran Joseph Walker was set to be buried with no one in attendance, the president of a Central Texas motorcycle club rallied his troops and organized a ride out of Austin to attend the service.

“He may have left a stranger,” Luis Rodriguez said. “But he has become a friend.”

Rodriguez is president of the 400 strong Wind Therapy Freedom Riders, or WTFrs. He said he learned of Walker’s funeral late Friday night when a member sent him the call that the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery put out asking for people to attend.

“I looked at it and my heart just sank,” Rodriguez said. “I immediately posted to our group and told them I was organizing a ride.”

The cemetery posted last week that Walker was set to be buried Monday and that if anyone had the opportunity, to please come and attend.  “We do NOT leave Veterans behind,” the post on the cemetery’s page ended.

One of the first comments on the post was by Rodriguez saying that he and his fellow WTFrs would be there Monday.

“It could be 20 bikes, it could be 200,” Rodriguez said. He said the ride is open to everyone, bike or no bike, and that he has been contacted by other groups saying they were planning on joining the ride.

The Ride to Honor Joseph Walker, American Veteran, will begin with participants meeting at the Central Texas Harley-Davidson in Round Rock at 8 a.m., Monday, Jan. 28.

They will begin the ride to the cemetery, 11463 Texas 195, in Killeen, at 9 a.m.

For more information on the ride visit the Wind Therapy Freedom Riders page.


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