On Wednesday, February 10, some good friends of mine asked if would attend the funeral of a family member. Little did I know I would also lead the funeral procession.

There is no doubt I have been lucky enough to have done some very honorable things in my life.

This week I had two things happen that were out of the blue and two of the most honorable things I have ever done, or been asked to do. I wrote a story earlier this week about some friends who lost a family member who was a veteran and was asked to be a part of his funeral services by just bringing my motorcycle and a flag. Sgt, Richard Paul Nelson was a veteran of the United States Air Force and one his wishes were for lots of flags at his funeral.

Of course I would be there. It was the very least I could do for not only friends who are like family to me but to also say goodbye to a hero I have never met. Let's face it, Sgt. Nelson helped paved the road of freedom I so enjoy today.

Charley Barnes leads funeral procession for World War II veteran Corporal Howard Achziger, Jr.
Charley Barnes leads funeral procession for World War II veteran Corporal Howard Achziger, Jr.

As it turned out, the Federal Protection Agency who were assigned traffic control didn't have a bike with flags that could make it, so President/CEO Leah Mondy asked if I would do it. So, I had the honor of escorting Sgt. Nelson and the funeral procession from Fort Collins to Loveland. When it was over, she asked if I could possibly escort another veteran on Friday, February 13 from Fort Collins to Resthaven cemetery.

Turns out, she had already told the family of Corporal Howard Achziger, Jr., a World War II veteran/Army, that a motorcycle flag escort would not be available. Leah told me today that when the family was told Wednesday that their request WOULD be granted, some were very emotional. So, two honorable military funeral escorts in one week.

I can't even begin describe the feeling, word would never do it justice!

Lastly, this is another reminder that you are invited to say goodbye to Sgt. Richard Nelson tomorrow, Saturday, February 14 at Resthaven Cemetery (8426 S. Hwy 287) in Fort Collins. Flag lines will start to assemble at 11:00 a.m. Sgt. Nelson will be laid to rest with full military honors and there is a fly-by scheduled as well. Please bring your motorcycle and flags and help say goodbye to a local hero.

If you're in the Greeley area and want to ride up with me, I will leave from the Kum and Go on 20th St and 71st Ave at 10:30 a.m. If you know where I live you are welcome to swing by there first at 10:00 a.m. for a coffee refill.

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