When a group of tough bikers found out that a Marine’s remains were set to be shipped home to his mother in a box, they were appalled. They weren’t about to sit back and do nothing. Instead, they quickly stepped in.
Staff Sgt. Johnathan Turner passed away in California at just 41 years old after serving seven tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Marine Corps. Sadly, when the brave marine died from combat-related issues, his mother, who lives in Georgia, couldn’t make the trip to California to get her son’s ashes.
However, one group of bikers couldn’t live with the thought of Turner going home in a FedEx box. So, riders across several states worked together to return Staff Sgt. Johnathan Turner’s ashes to his mother in Georgia, in a more dignified way. And, it was quite the sight to behold.
“We did this primarily because his mother was unable to attend the services,” Oklahoma Patriot Guard Riders Captain David Noble said. “He had been cremated, and we did not want him to go home in a FedEx box.” So, the Oklahoma Patriot Guard Riders traveled across the Sooner State before arriving at the Arkansas border to pass on the fallen Marine’s remains, KFSM 5 News reported.
Some of the riders, like Asha Lamy, went out of their way to be a part of the trip and Turner’s final journey. “I need the family to know that you are not alone and we care,” Lamy explained. “I got on the road at 6 last night out of Huntsville, Alabama, and I rode over to Oklahoma.”
After Staff Sgt. Johnathan Turner’s ashes traveled through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, riders paused for a brief ceremony in the late Marine’s honor at a rest stop on Interstate-40 just over the Arkansas state line from Oklahoma. It was proof positive that, although these bikers may look tough, they really do have hearts of gold.
“The Arkansas Patriot Guard Riders are proud to receive Staff Sgt. Johnathan Turner, United States Marine Corps. It will be an honor and a privilege to escort him on his journey home,” Norm Breth, Road Captain of the Patriot Guard Riders of Arkansas, said during the ceremony, which was caught on video.
After the remains were in the safe possession of the Arkansas Patriot Guard Riders, it was once again time to ride. “We will do it. We will accomplish the mission,” Breth vowed. “Because that is what it is. The mission is to get Staff Sgt. Turner from California to his mother’s arms so that she can be at ease that he is home.”
Later that evening, Turner’s remains were handed off to the Tennessee Patriot Guard, according to Breth. Riders then spent the night in Memphis before the ashes were handed off to the Mississippi Patriot Guard in the morning. Finally, Wayne Markham of the Patriot Guard Riders of Georgia presented Turner’s mother with her son’s remains later that night.
Staff Sgt. Johnathan Turner was delivered to his final resting place with dignity, thanks to these selfless bikers, who know that those who fight and die for our country should be treated with honor, even long after they have left his world. Rest easy, Devil Dog, you are home.
Even those who don’t support acts of war should support those who stand up for us and risk their lives when duty calls. This is the America that we’ve come to know and love — a country full of patriots who show respect and honor for the brave men and women who provide often thankless service to our country. God bless these great men and women for their final act of kindness towards Staff Sgt. Johnathan Turner, who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. May he rest in peace, and may the Patriot Guard Riders receive the applause they deserve.