Patriot Guard members,
Below is a letter that I received last night that contains a request to all of you. The emphasis on it is mine. I have the author's permission to share it here:
My name is Brad Strange, Retired SFC from the USA. I am glad to see that the Patriot Guard will be conducting Operations for SFC Matthew Kahler's Funeral. I have signed up for the PG in Alabama where I am living.
SFC Matthew Kahler is special to me. I got Matthew as a brand new private in the 82nd ABN DIV. I was his first squad leader and I did my best to mold him in my image. I loved him like my little brother. I am also close to his wife Vicki and it has come down through some of my other soldiers that she is going to want me to present the flag at the funeral. Needless to say this is going to be one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
All I ask is please hold the line.
Thank you for your service,
This is my reply. I can say this to Brad, because I know many of you will be there...and I will be there with you too, on Saturday.
We are deeply sorry for your loss. We know the bond between brothers like you and Matthew is unshakable. We thank you both, for your service to our country and for guarding our freedoms.
We will hold the line.
Next Wednesday, Matthew will arrive home in Willmar, Minnesota. Patriot Guard members will be there for a quiet and heartfelt final welcome home. When he arrives in Granite Falls a little later - about 40 miles away - there will be others holding the line in silence, with flags held high in his honor.
The Patriot Guard will stand for him again on Friday at the visitation, and on Saturday at his funeral services.
When you present the flag, we will hold the line - for Matthew, for his family...and for all who love him like you do, and call him Brother.
MN State Captain