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Soldier receives large send-off

Posted: October 13, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 13, 2012 2:00 a.m.

A U.S. Army specialist, right, reacts to the small group of well-wishers gathered in front of the home of Dave Myers, left, in Saugus at a send-off for the soldier on Friday.

A Saugus soldier started his journey back to Afghanistan on Friday with cheers — and more than a few vrooms.

The soldier, an Army specialist who asked that his name not be published due to security concerns, was escorted from his home by the Patriot Guard Riders, a national motorcycling and veterans support group that does convoys for departing and returning military personnel, as well as for the bodies of those who have been killed in action.

Patriot Guard Rider Jeff Dombro organized participants at his Saugus home before the event. Though Dombro never served in the military himself, he said it is important to show support to both veterans and active military personnel.

“There are a lot of unsung heroes out there,” he said. “We try to send them off right.”

Another participant was J.J. Leonard, who said he has been riding with the group for four or five years.

“No matter how proud you are, no matter how patriotic you are, it’s always a downer for you and your family when you ship out,” Leonard said. “But when he sees his buddies out here like this, it makes him feel good.”

Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, and Assemblyman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, also attended the event.

“It’s important to come out and show support for those who fight to protect our ideals,” Knight said. “We want to send him off and then welcome him when he comes home.”

At the end of the event Dombro, Leonard and the other members of the Patriot Guard Riders in attendance rode at the front of a motorcade with the soldier and his family to escort him on the first leg of his journey back to the Middle East.



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