Patriot Guard Rider Michael Houck

American Legion Riders Post 104

Honor Patriot Guard Rider Michael D. Houck

November 2, 2006, Spring Hill, Florida

Thursday evening November 2, 2006, Patriot Guard Riders State Captain, Sig22, issued a call for an Honor Mission to be held in less than 36 hours.

Saturday morning, November 4th, 28 riders, including several American Legion Riders, rallied to support this Mission. They gathered to be present for the final goodbye to a brother Patriot.

Michael D. Houck, of Spring Hill, Florida died October 26, 20006 at Halifax Memorial Hospital, in Daytona Beach, FL, due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

Staging was held a short distance from the Hicks Road Baptist church in Hudson, FL. Riders from as far away as the East Coast of Florida arrived to prepare themselves for this sad & solemn ritual. Most had been through this many times in the past but this time it was different, it was one of their own. At the appointed time Senior Ride Captain, Daslowpoke, gathered the riders for the pre-ride briefing. He explained the route the riders would be taking and urged the riders to be cautious, as no Law Enforcement escort was available. State Captain, Sig22, thanked the riders for the response with such short notice.

The ride to the church was completed without incident. Upon arrival the riders walked the short distance to the church entrance and established the now familiar flag lines. Mr. Houck’s family arrived shortly after all were in place. Guests came up until the time for the services to begin. The church was filled with those who came to support Julie Houck, her two children, and the extended family.

At the conclusion of services the family invited the riders, who had stood watch outside, to come into the church so that they could personally express their condolences. They walked past the family in a single line. Handshakes and hugs were exchanged along with tears from both the family and the riders. It was a moving experience for all.

After leaving the church the riders re-established their flag lines on both sides of the walkway leading from the church. As the mourners pasted between the flags, words of ppreciation were expressed by many of them. The flag lines were held for a considerable time while the guest gathered in small groups in the parking lot.

An invitation was extended, to the riders, to join in a celebration of Mr. Houck life to be held in Spring Hill. Several riders accepted that invitation and departed in a small formation for the 10 mile ride to Spring Hill.

After the mourners started to leave the parking lot the remaining riders also said their goodbyes to each other, wishing each a safe ride home.

Standing for the funeral of a deceased patriot is never an easy thing. To stand for one who is also a Brother rider is especially difficult. Michael Houck will be missed by his friends. He was a husband, father, and brother to his family. The loss they suffered is impossible to measure.

Rest in peace, Michael Houck. May the Lord look after your loved ones.

Photos and tribute provided by Tom and Jan of the Starship Ambulance

Lowell St Cyr "Saint"

© 2006 ALR Post 104