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WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 29, 2013, 12:49 PM

North Dakota Patriot Guard a fixture at funerals

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota volunteer group has become a fixture at funerals of military members, law enforcement, firefighters and other first responders.

By: Associated Press, WDAY

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota volunteer group has become a fixture at funerals of military members, law enforcement, firefighters and other first responders.

Jim Avard of Mandan is a ride captain and assistant state captain for the North Dakota Patriot Guard.

Avard tells the Bismarck Tribune that between 900 and 1,200 members volunteer their time, talents and resources to honor those who serve.

Patriot Guard members are often recognized as flag-carrying motorcycle riders leading processions, but members don't have to ride.

The group's motto "Standing By" has been its focus since 2005, when members organized nationally to protect and shield the family of a fallen U.S. soldier from protesters at his funeral.

Avard says the North Dakota group formed in 2006 and is affiliated with the national Patriot Guard riders.

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