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By TRINA SEVERSON
PERRY COUNTY – The Indiana Patriot Guard Riders will honor two Perry County fallen heroes during a Ride to Remember Sunday, May 18.
The ride will begin Saturday in Evansville and will hold memorial services for several soldiers in Vanderburgh and DuBois counties before crossing into Perry County Sunday morning. The guard will honor Sergeant First Class Barry E. Jarvis, who was killed in Afghanistan Nov. 29, 2010, during Operation Enduring Freedom, by a lone gunman from the Afghan Border Police.
Also honored will be Seaman Apprentice Shayna Ann Schnell, who died Oct. 1, 2007, as a result of a motor vehicle accident in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She was a 2006 graduate of Perry Central High School.
“At each stop, the family of the honored soldier may place a wreath at the grave site,” said Ride Captain Rick Williams.
“There is a short eulogy and a prayer and afterward everyone there is invited to place a flag at the grave.” Flags will be provided by the Patriot Guard. Each service ends with a rendition of taps, which Williams said is often played by a high-school classmate of the soldier being honored.
This year, the Patriot Guard will honor 16 men and women who have died while wearing the uniform of the U.S. military during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
Riders will arrive at Lilly Dale Cemetery in Gatchel at 2:15 p.m. for a memorial service for Schnell.
They will depart at 2:45 p.m. and arrive at Deer Creek Baptist Church in Tell City for a memorial service for Jarvis.
Everyone is welcome to join the riders, Williams said, and a motorcycle is not needed – all vehicle types are welcome.
The only requirement is respect for the honored soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines and their families.
“We’ll continue to do this as long as we are able to,” Williams said. “It’s our fulfillment to a promise – our promise to not forget what they’ve done for us and what they’ve sacrificed for us.”