About Us

Our Story

Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) was founded in 2005 to shield families of fallen heroes from those that would disrupt the services of their loved ones. Although originally founded in Kansas, PGR has grown to include thousands of members across all 50 states in the US. To facilitate the administrative responsibilities, interested states formed their own organizations under the national PGR organization. New York State began organizing in 2006 and became a NYS non-profit corporation in 2010. Patriot Guard Riders of New York, Inc. is a 100% volunteer 501(c)(3) organization.

This is the site of the Patriot Guard Riders of New York. Our members are from all walks of life and include all age groups. A lot of members ride motorcycles, but you don't have to; some are veterans, but you do not need to be a veteran. We have no dues and there are no participation requirements. The only prerequisite for being a member is to have an unwavering respect for America's military, veterans and their families.

Our main mission is to attend the funeral services and stand flag lines for our Military, Veterans, and First Responders; as invited guests of the family, to show our respect and gratitude for those who served and our support of their families. Our flag lines may be at airport arrivals, funeral homes, churches, dignified transfers and at the actual burials or internments.

We support our military, veterans, and Blue and Gold Star families through New York State through our Help On The Homefront (HOTH) program. We honor those "forgotten" veterans who have no family to claim their remains by securing a final resting place and arranging for a full military funeral through our Veteran Recovery Program.

Our Mission and Vision

Patriot Guard Riders of New York, Inc. (PGRNY) is a 100% volunteer, Federally registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization, which ensures dignity and respect at memorial services and other events honoring Fallen Military Heroes and First Responders, Active Military Personnel, and honorably discharged veterans.

Patriot Guard Riders of New York, Inc. is a group of patriots from across the state who have one thing in common:  an unwavering respect for America's freedom and security.

Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family.  Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives.

-  Show sincere respect for our military, fallen heroes, and  their families.
-  Shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions or disturbances.

We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.

Patriot Guard Riders of New York will participate in community service and charitable works which honor and show respect for all military members and families of the military members, past and present. This may include financial assistance which these military and veteran military families may need.

To those of you who are currently serving and fighting for the freedoms of others, at home and abroad, please know that we are backing you. We honor and support you with every mission we carry out, and are praying for a safe return home for all.

Leadership Team

Board of Directors

President - Bill Schaaf

VP - Nigel Heaton

Secretary - Ray Sestak

Treasurer - Patsy Boisvert  

HOTH Director - Donna Barnes

Member - Marc Mauss

Member - Jim McElroy

Member - Pete Jepson

Member - open

State Captain
Bill Schaaf


Assistant State Captains

Regions 1-3
Nigel Heaton

Regions 4-7
Ray Sestak

Regions 8-9
Jim McElroy

PGRNY Moderator Team
Bob Boisvert
Don Macomber
Bob Meyer
Beth Read
Ray Sestak

Membership Officer/Mission Scheduling Coordinator
Wayne Cohen

HOTH Team Members
Donna Barnes
Debbie Pennock

Webmaster/Communication Director
Donna Barnes

New York State Regions/Counties

PGRNY is made up of 9 regions, with the regions being made up of groupings of adjoining counties.  Each Region has Senior Ride Captains who coordinate and oversee the various missions.  View the map below to determine your Region. Once you identify your Region, click on the Region number tab to view the counties and Ride Captains for that Region.

New York state map of Regions

County Breakdown

County Breakdown

Region 1

Niagara, Orleans, Erie, Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston,
Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany


Senior Ride Captain
Richard "Dixie" Hancock


Ride Captains

Don Becker
George Brown
Robert A. Caldwell II
Don Higgins
Patrick Jordan
Ken Lyons
Skip Merrick
Thomas Murphy
Bob Woodward

Ride Captain Memorial

Region 1

Joseph J. Joyce, DOD 01-14-2022
Terry J. Garigen, DOD 11-20-2022

Region 2

Bill (Patch) Fuhrmann, DOD 01-18-2022

Region 3

Dave Jones, DOD 12-10-2017
Ed Czarnecki, DOD 12-10-2020

Region 4

Lawrence R. Gonyea, DOD 11-02-2014

Region 7

Bob Kepler, DOD 04-21-2017

Region 8

Mitch Dicker, DOD 12-01-2016
Frank Byrnes , DOD 08-22-2017
Eddie Esposito, DOD 10-19-2020

Region 9

Ken Wirth, DOD 04-21-2020
Karen Wirth, DOD 04-09-2021



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