Today I was Ride Captain for a Patriot Guard Rider honor mission. Sunday evening I received the sad news that Warren Anthony "Monk" Schwarz, 56, the founder and publisher of Dixie Biker Illustrated and a 20 year US Army, Gulf War Veteran passed away peacefully in his sleep on 18 Apr 2010 after fighting his battle against cancer.
The following is a quote from the Dixie Biker Illustrated website.
We retired from the US Army in 1995 and settled in Ormond Beach. I always tell people that we did twenty and two - twenty years in the Army an' two minutes to get the hell off post! Though Boots wasn't on active duty, just married to a soldier, she supported me through tours in the States, Germany, rotations and trips to Bosnia and Southwest Asia plus five moves in our last five years in the Army. She reared three great kids (quite often without me around), supported me no end and kept the home fires burning. It's great to married to your best bud.
We're unabashed Patriots and staunch supporters of Individual Rights and Freedoms.
On a warm, sunny day in Daytona Beach, 39 Patriot Guard Riders gathered to honor a veteran and fellow motorcycle enthusiast, Warren Anthony "Monk" Schwarz. We received word the family was arriving early and we formed a flag line in front of the funeral home to honor and support Monk's family. They were awed at the sea of red, white and blue as they rolled in. After the family entered the funeral home, we took a break in the shade and reformed the flag line as guests began arriving. There was a huge turn out of bikers as Monk was so well known through out the Florida biker community.
After the service started, we broke the flag line and made our way to the committal shelter in the cemetery. As the motorcycle drawn hearse, the family and guests approached, we reformed the flag line along the walk way leading to the committal shelter. The flag draped casket was carried between our flag lines to the shelter.
When the family was in place, we quietly moved our flag line behind and around the shelter for the rendering of military honors. Members of the Florida Army National Guard fired the three volleys and the mournful sound of taps rang out. The casket was then moved to the grave and was lowered into the ground as hundreds of bikers revved their engines. A veteran, a warrior, and a biker was laid to rest.