David Weeks, a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, appeared at the site of the KC-130 crash that killed 16 service members to play “Taps” in honor of the deceased.
Video shows Weeks playing the solemn tune on the shoulder of the road near the crash site. Police and emergency vehicles are visible nearby.
“I’m out here today to show my respect for the fallen. Felt in my heart to come out and honor them,” Weeks told Fox 13 Memphis.
The crash occurred yesterday in a soybean field in Mississippi. The KC-130 plane suffered a “structural failure” around 20,000 feet, causing the plane to plummet to the ground.
No one on board survived. General Robert Neller of the USMC says they are committed to notifying families and conducting a thorough investigation.
Patriot Guard Riders is a national 501(c)3 organization dedicated to ensuring “dignity and respect at memorial services honoring Fallen Military Heroes, First Responders and honorably discharged Veterans.”
The organization’s website says they are “100% volunteer” and “the only prerequisite is Respect.”
“These men and women join the service not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of our country. They made the sacrifices willing to just lay everything on the line,” Weeks told Fox 13 Memphis. “They put their lives on the line every day for us, and I think more Americans ought to be more appreciative of them.”