Home News Local News Patriot Tour’s 10th year bears flag for veterans

Patriot Tour’s 10th year bears flag for veterans

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Roswell Fire Department crews and Chaves County Sheriff’s Office personnel join about 75 bikers to escort the U.S. flag for a “transfer of Colors” ceremony Saturday at Champion Motorsports. From left are Deputy Tyler Larson, Chief Deputy Charles Yslas, flag-bearer Ryan Frost, Sgt. Hector Ramirez and Deputy Jeremy Palmer. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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The Patriot Tour is making its way through New Mexico for its 10th year and arrived in Roswell Saturday.

Ryan Frost, flag-bearer and U.S. Army veteran, passes the Stars and Stripes to Army veteran Terry Proctor, his uncle and the head of the New Mexico chapter of the Patriot Tour, during a Saturday ceremony at Champion Motorsports on West Second Street. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

The volunteer and nonprofit group Nation of Patriot Inc. raises funds for wounded veterans and their families, and each year the group coordinates the Patriot Tour that carries a U.S. flag around the country.

This year the tour started May 18 in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Various motorcyclists will raise money for the cause while also couriering the U.S. flag throughout the states until it returns to Beaver Dam on Sept. 7.

In New Mexico, the flag travels from Gallup to Albuquerque to Ruidoso to Roswell to Clovis, before heading to Texas. When a flag-bearer has completed his duty, he holds a “transfer of the Colors” ceremony in which he delivers an oath.

That ceremony, which included an audience of about 75 bikers who brought the flag from Ruidoso, occurred in Roswell at the West Second Street Champion Motorsports owned by Jimmy Allison.

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An emotional Ryan Frost, the flag-bearer from Albuquerque, said to Terry Proctor, the head of the New Mexico chapter of the Nation of Patriots, “It is with great honor I present to you the American flag. … To accept this flag is to accept the great responsibility. You will act on behalf of your fellow Americans and will represent all that is embodied within the colors of our flag. You represent our collective past, present and our future. You will carry the flag in honor of nation’s veterans … their families, and most importantly, your actions represent the memory and the valor of those who sacrificed their lives protecting this nation.”

Megen White, Champion Motorsports marketing and events coordinator, said that Harley-Davidson dealerships nationwide are frequent stopovers for the Patriot Tour because veterans often gather at them.

“One of the important things that bike shops and even Harleys do is that they become a meeting place for the community. The passion of riding really brings together a cross-section of people, and veterans are among those,” she said.

The Patriot Tour is due to leave the Chisum Travel Center, 5500 N. Main St., today about 9:30 a.m. to head toward Clovis.