Bikers carry fallen Marine's remains across the country - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Bikers carry fallen Marine's remains across the country

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
ATLANTA, GA (WMC) -

Patriot Guard Guard Motorcycle Riders wrapped up a noble mission this weekend.

The bikers carried the remains of a fallen Marine thousands of miles back to his home. The "pony express"-styled mission included a stop in Memphis and a dramatic hand off.

They rolled into the Downtown Memphis welcome center with the remains of Staff Sergeant Johnathan Turner. Turner recently died in California from injuries he sustained in Afghanistan.

"It was war time injuries that he had, and it finally got to him," said Johnny Rivera, a Patriot Guard Rider.

Turner was passionate about riding motorcycles. Patriot Riders said when he died in California, the chapter there held a memorial service. 

The initial plans were to ship Sergeant Turner's remains to his mother's home in Atlanta, but Patriot Rider Jerry Ashbee said the members of his group felt shipping the ashes would have been less than honorable. So, they organized a run to personally take Turner's remains from California to Georgia.

The riders carried remains in a saddlebag, handing the remains off to riders in each state as a part of a ceremony called a "dignified transfer."

"Best way to bring him home," Ashbee said. "As Patriot Guard Riders, most of us do ride. This is what we do. We show honor and respect for fallen heroes everyday, and this is just a different extension of that."

Riders said during Turner's military career, he deployed overseas seven times. The Marine was 41 years old when he died.

"As long as we got troops overseas, until they all come home we will be there for them," said Johnny Rivera.

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