By Sandy Meyer

The greatest sacrifice that can be given is one life for another. Many Tampa area families understand this sacrifice, having lost a loved one to our nation’s wars.

Last month the Latin Soldiers and American Legion Riders, as well as other motorcyclists, gathered at the American Legion Post 148 in Riverview to kick off a weekend event for the fallen. The Ride for the Fallen was a gathering of area motorcyclists and veterans as a precursor to the ceremony for the Run for the Fallen, a fundraiser run that took place at Veterans Park in Tampa the following day.

The run was organized by the Tampa Area Marine Parents Association (TAMPA) representing Gold Star Families in the area, which are families who lost a loved one in the military.

Groups like the Latin Soldiers and American Legion Riders, most of whom are veterans themselves, were invited to kick off the weekends’ events with a show of support, lining the streets with their many motorcycles. Leading the pack was Bodyguard, the founder and commander of the Latin Soldiers, a motorcycle organization that was created in Riverview and has since expanded around the country.

He led the group with a prayer and reminded those participating, “We like to ride, but we also like to support.”

When asked why he wanted to support this event, Bodyguard answered, “There are a lot of good causes, but any time we support our fallen brothers and sisters, there isn’t any greater cause than that.”

With Bodyguard leading the procession, the group headed from Post 148 to Veterans Park in Tampa where they showed further support to the families of the fallen by forming a human shield around the makeshift gravesite during the candlelight vigil to ensure the families would have privacy while grieving.

The Tampa area has veterans from the current wars all the way back to World War II, and there are always events like these that can benefit from the support of the community.

For more information on events for the American Legion Post 148 or the American Legion Riders, visit www.americanlegionalafiapost148 or for the Latin Soldiers, visit

For more information on the Tampa Area Marine Parents Association, visit

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