Bikers Pay Tribute to Fallen Navasota Hero

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They ride to honor those who pay the ultimate price for our freedom.

On this mission, the Patriot Guard Riders hit the road in honor of Pfc. Robert "Bobby" Lerma.

"When we heard Bobby was in the service and he died I knew I should get a patriot guard up here to show respect," Navasota Patriot Guard Rider John James said.

The group has more than 100,000 members nationwide, and Thursday drew bikers from Montgomery, Conroe, Houston, and Lerma's hometown of Navasota.

Their mission is simple: "to stand in honor of those who stood for us."

"I grew up in the Vietnam era and I witnessed how soldiers were treated," James said. "I also was in the army but I hid it, and this time around we're not going to let that happen again."

"I was in the military in 1957, that's when I joined, and this is the best thing I've done since I've been out of the service and I think a lot of the veterans say the same thing," Conroe Rider Lou Freitas said.

The bikers travel all over the state, not only to pay tribute to fallen hero's, but also to make sure their families don't grieve alone.

"There was a young boy today and it was his first mission," James said. "We stood there and supported the family and the family can look over their shoulder and see an American flag and know their son is honored."

"It's just a special feeling," Freitas said. "You leave knowing you honored such a hero."

Pfc. Bobby Lerma was 24 and a member of the U.S. Army. According to friends he died last week in Maryland where he was going through training. The exact cause of death is unknown.