Mr. Andrew Farrar, Sr. of Weymouth, MA met us at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday, June 19 so that we could present a United States Flag and other items to him in honor of his son, Andrew Farrar, Jr. He brought Andrew's sons, Tyler and Liam, with him.
SGT Andrew K. Farrar, Jr. died on January 28, 2005, his 31st birthday, in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to Headquarters and Service Battalion, 2nd Force Service Support Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Lejeune, NC. He had re-enlisted in the United States Marine Corps after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and was on his second tour of duty in Iraq, having previously led his squad of Marines during fierce fighting in Fallujah in 2004.
In the summer of 2006, Jim Benson, who had the idea for the 2008 Honor & Remember Ride To Washington, and a friend joined other Patriot Guard Riders in Sturgis, South Dakota to assist in setting up The Healing Field. United States flags were raised for every Servicemember who had died during the Global War On Terror up to that point. Each flag pole had a ribbon attached to it that included the name of the Servicemember and the date and place of death.
When the event concluded and the field of flags was dismantled, the flags and their associated ribbons were sent to sponsors, volunteers, and other appropriate people as a way to perpetually honor and remember those who have given the last full measure of devotion for our Nation. The flag that Jim received bore the name of USMC Sergeant Andrew K. Farrar, Jr.
Jim flew Andrew's flag whenever he was able to participate in a PGR mission in Minnesota or in neighboring states. He has flown the flag on his motorcycle and held it while "standing the line" at the wakes and funerals of numerous Servicemembers and Veterans, during deployment and Welcome Home ceremonies, at Family Readiness Group rallies, while escorting Military convoys, and at a variety of other events such as PGR visits to Veterans Homes and benefits for Servicemembers and Veterans.
All of us who participated in the Ride were honored to meet family members of a hero who stood for us. We will not forget the sacrifice of SGT Andrew K. Farrar, Jr or that of his family ...