Patriot Guard Riders Speak Out Against Midland's New Special Eve - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Patriot Guard Riders Speak Out Against Midland's New Special Events Policy

By Devin Sanchez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The City of Midland changed their special event permit requirements after last November's train accident that killed four veterans. The new ordinance put the brakes on one non-profit that honors military servicemen and women who are coming home.

"It's causing a disservice to the veterans and to the active duty military," Teresa Galloway, Deputy State Captain of the West Texas Patriot Guard Riders, said.

The guard is known for their welcome home celebrations and flag lines at funerals.

"We are here to show honor and respect, we want to do that, that's where our hearts are," Galloway said.

Now that Midland requires a $2 million insurance policy on all spectators and participants in a parade, the guard will be limited in what they can do.

"It's not even getting the liability policy, it's the guidelines they have to go with it. A non-profit should not have to carry a $2 million dollar policy for the city of Midland," she said.

Galloway told NewsWest 9, the Patriot Guard is truly non-profit and can't afford this policy.

"It puts us in a financial bind," she said.

The wording of the new policy makes the group virtually uninsurable.

"No insurance company will even give us a quote, they wont accept us," Galloway said.

One of the guards greatest honors is escorting funerals of fallen soldiers but the new policy also asks for a 30 day notice.

"A lot of our escorts, KIA's, we don't know about until about 72, 48, 24 hours beforehand, and to get the paperwork, 30 day notice is unreasonable," Mark Cooper, Ride Captain with the guard, said.

Ride Captain Bill McNeil insisted they won't be stopped; their purpose is too important.

"You should not have to get anyone's permission to do what's right," he said.

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