Menoni thanks Guam veterans who staged escort motorcade for 2 fallen servicemen

(Photo by PNC Chief photographer Allan Balbin)

Joint Region Commander Rear Admiral John Menoni thanked the Guam police and more than 60 motorcyclists who escorted the bodies of two fallen service members to Andersen Air Force Base Saturday where their remains were flown back to family members stateside for burial.

During a Monday afternoon internet news conference from the Governor’s office, Menoni said – “I want to send my sincere thanks and appreciation to the local community who gathered to pay their respects and provided an escort to our fallen service members this past weekend. This solemn gesture was significant and shows the pride and service that our local community and veterans maintain even when our veterans take off the uniform. Thank you.”

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The bikers, many of them service veterans, joined the convoy to honor the USS Roosevelt’s Chief Petty Officer, 41-year-old Charles Robert Thacker Jr., the military’s first active-duty service member to succumb to COVID-19. He died Monday, April 13 at Naval Hospital Guam.

The riders also honored 24-year-old Army Sgt. Justin M. Lile, a forward signal support officer assigned to the THAAD unit at Andersen AFB. He died April 9 after his vehicle struck a concrete power pole on Route 15 in Yigo.

The motorcyclists gathered at the Paseo in Hagatna Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and joined the motorcade about 1 p.m. escorting the two fallen service members all the way up to the Andersen AFB North Gate.

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(Video by PNC Chief photographer Allan Balbin)   

(Photo by PNC Chief Photographer Allan Balbin)