ROCKWALL (CBSDFW.COM) – A dedicated member of the Patriot Guard Riders, Gordon Keahey and his motorcycle have taken part in roughly a hundred military funerals.
Thursday was different. This time, it was his friends paying respect. This time, it was his funeral.
“It’s still a shock. I’m still thinking it’s a dream, hoping it is,” said his daughter, Karlie Keahey. Wearing her own Patriot Guard vest, she remembered her father’s sense of duty. “He did everything he could for anybody at any point in time,” she said.
The 47-year-old father of two died in a car crash this weekend. He never served in the military himself, but he was every bit the hero. An Emergency Medical Responder for FEMA, he worked on Ground Zero after September 11th and in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
“He just had a heart for giving back,” said Dewey Dyer, a fellow member of the Patriot Guard Riders, who rode with Keahey just last week.
After losing his job six months ago, Keahey became a regular rider for the Patriot Guard, attending the funerals of fallen soldiers and veterans. “He’s a hero to a lot of families in this part of North Texas because he was there for them when they lost their loved one,” said Mike Lambert, the North Texas Patriot Guard Assistant State Captain.
Friends say, Keahey once told them, he’d want the riders to be there for him. “That meant a lot to him – that we were there for him,” said Dyer.
At his funeral, dozens of riders came, honoring a man who never let a hero go uncelebrated.