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  • UPDATE: HFOT Key Ceremony - Sgt Juan Hernandez, USA/GWOT - Mentone, : September 23, 2023

Author Topic: UPDATE: HFOT Key Ceremony - Sgt Juan Hernandez, USA/GWOT - Mentone, CA - 23 Sep  (Read 1372 times)


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UPDATE:  Sgt Hernandez will not be attending the Key Ceremony in person as he is under the weather.  He will be there for the Key Ceremony presentation virtually.  Therefore, PGR will not be doing an accompaniment.  However, we will still ride over to the home location.  Please note staging change below to Sandals Church East Valley.

Home for our Troups (HFOT) has once again asked the Patriot Guard Riders to accompany Sgt Juan Hernandez to the Key Ceremony as he and his family are presented their adaptive home.  It will be our honor to be present.

“Juan Carlos Hernandez enlisted in the Army right after high school with a strong desire to serve his country. Having immigrated to the United States from Mexico at the age of eight, Juan felt the need to serve the country that gave so much to him. The Army provided many opportunities for him and helped expedite his path to U.S. citizenship. He became an American citizen while on his first deployment to Afghanistan in May 2009.

On Oct. 13, 2009, Sergeant Hernandez was conducting a nighttime aerial operation as a door-gunner with Task Force Palehorse, 7/17th Cav, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, when the Chinook helicopter he was flying in was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG). SGT Hernandez was the only one injured during the incident, sustaining severe damage to his right leg. He was medevac’d to Bagram Air Base, where surgeons amputated his right leg.

Once back in the United States, Juan moved quickly through his rehabilitation. By late December, he received his first prosthetic. Through the Center for the Intrepid, Juan was able to get involved with adaptive sports…”

Ten years later Juan has completed his master’s degree in occupational therapy at Loma Linda University and looks forward to working with fellow veterans in the Veteran Healthcare System.  He has had barriers to cross with his injuries and with this adaptive home he will be able “to concentrate on “advancing his career instead of focusing on the obstacles within his home.”

You can watch a video and read more on Sgt Juan Hernandez at Home For Our Troups:


0900 - Stage @ Sandals Church East Valley, 1325 Amethyst Ave, Mentone, CA (less than half-mile away from home location).

0915 - Mission briefing.

0930 - KSU to home location for Key Ceremony 0.3 miles away.

1000 – Virtual Key Ceremony presentation of home.

Lillian Riddell
SoCal PGR Mission Ops, Ride Captain

(909) 855-2623

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

You do not have to be a veteran or a motorcycle rider to attend this mission.  All PGR members are welcome.  We encourage those who do not ride to attend in your car.  If this will be your first mission go to the initial staging area and you will be briefed there by the Ride Captain (RC).  Dress for motorcycle riding or dress casually if you are driving a cage (car).  Please feel free to attend any portion of this mission you can.  Please ride/drive safely.