Procession riders honor West fallen heroes - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Procession riders honor West fallen heroes

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WACO -

Bikers brandished their leather today as they led the procession to the West victim memorial service. 

There were nearly 300 riders showing their support Thursday afternoon for the fallen fire fighters. Patriot, independent and club riders were some of the people represented. However the Brother's Keepers motorcycle led the show. They were in front of all, heading the way to the Ferrel Center. 

"There are people from all over the United States today to honor these fallen firefighters and first responders and that's just what we do, they're our family," Randy Liedtke said.

Liedtke says he knew one of the victims. He says he worked with Jimmy Matus to help build fire trucks for his department in Carthage. Matus worked as a sales manager at Westex Welding and Fire apparatus, a company that builds fire trucks. 

"If Jimmy told you something that's the way it was going to be, you could depend on Jimmy, you could count on him," Liedtke said. "If they had any problems they'd just give Jimmy a call and Jimmy and the guys from his shop would go out and assist in pumping the trucks."

Other riders also have friends in West. William Deal is a Patriot Guard rider who talked with us after getting off his bike during the procession. 

"One of the firefighters from West is a friend of mine, he survived the blast, he's here, and I saw him a while ago and he's alright, that was a good moment for me," Deal said. 

Deal also talked about the mood of the riders during the procession. He says it had a mixed feeling.

"It was a proud time, but it was a sad time. The Patriot Guard riders, independent riders, they're all proud to be here and proud to be able to pay their respects but it was a sad moment also," Deal said.

Many riders did come from all across Texas and the nation and don't know anyone from West. But that doesn't make any difference.

 "They are my brother in the fire service we have to count on each other, depend on each other's lives, each other's lives depends on what the other does," Liedtke said. 

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