Carthage resident honored for service to community after series of strokes

Bob Meeks has been a member of the Patriot Guard Riders since 2006.

CARTHAGE, Mo. – It’s been a rough month for Carthage resident Bob Meeks and his wife Sylvia.

“We’ve been struggling with oxygen lines running through the house. We all get tangled up in em,” explains Sylvia.

Bob has done a lot for the Carthage community — most notably during his 40 year career as the district’s band director.

In 2006, he joined the Patriot Guard Riders, a group that attends the funerals of fallen veterans and first-responders to shield family members from people who would want to disrupt a service.

“He has loved every bit of the patriot guard. He feels that that’s part of his service back to his country,” explains Sylvia.

But over the last month, Bob has suffered a series of strokes that have left him unable to ride.

“He bought him a new a new Harley Heritage… that was his dream for a long time. He rode it to Jasper and back, and that’s the only time he got to ride it,” says Sylvia.

So his friends and colleagues in the Patriot Guard decided to honor Bob for all he’s done for the community.

More than a dozen members of the guard came together from around the area to ride to his house and see their old friend.

“It’s honoring one of my best friends. He deserves it,” says Ed Frederickson. “He has been so good to so many people, he deserves some honor. I wish we could have before the health issues, but he’s really enjoying today.”

The stoke has also made it difficult for Bob to talk. But that didn’t matter today… because his emotions were written all over his face.

“I haven’t seen him smile that much in a long time. It’s just made his day and if I can be a part of that, than I’m honored to do that,” says Fredrickson.

“He hasn’t smiled or laughed this much since all this happened. And I can’t stop crying,” says Sylvia. “It was wonderful of them to do that.”

Bob and Sylvia will be celebrating their 62nd wedding anniversary next week.