Confirmed:HFOT Key Award Ceremony, SGT Mario Lopez, Veteran US Army (47-20) 5 JUN 20

June 5, 2020 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Vintage Oaks Welcome Center
1110 Vintage Way
Canyon Lake, TX 78132

The presence and participation of the San Antonio Patriot Guard Riders has been requested to take part in this joyous event.  We have been asked to ride a procession for the veteran and family to participate in a “Key Awarding Ceremony” presented by Homes For Our Troops (HFOT).  This ceremony will be the final presentation of a specially adapted mortgage free home for US Army SGT Mario Lopez.

Mario Lopez was in high school when he watched the twin towers fall during the September 11th terrorist attacks. Angered by the horrific events, Mario felt compelled to serve, thinking: “If I don’t do it, who will?”
Mario enlisted shortly after graduating in 2003, joining the 68th Engineer Company as a truck driver. He first deployed to Iraq in 2005 and again to Afghanistan in 2008. On Aug. 13, four months into his second tour, Sergeant Lopez was on a mission when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED). SGT Lopez’s battle buddies acted quickly, and immediately came to his aid and pulled him from the burning vehicle. He sustained burns to over 50 percent of his body; the loss of his right arm and four fingers on his left hand; severe damage to his feet; and the loss of his sight in his right eye.
Once back in the United States, Mario spent two months in a medical coma. When he awoke, he had to relearn how to walk. He underwent multiple skin grafts and surgeries to reconstruct his face, left hand, and right foot.
Now medically retired, Mario manages his pain and discomforts while focusing on adapting his life as best he can. He has turned his experiences of injury and recovery into art. After losing his dominant arm, Mario thought he would never paint again. In July 2011, he picked-up a paint brush with his left hand, started making strokes across the canvas, and has not stopped since. Mario has had his artwork displayed at different art events and shows nationwide. He is currently working on putting together a Veteran art show to exhibit across the country. He is also a published author – he and his wife, Danielle, wrote a book together called How I know: A Story to Strengthen Your Faith. Mario plans to expand his creative outlets even further – he is currently studying digital photography with hopes to open his own photo business.
Though Mario has established himself as an artist, constantly dealing with the frustrations of a non-adapted home makes him feel limited in his family life. It is discouraging for Mario to be unable to enjoy the outdoors with his four children because the rocky terrain around his yard makes it difficult for him to maintain his balance. Receiving a specially adapted custom Homes For Our Troops home will provide an ideal environment for Mario to focus on his family, art, and the future.
A native Texan, Mario is choosing to remain in the Lone Star State to be close to family and medical care.
Mario says he feels blessed and honored to live in a time where people give so generously to Veterans like himself. “Any donation, no matter how big or small, means the world to me as it would help provide a more independent living and financially secure future for me and my family.”

WEATHER:  Hi 88 / Lo 69, 0% Chance of Rain, 98% Humidity, Wind: 5 mph ESE

REQUESTOR: Shaquanta “Q” Bailey Community Outreach Coordinator
Homes For Our Troops (HFOT)

STAGING:  9:00 am, Friday, June 5, 2020 
Vintage Oaks Welcome Center
1110 Vintage Way
New Braunfels, Texas 78132

BRIEFING:  9:15 am

KSU:  10:00 am (Semper Gumby)

CEREMONY:  Arrive NLT: 10:10 am
1109 Provence Place
New Braunfels, Texas 78132

RC:    Pete “Sea Dog” Johnson



1. Iron horses if you can, cages are always welcome and appreciated and unless under special circumstances not allowed in processions. You do not have to have a motorcycle to participate in honoring our veterans.

2. Safety First: Please remember to properly hydrate (including the night before) before any outdoor activity and to dress appropriately. Do not hesitate to take a break at any time if you feel you need to get in the shade or get indoors and always ask for help at any time. Also please do not forget your sun screen.

3. Please remember that our mission is to stand tall and silent, and with honor and. NO TALKING, SMOKING, CHEWING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS, OR CELL PHONE USE IN THE FLAG LINE!

4. Cemeteries are hallowed ground. Please keep radios off and engine noise to a minimum. Observe the 15 MPH speed limit. Show our respect to ALL who are in attendance.

5. If riding/driving a motorcycle on Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, which is located within a Military Installation, you will need to wear closed toe shoes, long sleeve shirt, gloves, DOT approved helmet, eye protection, long pants, and boots/shoes that cover the ankle.

 ***Safety Notice***
Before volunteering and/or attending any San Antonio Patriot Guard Riders missions we encourage you to review all safety information below.  Included are some potential safety concerns to be aware of, however this does not include the full scope of all potential hazards.  Anyone attending any San Antonio Patriot Guard Riders mission understands that they do so at their own risk. Neither the Patriot Guard Riders Organization nor its representatives are liable for any damages incurred on any PGR mission or event.
Funeral Processions/Escorts
EVERY RIDER IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE for their own safety at all times while riding in a funeral procession.

At NO TIME are any riders authorized to block any intersection or otherwise block or impede traffic laws in any way.  Only Law Enforcement officials are authorized to block and/or impeded the lawful flow of traffic.

If you choose to fly a flag on your bike you are SOLELY RESPONSIBLE for ensuring it is secured and not a danger to any other rider or traffic.

Warm Regards,
Bob “Pizza Man” Johnson
Deputy State Captain
San Antonio Patriot Guard
Honor, Dignity, Respect
Cell: (562) 413-2223