(KSLA) - Dozens of engines roared as one Jan. 30 to help get a slain Barksdale Air Force Base airman back to his family.
Tech. Sgt. Zechariah "Zeb" Casagranda, assistant NCO in charge of 2nd Munitions Squadron line delivery, was fatally stabbed during an altercation involving 2 groups of men about 2 a.m. Jan. 23 in the rear parking lot at Rockin' Rodeo in Bossier City.
A week later, members of the Louisiana Patriot Guard Riders and nearly a half dozen motorcycle groups from Louisiana and Texas joined the Patriot Guard Riders and helped escort the 34-year-old across state lines en route to his final resting place.
"It's a fellow airman who's passed," said Mike Dilda, of Green Knights International Military Motorcycle Club's Chapter 75 at Barksdale Air Force Base. "It's a fellow airman who's met a bad situation. You want to stick up for that individual."
"I think every one of these people behind me here will tell you that it's their honor to come out here and do this little thing that we do," said Louis McGinty, of the Louisiana Patriot Guard Riders.
The riders and Bossier sheriff's deputies traveled I-20 from Bossier City to the Texas line with Casagranda's family. Members of Texas Patriot Guard Riders picked up the escort there, taking over the final stretch to the cemetery just southwest of Stephenville, Texas.
"This was an honorable airman," Dilda said. "He died standing up for others in a situation when they didn't need to step forward."
Louisiana Patriot Guard Riders asks the community to honor Casagranda by remembering its veterans.
"If you see one out, let them know," McGinty said. "Let them know you appreciate it. Say 'Hey, thank you.' They'll take pride in that thank you. That's all they need."
"It's a privilege and an honor to show that pride and that respect and that brotherhood that those who serve and have served continue to have," Dilda said. "Once you leave the service, it never leaves you."
The man accused of killing Casagranda is Benjamin William Shaw, a Killeen, Texas, resident who faces a charge of second-degree murder. His bond has been set at $750,000.