Friday, November 30, 2007

The Beginnings of December

There's a snowy forecast that I'm sure many of us are not looking forward to...and yet it seems paltry in comparison to the loss some families are facing right now.

Sadly, we have lost another soldier from Minnesota. As many of you already know, SFC John J. Tobiason died Wednesday in Iraq. His family has asked us to be part of his services in Bloomington and at Fort Snelling.

SE Metro RC Indian John is working with the family's Casualty Assistance Officer already, and services may be somewhat of a short notice this coming week. John told me a little while ago that SFC Tobiason has been awarded the Bronze Star. I know the Patriot Guard Riders will show the honor and respect this coming week that is due for a hero.

December is starting off very busy - right now the event and mission calendars on our website show November, but click ahead.

Tomorrow (Dec. 1) there is a Welcome Home at the Reintegration Training in Inver Hills, and an honor mission in St. Paul for WWII Veteran Kenneth Hinz. In the early afternoon, our HOTH team has set up the Trim the Tree Event at the Hastings Veterans Home. There's also Christmas Wrapping at Zylstra's HD in Elk River, and tomorrow night, the wife and family of SGT Nick Turcotte have invited the PGR to a memorial get-together in Minneapolis on the anniversary of Nick's death. I know we've got winter weather advisories for tomorrow, so please be careful out there.

On Sunday the 2nd, there's a benefit in the Brainerd sector for fellow PGR member Rick Tveidt. Rick is a Husband, Father, Veteran (over 20 yrs), a dedicated Patriot Guard member (a couple dozen missions in the last year while fighting his own battle with cancer), and a former MP at Camp Ripley and Little Falls Police Officer. He has volunteered at Camp Ripley for the Veteran Turkey and Deer hunts, and the Vet’s Fishing trip for many years. I'm hoping the weather we're facing won't dampen the turnout up in Randall, MN. It would be great to show Rick and his family as much support as we can.

Although it hasn't gotten on the calendar quite yet, we also have a confirmed honor mission for next Thursday and Friday in the Blaine/Coon Rapids area. The mission thread is on the National site, but details are pending. Bill L. Juneau was serving as a private security contractor working with the Marines and lost his life when an IED hit their convoy 50 miles outside of Baghdad on November 26th. His family has requested the Patriot Guard to attend the funeral services in his honor.

Bill worked formerly for the Pine City sheriff and most recently with Chisago County Sheriff's department as a deputy. He will be missed greatly by his family, friends and all of his co-workers within the law enforcement community. Some of those same officers close to Bill were of tremendous help to us when we held our State Rally and the Dennis Kirk Patriot Ride this last June.

All staging times and locations can be found on the MN website, and condolences for the three honor missions should be posted on the National site.

Once again....we're going to see some white stuff this weekend, so please be safe - and keep the families of the fallen in your thoughts or prayers.