You might think I'm referring to the swift passage of time - and while I'm sure we all are staring at 2008 and wondering what happened to 2007, I also wanted to mention finance.
As an update to the information in the "State of the State" post, we recently approved and are distributing $1000 grants for each of two Minnesota servicemembers who have been recovering at Walter Reed. At the suggestion of our Ride Captains, a gift was also sent to a Maryland couple that spends a great deal of time with many of our wounded at Walter Reed.
Gift cards were also recently distributed through our HOTH team to a number of families of deployed soldiers. We received the following note from the spouse of a soldier that I wanted to share with you all:
To all the wonderful people who are Helping on the Homefront:
A huge thank you to the Patriot Guard Riders for the gift card for Bed Bath and Beyond. It was a very pleasant surprise. It is reassuring to know that there are others who realize that sometimes those of us who are left alone back at home need alittle attention now and again.
Enjoy the Christmas Season. May you be blessed with all the joy that life has to give.
"Where does it go" really is about time, too. It's wonderful to provide financial assistance whether it's filling an immediate need or making life a little easier on a family, but the time you all take to show people you care is truly impressive.
We sponsor activities such as bingo at the Veteran's homes, but it also takes the precious commodity of time - time provided by our members - to make that happen. The bingo prize pales in comparison to making "Never Forget" more than just words.
On a recent welcome home mission for a soldier wounded in action had 25 members - on less than eight hours notice.
I want to share another letter. Jeff and Deb Good, our NW Metro Ride Captains, received this from the father of a Red Bull. It, too, is about the results of you all giving of your time:
As 2007 winds down, I hope you, Jeff and the rest of the PG realize how important you have been in the lives of so many. For us, and other families, one of the best things to come out of this mess in Iraq was the opportunity to get to know you. The selfless acts of support and respect you show to soldiers and their families is one of the more meaningful acts I have had the good fortune to witness in my lifetime. I am so proud to talk to friends and family about the great things you guys do. Know that you made many lives better by your presence, efforts and care.