Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Daughter's Gift

Last week, we were requested to do a mission for the re-interment of James Rhame by his wife Mary and their four daughters. James Rhame joined the Navy when he was 17 right out of Stillwater High School, Stillwater, Minnesota. He was on the USS Ticonderoga Carrier Air Group 5 - one of the first air craft carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin at the beginning of the Vietnam War.

James passed away suddenly in 1995, at 51 years of age. His wife Mary said, "This was such a shock to all of us. At a time like this, a person doesn't always make the best or the right decision. There was pressure to have him buried with his grandparents and this is what I did. I knew right away that I had made the wrong decision in not burying him at Fort Snelling. As you know, it just takes the right timing for changes to happen. I feel that burying him at Fort Snelling will bring him the honor he deserves and will bring me closer. I know in my heart this is the right thing to do."

After the re-interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery with full military honors and many members of the Patriot Guard in attendance, SE Metro Ride Captain John Thompson (better known as "Indian John") received the following note:

Dear John,
My daughter Christina was so moved by the attendance of so many "Patriot Guard" members at her father's ceremony (James Rhame) that she was moved to write this poem. This poem is her gift to you and all the "Patriot Guard" members for your dedication and commitment to the veteran community. Please forward with her deepest gratitude.
Thank you,


The FREEDOM they have to ride and play,
these men and women choose Fort Snelling this day.
Bikes and cars that's how they arrive,
with Honor, Dignity, Respect and Pride.

They stood so still on this Special Day,
with their Presence known in a wonderful way.
What a beautiful sight to drive upon,
ALL standing in honor one by one.

There must have been thirty those ANGELS I say,
as we lay down flowers and begin to Pray.
Memories come back that are so deep,
I hug you in Thanks and start to weep.

Consoling words from a Guard in my ear,
make all my tears soon disappear.
The MISSION they have is to family and friends,
while VETERANS are honored from beginning to end.

Beloved VETERAN'S and HERO'S
In God's Hands they'll be,
Their Service Honored by Guards
May They Rest Peacefully.

Passion and Commitment in their hearts they carry,
rain or shine whatever's necessary.
Who are these unselfish Men and Women you ask?
The "MINNESOTA PATRIOT GUARD" who have a task.

So please SALUTE them
As you see them ride,

Dedicated to the Men and Women of the "Minnesota Patriot Guard"

Written by Christina Mondry-Rhame
In Loving memory of my Father James Warren Rhame
US Navy-USS Ticonderoga-Carrier Air Group 5
© 6-17-2008