Our relationships with the military is based on trust and our integrity to deal with sensitive and privileged information. They know when they give us their expectations of where, when, and how we listen. They also know that we will follow their protocols and meet their expectations they have given us without question. This is very important to what we do and we need to stay that way.
All Missions, including Deployment and Welcome Home cermonies, are at the clear invitation of the Military. During the Red Bull return they have, up to this point, been very clear... "do not publicize or post troop movements and no flag lines at the bus stops." Any flag lines or other Welcome Home Activities not listed on the calendar were not at the invitation of Military Leadership and were not MN Patriot Guard Missions.
As you are aware, the military is very serious about protecting troop movement information. We need to remember that anything we post or email is public and can be seen around the world. Even though the media and other groups have publicized the details we have needed to be careful in what we post.
As of this morning, we have now been given permission by the National Guard to post daily bus stops and estimated arrival times for our Red Bulls, as long as the information is in the news. YAY!!!!
We will not have this information in time to send out emails, so it remains important to check the Mission Calendar before you leave. We will be adding the stops and approximate times to the calendar as we get it. We will get the information hopefully the night before, but most likely will be the day of. Keep in mind that schedules do change. Starting in the next few days, we will be very busy with almost daily arrivals, so any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Now that we have this permission we are able to conduct flaglines at the local Armories and it will feel more like our traditional welcome homes. We will still be doing the bus escorts to the first stops as they were worked out with the military. Anything beyond that is not a MN Patriot Guard mission nor can it appear to be a MN Patriot Guard mission. We expect that people DO NOT try to intercept buses and try getting in front of them. The bus drivers are not prepared for that and something tragic could become of this uninvited, unwelcome, and illegal action.
Thank you for all you do!
Thank you for your support in giving our Military the honor, dignity, and respect they deserve
Minnesota Patriot Guard State Captain