Wednesday, June 13, 2012
MN Patriot Guard Members,
Whew - it's been a busy month! Almost 3,000 members of our MN National Guard were brought home and we continued to welcome them at the 30 Day MIRT's. We pay honor, dignity and respect to our military serving and veterans at missions, we just participated in Memorial Day events at our Veteran Homes, State Veterans Cemetery near Camp Ripley, and the Ft Snelling Chapel Gold Star Service. We continue with our monthly visits to Veteran Homes. Thank you all for making this happen! Without your dedication and support we wouldn't be able to make sure all these things take place.
Speaking of missions, every now and then we get asked about where we can attend PGR missions, or what "no borders" means. Well ... it means that you are welcome to attend any MN PG (MN Patriot Guard) mission or MN PG event anywhere in the state (not just in your own sector). Expand that even further, you are welcome to attend any PGR mission across the nation. We have members who bring their flags on their vacations "just in case", and we have snowbirds who participate in missions in Florida, Texas, Arizona and other places south. Keep in mind that some states do some things differently and you will just follow the ride captain's direction just as in MN. Not all states do Veteran missions, but anything that is going on with the PGR, you are welcome to attend. For information in other states, the national site (www.patriotguard.org) is a good place to find out where missions are.
The Patriot Ride is almost upon us!! For those that haven't been able to attend in the past, it is an event that you will not regret attending. The pre and post ride programs remind us all of why we joined the Patriot Guard and do what we do. We get to spend the day with our Gold Star families and remember those from MN who have given all in the War on Terror, we have a special memorial for those fallen in the last year during the last mile to the mid-way stop. For those worried about the number of bikes - don't worry!! The ride heads out in waves, so you really don't realize there are so many bikes on the ride. It's a day of reflection, a day to never forget those who serve & have served, a day of celebration and a good re-charge of the batteries.
We have a special Guest Speaker - Rear Admiral Sean Pybus. RADM Pybus is responsible for Naval Special Warfare Command which he assumed on June 30, 2011. He is a career Naval Special Warfare (NSW) SEAL officer with multiple Joint Special Operations duty assignments.
We also have the honor of the Canadian Vietnam Veterans Association (CVVA) bringing their Memorial Wall to the Patriot Ride. Over 30,000 Canadians joined the US military branches, over 12,000 served in Vietnam as US military. 121 were lost with 7 POW/MIA's - those names are on this Memorial Wall. There will also be a special wreath laying ceremony at the Memorial Wall at 10:00 a.m. the morning of the ride, hosted by the Military Salute Project, and all are welcome to attend.
Our friends from the Minnesota Military Radio Hour (who feature the MN Patriot Guard once per month) are taping their Fathers Day special at the ride with many guests from the ride.
For more information please go to www.thepatriotride.org.
Thank you for all you do and be safe out there!
Karla Richardson, MNPG State Captain