Friday, March 28, 2008

Minnesota Mourns Another Hero

Spc. Gregory B. Rundell, 21, of North St. Paul, MN

This is a confirmed mission.

Spc. Gregory B. Rundell, 21, of North St. Paul, MN, died March 26 in Taji Iraq, of wounds suffered from small arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Jeff Good, the Ride Captain In Charge is in contact with the Casualty Assistance Officer who will be supporting Spc. Gregory B. Rundell's family through the coming days. The family has invited the Patriot Guard Riders to attend the services as the invited guests of the family. Until more information is available, we ask you to keep his loved ones in your thoughts or prayers.

Please check the mission thread for details:
Click Here

Stand down soldier, your duty is done, rest with God. A grateful Nation owes you a debt that can never be repaid. We will never forget your ultimate sacrifice.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Back Patch Update

To all MN members:

As many of you know, Minnesota Patriot Guard used to sell back patches that were in three separate pieces. A decision was made last June to halt those sales. A three-piece design with rockers (above and below a center patch) carries a great deal of significance in the world of motorcycle clubs, and we wanted there to be no confusion - we are not a motorcycle club, riding club, or any other type of club.

We are a non-profit organization that exists to honor our Fallen Heroes and provide both shield and support to their families, and to support the wounded and injured men and women of our military. Although many of us ride, it is not a requirement that members have motorcycles. The ONLY requirement is respect for those who defend our freedoms.

We heard from many of you when we halted sales of the patches. The message was loud and clear that you still wanted a back patch - and if it was to be a one-piece, you wanted it to be as similar as possible to the old one. A committee was put together to consider the requests. They agreed with many members that although the Fallen Heroes patch conveys much of the spirit of our mission, a more specific patch would provide name recognition to be identifiable by the general public, members of our military, and law enforcement while on missions. The committee considered several different options, some of which were submitted by members.

We apologize that this process has taken a while; unfortunately, some of the delay was beyond our control. The design was approved in December, but we had to hold off due to a trademark issue with the PGR name at the National level. After consulting with a trademark attorney, the MN Board of Directors decided to move forward with production of the new back patch. They have been ordered and should be available on the website gear page in approximately 4-5 weeks. As always...the proceeds will support our mission.

Some of you have asked whether or not you may wear the previous back patch design with the rockers above and below the Fallen Heroes patch. We are not in a position to tell you that you can or cannot wear them, because you own them. We can only make suggestions and provide information. However, it is our hope that, due to the high quality and amount of time that has gone into producing the new back patch, our members will overwhelmingly choose to wear the new one-piece version.

As the MN board of directors, we recommend that if you still choose to wear the previous patch with rockers, they be worn only at Patriot Guard missions within the state of Minnesota. We recommend that if ever asked by anyone to remove your vest, you do so without contention for your own well-being and that of others with you. We do not recommend the previous 3-piece patch be worn at motorcycle events such as bike shows, runs, rallies, bars, casual rides, or anything other than a PGR mission within our state.

Again - these are recommendations for those who have asked, or may wish to ask. The decision is up to the individual.

We also feel it may be helpful to provide you with information as to why we have made these recommendations. Motorcycle Clubs have a long history, and traditionally a 3-piece patch is earned over a period of time - not purchased. It is impossible to explain the culture of MCs in a brief email, but the following website may be of help to you in making an informed decision for yourself, by understanding the significance of rockers and the traditional protocols involved in wearing them:
(Please note that the bandwidth of this website is limited, and at times it may be unavailable - particularly later in the month. If that happens, it will be available again at the beginning of the next month.)

Some of you may have received much of this information previously. It is being sent out via email one final time, posted in the News/Notes section of our website, and posted in the MN forum on the National PGR website in an attempt to reach as many members as possible.

IMPORTANT: For those of you who intend to purchase the new one-piece back patch, the above link also contains important information. In keeping with traditional protocols established by the Confederation of Clubs, no rockers should be placed above or below this patch. Again, we are not a club and these are not "colors," but back patches of any sort can draw attention. Please keep in mind that there may be times or places when it may be best not to wear it (i.e. bike rallies, other states, etc.). If asked to remove the garment it is on, we recommend calm compliance. We encourage you to educate yourselves thoroughly if you purchase the new patch.

As noted above, the patch should be available in approximately 4-5 weeks. We plan to set up pre-sales on the gear page prior to its arrival and the price will be posted at that time. It will be available in both 12-inch and 14-inch versions. These patches will be sold only to members in Minnesota, and MN Patriot Guard has been granted exclusivity to the design by the manufacturer. This is a link to a preview of what the patch looks like:

The inner part containing the Fallen Heroes patch has been slightly changed to reflect the proper order of service, as well as the proper seals being used for each branch of the service. As many of you is a beautiful tribute to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in defending the freedoms we enjoy on a daily basis.

On behalf of the board, and with respect and appreciation for all you do in honoring our Fallen Heroes...

Monica Mead
MN State Captain/Board President

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sick of Your E-Mails

This was a striking email that Jeff & Deb Good, Ride Captains for the NE Metro, passed on to a few of us; I wanted everyone to see it:

Jeff and all Minnesota Riders,

I just wanted to let you know how sick I am of getting your e-mails. Everyday, I seem to get something in my inbox that says you have a mission for a soldier.

It breaks my heart to know that our soldiers are dying out there and that the families are requesting your services.

But, I want to thank every single one of you and your members for providing those services to all of our soldiers past and present. As a Desert Storm veteran and a disabled veteran at that, I thank God everyday that I was able to serve my country and return home with only emotional scars.

I also thank God everyday that people like you, for which I wish I could also help but cant because of my disability, are out there reaching out to those families who have members who have passed away recently in the war in Iraq, or have served in peace and other wars in the past. Your work and dedication to keeping pride to our soldiers and protecting the freedoms that they lost their lives to, well, there are just no words on paper that express how much it means to everyone that you touch.

Your members have and will continue to give to those families in pain of those lost, the comfort of seeing flags on motorcycles. I wish you didn't have to exsist, but I am also thankful that you do.

God Bless each and everyone of your members, and all the soldiers of all wars in the defence of this great nation.

With love in my heart for you all as a brother soldier,

Desert Storm Veteran

( I hope my e-mail didn't scare you too much at the beginning )


I know Jeff already replied to you, but I wanted to echo his words on behalf of all of us. Yeah, that subject line scared me. The message within made me choke up. We wish we didn't have to exist either, but I'm glad we do.

And I'm honored to say on behalf of everyone in Minnesota, Thank You and Welcome Home.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Minnesota honors two men tonight, one Airman and one Navy Seal, who passed away recently.

Airman Robert W. Guilfoil, USAF, Eden Prairie, MN, Tue-Wed 11-12 MAR 08
The Patriot Guard Riders have been asked to celebrate the life and honor the service of Airman Robert W. Guilfoil of Chanhassen, MN. Airman Guilfoil died 02 Mar 2008 of injuries received in a motorcycle accident. Airman Guilfoil was stationed at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas and passed away in Little Rock. Click Here for more information, or check our mission calendar.

SOCS Thomas John Valentine, 37, Ham Lake, MN, Fri 14 MAR 08
The family of Sr. Chief (Navy SEAL) Thomas J. Valentine has requested the MN Patriot Guard to help in honoring this American Hero. Thomas died in a training accident on 13 Feb 2008 preparing himself to be the best he could be in order to serve and protect our great country. Lets show this family that we share their loss by honoring this courageous and brave man. Click Here
for more information or check our mission calendar.

Again, we are saddened by the loss of these two American Heroes, and will stand the flag line with honor and respect for their sacrifices. God bless you both, gentlemen.