Thursday, May 3, 2012

MN Patriot Guard,

To keep you informed and make a request....

An incident took place at one of the Welcome Homes that put our safety and relationship with the Military and Law Enforcement in jeopardy.  This is a reminder of why we conduct missions and escorts with the guidelines and policies we have in place.  Those guidelines and polices have been built based on the thousands of miles, missions, and hours of experience from doing them with ZERO incidents until this year.  We need you to help us keep you, the military, and the public safe.

The incident could have had a tragic outcome had it not been for a police officer's training and quick reflexes.

On an escort a group of motorcycles other than the MN Patriot Guard hopped in behind the bus. Somewhere close to the pick up point for the fire, police and MN PG escort something happened with one of the motorcycles jumping in.  The motorcycle rider swerved into the left lane illegally cutting in front of the police squad (possibly to illegally block traffic is what is thought) and causing a Law Enforcement vehicle to go in the ditch to avoid an accident with the bike (no damage to either vehicle - shallow median).

Unfortunately this also caused the Law Enforcement vehicle for that town from being in front of the bus as part of the procession. The squad car had to bring up the rear after waiting for everyone to get by and drive out of the ditch.  Although not the fault of the MN Patriot Guard in any way, the RCIC (Ride Captain In Charge) of the Mission said he was going to make apologies to the involved Police Department and Mayor and will explain that the other group was not the MN Patriot Guard. He will also offer an apology for any inconvenience that the other unauthorized group caused.

I wish I could say this is an isolated incident - it's not.  We also know there have been several situations where bikes are sitting along highways hopping in front of buses surprising the bus drivers. Other situations that cause concern with Nat'l Guard are flag lines that appear to be Patriot Guard when they hadn't invited us.

What can you do? 

No matter what group many of us belong to; when you are wearing your MN Patriot Guard gear you are representing the MN Patriot Guard.  Please make choices that don't put all of us at risk with the Military by making it appear the MN Patriot Guard is at an event that has not been formally requested by the Military.  As the proud and trusted MN Patriot Guard we wouldn't do that.

Thank you for your support in giving our Military the honor, dignity, and respect they deserve

Karla Richardson, Doug Bley, and Tim Leonhardt
MNPG State Captain, MNPG President, and MNPG Assistant Sate Captain