Thursday, December 19, 2013

Welcome to:  Devan Jahn, new ARC in the Willmar Sector and Ken Worden, new ARC in the Metro SE.   Thanks to both of you for stepping up.
Winter is definitely here!  And along with it, ice and snow on roadways, parking lots and everywhere else.  Please make sure you allow enough time to safely get to missions and back home again. 
At missions, we are often in some tighter spaces to accommodate family & friends - look to make sure someone is not behind you when backing up or maneuvering - sometimes we can't stop as quick as we would like or think we can, or someone having to move quickly out of our way could get hurt.  Snow is also piled up and hard to see around.
Dress accordingly for weather conditions - we want you safe!  Standing on the flag line can get cold - bring extra clothing you may need to stay warm!  Frostbite and other winter maladies are serious, so be prepared.
The new Watch Cap are now in our store to help keep heads & ears warm - check out the store for other high quality items.  You can find the store at and click on MN PG Gear.
Thank you for all you do!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

2014 Patriot Ride Raffle tickets are printed and ready to sell !!!

We’re starting early……with a little friendly competition --- and we need your help!

Need new Riding Gear,  or nice Riding boots---or,  perhaps some Rain gear? (you know what we mean )  These are just some items of what you could choose from Dennis Kirk,  if you’re the winner of the:  Most Raffle Tickets sold

The Patriot Ride Raffle prize this year is the winner’s choice of a 2014 Harley-Davidson® Street Glide or $15,000 Cash.  The drawing will be held at Ham Lake Lions Park during the afternoon program of the 9th Annual Patriot Ride, Saturday - June 14, 2014.

As you may know the majority of money raised for this Event which benefits our Military and their families, comes from Raffle ticket sales.  The last couple of years the number of tickets sold have gone down considerably.  In order to boost ticket sales, Dennis Kirk has offered to donate prizes for the most tickets sold!!!

1st prize                $500 Dennis Kirk Gift Card
2nd prize               $250 Dennis Kirk Gift Card
3rd prize               $100 Dennis Kirk Gift Card

We are opening up this challenge to members of the Minnesota Patriot Guard,  Dennis Kirk employees and the Minnesota Military Appreciation Fund staff.  In order to keep track of the Raffle Ticket sales we ask that you request all tickets by emailing:

Please include your name, address and the number of Raffle tickets you would like to receive.   Raffle Ticket booklets come in groups of 10 each.   
Dennis Kirk will again include a pre-paid address label and envelope for you to return the sold ticket stubs along with the $$ collected.   Please plan to return Ticket stubs to us in groups of 10 ( each booket contains 10 tickets)  
Dennis Kirk will track all Ticket sales,  and the Winner of most Ticket sold will be announced the week after the Patriot Ride. 
Please help us make this year’s Raffle Sales better than ever!


New items in the store! 

The Minnesota Patriot Guard Store has a few new items. 12" MN PGR Teddy Bear©, MN PGR Bandanna© and a MN PGR Can Koozie©. You can see these items and more at the MN PGR store.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Welcome to two Assistant Ride Captains (ARC's):  Rich Klugherz in Metro SW and Conrad Slocum in Duluth Sector.  Thank you to both!! 
We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Hibbing ARC Richard (Dick) "Chappy" Chapman.
Donation tally's for the 2013 Patriot Ride are in - thank you for your support!  Proceeds from the Patriot Ride greatly benefit two organizations - the MMAF and the MN PG.  This year, both organizations received $45,386 each!
Our portion of proceeds, along with our store sales and other donations go to benefit our military and veterans right here in MN:

- MMFF (MN's Military Family Foundation) help military families in crisis - it's a quick turnaround of funds to get them on their feet, and may include car repairs, groceries, furnace or other appliance repairs, etc.

- We use a little over $8,000.00 annually at our Vet Homes, for things like bingo, and food for BBQ's and cook-outs. And we donate a little over $3,000.00 annually to our Veteran/Disabled Veteran Hunts (turkey, pheasant, deer hunts)

- Flags for the MN Fallen - this is a nationwide group that donates a large flagpole and flag for our Gold Star families, to be placed where they choose. Here in MN, we cover the cost for our MN KIA's.

- Internal costs for things such as our webpage and email system, insurance, legal fees, postage, our Post Office box. We also have mission expenses for things such as the plaques & coins given at missions to families of our KIA's or current serving military.

- we also donate to things such as the 34th Division Chaplain Fund, Disabled Vets Rest Camp, Project Backpack, TTTT Education Fund, AUSA Toys for Military Kids, Wreaths Across America/Wreaths for the Fallen, official military unit Dining In's/Outs to assist those in the rank of E4 and below to attend these military events steeped in tradition, etc.
Thank you for all you do!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

With the trademark issue resolved we are working towards newer and more items in the On Line Minnesota Patriot Guard Store. 1 thing we have already added is a 9 ft Flag Pole. This is a 5 piece polished chrome pole that fits nicely into my Hard Bags on my Victory and I am told even fits in the Hard Bags of some other brands of Bikes. More information and pictures are available in On Line Store. 
Some other items I am working on include a MN-PG Bandanna, a Watch Cap embroidered with the MN-PG Logo, and - I know this sounds weird when you first hear it - but I am close to having a MN Patriot Guard Teddy Bear available. ( WHAT? A TEDDY BEAR?? We are Bikers not Nannies! Has he lost what few marbles he had!? )
Settle down now - Here is the deal, for KIA and Active Duty Funerals we often have Children - either siblings or the children of the Fallen that are too young to be given a Challenge Coin or an American Flag, yet here they are in a very intimidating place, with a LOT of big people around and maybe not quite understanding what is going on. Similar to the program where Highway Patrol Officers carry a Teddy Bear for young victims of traffic accidents we will have a Teddy Bear available for the younger children and siblings of our Fallen Heroes. I think this will add a lot of comfort for those younger family members of our Heroes.
As long as we are going to have these Teddy Bears available for the families of our Heroes we will offer them in the store also - For grandchildren maybe if any of you have any of those? This will be a 12 inch Bear with a Black T-Shirt with our Logo and a MN-Patriot Guard bandanna.
There are some other items I am working on, like a watch cap, a can koozie, and maybe a hoodie. I will go into more information when I have gotten final BoD approval. The best thing to do is to check the website every week or so. You need to go out to the website to check the calendar - just browse through the store once in awhile also.
Couple of things I wanted to pass along also
The store is a joint effort between the Board of Directors, our Members and myself. I cannot just get an idea, find a Vendor and order it - The Board has final say on what goes in the store. Our members also give me input at missions and through email so that I can advise the BoD on items that would sell or not. If I come up with an idea I send the BoD an email describing it. If some of the Board Members like it they will give me feedback on it. If they really don't like it No one will email me back J (that is usually only on some of my wilder ideas). If they just don't like it they will tell me so. If they like it I will come up with a vendor for it who will produce a proof of it - I get approval from the Board on the proof and then I place the order. I believe this falls under the part of the Board job description where it talks about "Position the MNPG as a highly effective, reputable and credible non-profit organization." That means no cheap, tacky stuff in our store. I think this has helped our store have quality, tasteful items that our members can be proud of.
Another item I want to point out is that the proceeds from the Store are used for Minnesota Military and their families. This is part of the reason we created the Minnesota Patriot Guard. So that we in Minnesota could control where the money we raised is spent. If you want to purchase Items for the National Patriot Guard Store I think that is a good thing. They need money to pay for the website and administrative costs. But if you go to a Site that is not part of the National PGR or individual State Patriot Guard Stores then your money is used to profit someone. There are some stores out there and on EBay that are selling Pirated Patriot Guard Merchandise. When you buy from them you are not buying from a 501(3) (c) charity. You are lining their pockets - and they are making money off of our Heroes who are fighting and dying for our country. I cannot imagine anything worse.
Last item I am going to bring up is wearing your Minnesota Patriot Guard shirts and patches. Leadership has talked about the where's and whys you should not wear your MN-PG, - But that does not mean you cannot wear your MN-PG T-Shirt or other merchandise when you are shopping or eating lunch or going to a Ball Game. It does not have to be a Mission to wear your PGR Clothing. Wear it whenever you want in any non-political situation or where it may appear to be official PGR participation in an event outside of mission scope.   Then when people come up and ask you about it - and they will come up and ask you about it, - tell them why you are in the Patriot Guard and what it all means to the families. Ask them to join us ensure that those who have served our country are afforded the Honor, Dignity and Respect they have earned.
Please send any questions or suggestions to it may take me a bit to get back to you - but I will certainly try to answer everyone that wants an answer.
Thank you for all you!
John Redfield
MN PG Store

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Members - just wanted to make a friendly reminder to everyone! 
There are a lot of upset people right now with our Government and the shut down - on both sides of the issue.  Protests are going on around the state and the nation.
If you wish to attend, please leave the MN PG/PGR gear/identification at home and attend as a private citizen.  The PGR/MN PG are not a protest or a counter-protest group, and we cannot participate in political events/issues. 
You are certainly encouraged to participate on your own if you wish - it's one of the freedoms that our military served for.  But leave the gear at home.  We cannot jeopardize our 501c3, our relationship with the military, and the much respected image of the organization that you have helped to create.
Thank you for all you do! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Have you checked out the "Member Document" link at our state website? There are helpful documents listed there for your information, and will help answer many questions you might have. Here are a few - check them out!

- Mission Info - what to do and what to expect.
- Mission Scope document
- Mounted Flag policy
- Riding Guidelines
- Leader Description document
- By Laws
- Safety Guidelines

The "Sector/Contact" link will show you how the state is broke down into the 20 sectors. There is a clickable field there to find out which sector you are in for communication purposes.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Code of Conduct for PGR Members (amended and published September 2013) from the National organization, of which we belong:

I will adhere to the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) mission and vision statements, and incorporate the principles contained therein into all my actions as a PGR member.

I will treat other PGR members with the same dignity and respect I would expect for myself.

I will remember that my PGR membership role is a position of responsibility to those we serve.

I will do everything in my power to demonstrate to Gold and Blue Star families, and families of veterans and home-front first-responders that the PGR honors them for the service and sacrifice of their loved ones. This is extended to activities honoring living individuals and units of these organizations. I will remember that our mission to honor these families and their wishes is my main priority as a PGR member.

I recognize that my interactions with law-enforcement, government officials and the military reflect on the entire Patriot Guard Riders organization and can have far-reaching implications for those relationships in other areas. I will act accordingly, respecting the protocols and regulations of those agencies.

In any interaction with the media and general public, I will avoid actions or communications which would negatively impact the reputation of good will toward the PGR. This includes actions which could present the appearance of political activism on behalf of PGR. The PGR is a non-political organization. I agree to maintain a strict non-political stance when representing the PGR in any capacity.

Randy Stevens
National Communications Officer

Thursday, September 26, 2013

In order to keep donations, store profits, and funds raised within the state of Minnesota, to benefit Minnesota military and veterans, we incorporated as a 501C3 back in 2006. The Board of Directors (BoD) came along with that, and MN PG Inc. was created to provide oversight of the MN PG business operations to support the mission needs in MN and develop policies that are complementary to the MN PG Inc. mission. The BoD is responsible for the money side of the house, and policy/guidelines to minimize the liability and risk to the organization.
The BoD consists of 7 members. Standing positions include the State Captain, Assistant State Captain, Secretary and/or Treasurer, Senior Ride Captain designate. Three positions are at large positions with alternating two year terms, and no more than 2 may be from MN PG leadership.  The Board members list can be found on the Sector/Contact page at our website.
The Bod is charged with numerous responsibilities, including:
  1. Set, approve, communicate and ensure adherence for the MNPG organizational vision, strategy, goals, plans and budgets.
  2. Establish policies, and ensure management systems are in place for compliance.
  3. Annually elect the officers of the MNPG Inc. (BoD positions)
  4. Approve or make appointments of the following positions and roles including, but not limited to the following: * State Captain * Assistant State Captain * Law Enforcement Coordinator * Public Affairs Coordinator * Store Coordinator * IT Coordinator * Librarian/Historian
  5. Approve major engagements in public policy and other external affairs activities.
  6. Establish, and hold the all officers and positions of Leadership accountable to measures of organizational performance.
  7. Ensure appropriate management of major risks (including risks to the MNPG's name, reputation, and intellectual property).
  8. Set policy and criteria for management and distribution of the MNPG's financial assets, and monitor performance against these policies and criteria. Make presentations of donations as requested by receiving party.
  9. Preserve the MNPG's core philosophical tenets, its non-confrontational style, and its willingness to take well-considered risks, consistent with its ethical standards, to accomplish its missions and programs.
  10. Establish contacts with other groups that support the organization's core mission objectives, and work with appropriate Leadership as deemed necessary to accomplish MNPG's mission.
  11. Help raise funds for MNPG.
  12. Position the MNPG as a highly effective, reputable and credible non-profit organization.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The new website for National ( is kicking off on 29 September 2013!  You will notice some changes - one being a requested option to see missions in your area at a glance.  This comes in handy for our snowbirds or if you are travelling to another state and want to see what's going on in that area.
When the process begins on Sunday, 29 Sep, the current website will go down.  At some point on Monday, 30 Sep, the new website will be live and on-line.
When you go to the new site for the first time, there are some steps you will need to take:
- all members will need to reset their password.  None of the existing passwords could be transferred.
- you will be required to read and agree to the Terms of Use Policy, a Ride Waiver Release of Liability form, and a few other housekeeping items such as completing your profile if anything is missing.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB") ruled that Patriot Guard Riders, Inc. ("PGR") is the owner of the PGR marks.  In order to enforce the TTAB's ruling, PGR sued Jeff Brown for trademark infringement in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.  PGR and Jeff Brown have now come to an amicable settlement, and Jeff Brown has waived his right to appeal the TTAB decision, rather than continue to fight over this issue.

In view of this settlement, PGR-branded merchandise will now only be available for purchase through the PGR's store.

Regardless of whether you previously supported PGR or Jeff Brown in the trademark dispute, we encourage all members to unite and put our combined efforts toward supporting our Active Duty Military, First Responders, Veterans and their families.  We further request that all personal attacks against Jeff Brown (a/k/a Twister), Bonnie Brown (a/k/a "Force-5" or "F-5"), Twister's Store, the PGR, and/or any of the PGR's members be discontinued immediately

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Who is the Missions Team and what do they do?
The Missions Team is comprised of the 4 Senior Ride Captains, Assistant State Captain, and State Captain.  Prior State Captains & Assistant State Captains, who left their positions in good standing are also able to stay on the Missions Team if they wish.
The Missions Team is responsible for many things, and put in a lot of extra hours to ensure our mission is done.
  • Receives all mission requests and makes decisions based on the mission scope
  • If the request meets the mission scope it is passed on to the sector Ride Captain for final acceptance
  • Declines a request if it does not fit the mission scope
  • Upholds the Mission Scope, as voted on by the LAC and ratified by the Board of Directors.  Also charged with upholding the policies and guidelines of the organization.
  • Answer email inquiries from military, veterans, families, members, other organizations, and general questions about the organization
  • Determine exceptions to the Mission Scope
  • Involved in developing and making recommendations of guidelines, policies and mission scope prior to presentation to leadership 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Congratulations and thanks to Lon & Angela Hellerud as the Metro SE Ride Captains!
Congratulations and thanks to Dan Wilkenson as the Metro Senior Ride Captain!  As laid out in our leader description documents, the Metro RC's have voted and confirmed their choice of Dan as the Metro SRC.
The Leader Advisory Committee (LAC), comprised of all the state Ride Captains and Senior Ride Captains have voted to accept the changed Mission Statement for the Minnesota Patriot Guard.  The Board of Directors have voted and ratified.  Changes were to correctly update/reflect in line of duty Police, Firefighters, and First Responders; and to remove the "one thing we have in common ... motorcycles" as there is no requirement to ride in order to pay Honor, Dignity, and Respect.  The new MN PG Mission Statement is as follows:

“The Minnesota Patriot Guard is a 100% Volunteer, registered 501(c)3 non-profit  Organization which ensures Honor, Dignity, and Respect at memorial services honoring Fallen Military Heroes, Honorably discharged Veterans, and line of duty Police, Firefighters, and First Responders.”  Members of the Minnesota Patriot Guard are all members of Patriot Guard Riders National Organization and believe very strongly in its mission.
Minnesota Patriot Guard is a diverse group of individuals with one thing in common: we all have tremendous respect for those who risk their lives every day, whether on American soil or abroad, in securing our Nation's freedoms and liberties.  We welcome those who do not ride motorcycles, those who are not veterans, and those who come from different states.  We encourage those who share this respect to join us in support of all those that have served.

We accomplish our mission strictly through legal and non-violent means.

MN Patriot Guard Mission statement:   To attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family, Providing Honor, Dignity, and Respect.
Other missions undertaken by Minnesota Patriot Guard include:

Funeral Missions as requested by families.
Welcome Home and Deployment Send off Missions.
Visits to VA Medical Centers and MN Veteran Homes.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Organization Structure - what is the difference between the MN PGR and MN PG Inc?

The National organization Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) is responsible for missions in all 50 states. Each state has a State Captain (currently Karla Richardson) assigned to it.

Early on it was evident that there was a need to setup a means for communication and a way to distribute money that was donated within Minnesota, so the MN Patriot Guard Inc. (MN PG) was created.

MN PG set up the state with 20 Sectors, falling under 3 Regions (Northern, Metro, and Southern). This allows for easy communication and set up of mission requests following the Mission Scope which is located under “Members Documents” on the webpage.
The State Captain has a Ride Captain (RC) assigned to each sector who is responsible for missions within that sector, and they are assisted by Assistant Ride Captains (ARC’s). Each Region has a Senior Ride Captain (SRC) who helps oversee the sectors in that region.

In order to maintain a balance and consistency of the missions in Minnesota the MN PG created a “Mission Scope” and the Missions Team (consisting of the SRC’s, the Assistant State Captain (ASC), and the State Captain (SC). Missions Team is responsible for assisting the SC in making sure that Mission Scope is followed state wide.

To make it fair across the state, decisions on mission related items the Leadership Advisory Council (LAC) was created. The LAC consists of all the RC’s, and SRC’s and are voting members of the MN PG,. (The ASC and SC are not voting members). An example of something that would have to be voted on is any changes to the Mission Scope - once the LAC has voted, it is sent to the BoD for ratification.

Following weeks topics:
¨         Missions Team and Mission Scope
¨         MN Patriot Guard Inc.
¨         Leadership descriptions
¨         Communications and webpage in Minnesota
¨         MN PG Board of Directors (BoD)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The National Board of Directors, has approved and changed the Mission Statement - the new National Mission Statement is as follows:
Mission Statement:
“The Patriot Guard Riders is a 100% Volunteer, Federally registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization which ensures dignity and respect at memorial services honoring Fallen Military Heroes, First Responders and Honorably Discharged Veterans.”
Vision Statement:
The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security including Fallen Military Heroes, First Responders and honorably Discharged Veterans. If you share this respect, please join us.
We don’t care what you ride or if you ride, what your political views are, or whether you’re a hawk or a dove. It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn't matter where you’re from or what your income is; you don’t even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect.
Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives:
  1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.
  2. Shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors.
We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.
To those of you who are currently serving and fighting for the freedoms of others, at home and abroad, please know that we are backing you.  We honor and support you with every mission we carry out, and we are praying for a safe return home for all.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

We frequently get asked about wearing MN PG/PGR apparel outside of our official missions and events. Does how we conduct ourselves while wearing the gear make a difference in the perception of the organization and the community? Absolutely it does! We are representing not only the organization, leaders & members, our military and veterans, but also all those we have stood for and beside, no matter where we are.

We have recieved email complaints that a PGR member flicked someone the bird while travelling down the road. The person that emailed us wasn’t very impressed with our organization if we have members doing that. Or a email that saw someone wearing identifying gear doing something somewhere that they felt reflected poorly on the organization and our mission.

A few weeks ago, we recieved a letter from an individual quite upset (very apparent in the language used in the letter). While clothing was not an issue in this complaint, the use of our generic MN PG business card left in a mailbox was. Apparently some one took issue with the US flag in his yard, and left a note along with one of our generic business cards,  that the flag was a disgrace to our veterans and our country. This man was a veteran - and he was very upset with the organization and our members. The letter did not explain what the issue was with his flag, but the lesson learned here is that if you see something that you feel you can’t agree with and it is your business to address, don’t interject the MN PG or the PGR into it. Ring the door bell and talk with the man, offer to purchase him a new flag, etc., but this is not MN PG or PGR business - it’s private business and should be handled without any MN PG or PGR identification.

On the flip side, I recieved a email quite awhile ago from a lady that just happened to be having coffee in the local cafe across the street from where we were conducting a mission.  She said as she sat there watching us, so was so impressed by our professionalism and how we conducted ourselves, and told of the comments from other patrons of how impressed they were with the way we show Honor, Dignity, and Respect.

Patches in our organization are purchased, not earned. We are not a MC, or even a Riding Club. Wearing your patch where you wish comes with the responsibility of taking care to represent the MN PG/PGR and our mission in a positive light.

People do watch what we do! The last thing we want is for someone to come to regret inviting us in a time of need, or someone to not invite us, because of the actions of a few.

Thank you for all you do!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Welcome to John "Wolfman" Kane as a new Metro SW ARC, and to Jim Cadotte as a new Duluth Sector ARC!  Thank you for stepping in to make sure missions are set up and conducted!!
Minnesota Patriot Guard Store

The MN-PG Store exists to allow us to accomplish the core mission of the MN Patriot Guard and present the Plaques and Challenge Coins to the Families of our Minnesota Heroes. The funds also go to pay for things like the signed PGR flags we present at deployments and the Website etc.  Our Basic Operating Expenses. All of these expenses and the other Military Causes we support are detailed each year in the report sent out by Leadership.  

The MN-PG Store is a totally separate entity from the National Patriot Guard Riders Store. All of the Funds generated by the MN-PG Store stay in MN, - supporting Minnesota Members of the Military.

I took over the Store in 2007 and it has been a very interesting experience. In the beginning I did everything out of my house.  My guest bedroom and my upstairs hallway were filled with boxes and Rubbermaid Containers full of T-Shirts, Hats, and Pins – etc.  Every chance I had I would log into PayPal and print out the Orders – A USPS Label and a Packing List. It took a long time.  Since then Dennis Kirk has been extremely generous in taking over the order fulfillment.  Most people at Dennis Kirk have no idea that they do this. A few dedicated and very generous people print out the orders and send them out each day.  Those same people also haul everything to the Patriot Ride each year and run the Booth there for us selling our MN-PG Merchandise.  While Dennis Kirk does a wonderful job of filling the orders they do not order or decide on the items to have in the store – and any issues or questions can only be resolved by emailing .

We currently have a major problem with the store. We have a very limited market. There are only so many members in the State of Minnesota and we have reached a saturation point with many of the items we offer for sale.

 The other issue is that we need to order large quantities in order to get a price that will allow us to offer the item at a price our members will pay for it.  T-Shirts are a prime example. Once we decide on a graphic and a shirt we have to order a minimum of 300 to get any kind of a price. With our target market of Patriot Guard Members in the State of MN we cannot order 100,000 shirts like Target would and get a better price.  It is VERY rare that we sell all of the shirts we have to order. We may sell out of a certain size but we have never sold all of the shirts we have to order. When we decide that it is time to stop selling a shirt and offer a new one we send the left overs to one of the State Veteran homes

So we are currently looking for new items to sell in the store – ANY suggestions that you think would have a chance of selling would be appreciated. Please send any suggestions you may have t

 Coming up with new items is very hard, Items that I thought would sell – like the beautiful Coffee Cups we currently have or the Polo shirts we tried at one point did not sell at all.

The way it works is that I will take all suggestions and put them into a presentation for the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will vote on the items they feel we could sell. Once the Board approves an item I will do the work of getting bids and figuring out pricing etc.  Once I receive the Item I need to get the Information and a picture to Tim and he puts it on the Website – Dennis Kirk packages it and gets it ready to ship and then we are set.

 Thank you all for supporting the Minnesota Patriot Guard!!

John Redfield, MN PG Store Manager

Friday, July 26, 2013

Congratulations to Becky Winckler "Whisper". Becky has taken on the position of Metro SW Ride Captain. Next time you see her, Be sure to congratulate her as the new Metro SW Ride Captain

Periodically we get asked why it is so necessary for the MN PG to have immediate family invite to attend missions.  
The Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) was formed as a shield for grieving families back in 2005 - to shield them from a group known as the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC). We are not a counter-protest group.
The WBC obviously are not invited guests of the family, and therefore require permits from the community they are attending. Many states now have laws that "protestors" have to be a certain distance from any funeral. The PGR, as invited guests of the family do not require such permits, as we are invited by the family to be there to pay honor, dignity and respect.
It is necessary to provide due diligence to determine that the family in fact wishes our presence. It becomes extremely important to know that the invite is coming from immediate family (parent, child, sibling, spouse), or the spokesperson for the family (Funeral Home Director, or military member working with the family). An extended family member may wish for us to be there, but the immediate family may wish to honor their loved one in a more private setting and as an organization, we honor those wishes.
In the case of our military units for deployments/send-offs, we receive the invite from the unit directly, or in the case of a mass group movement, the National Guard Headquarters who coordinates with us for all the movements.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Members, we finally have a long awaited update on the Trademark:    July 16, 2013 ... The United States Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, has issued a decision in the trademark case.. The decision is in favor of the Defendant, the Patriot Guard Riders, Inc.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

To clarify some questions we get about clothing attire at missions and what is appropriate:

- We are often times at a funeral - someone's loved one that we are there to pay Honor, Dignity and Respect to.  We wear jeans, boots and leather - all fine.  If what you are wearing would be OK for someone standing the flag line for your loved one - you are OK!  (No body parts hanging out that shouldn't be - keep it respectful).

- As we are in public and representing the MN PG/PGR, offensive patches need to be covered up while at a mission.  There are children in attendance.  Likewise, pay attention to wording on t-shirts.  We are non-political.  We wouldn't want someone to regret their choice in inviting us or to cause someone not to invite us to honor their loved one.

- Some members have been told they have to be wearing a MN PG back patch or MN PG logo patch on their vest to attend a mission - there is no requirement that MN PG back patches or logo patches are required to attend/participate at a mission.  We have members that belong to other organizations/groups and they are welcome on our flag line as long as they are following the requirements of the MN PG while on our mission.

Thank you for all you do!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Board of Directors & New Assistant Ride Captains

On June 22, 2013, the MN PG Board of Directors, elected Tim Leonhardt as President, and Mark Lea as Vice President of the MN PG BoD (our 501c3).

On April 2, positions on the Board of Directors were opened to membership, and 2 candidates applied.  After Leadership Advisory Council (LAC) vote and Board approval, Mark Lea and Mike O'Loughlin were approved to fill the 2 open positions for a two year term. Craig Ugland has filled the Senior Ride Captain position on the BoD.  Congratulations and thanks to all for their willingness to volunteer extra time to the organization!

Lon & Angela Hellerud have accepted the position of Assistant Ride Captains in Metro SE Sector. Also, Rex Morgan and Justine Morgan have accepted the position of Assistant Ride Captains in the Metro NW- thanks to all of them!

All Board Members and MN PG leadership are volunteers - they give their time to not only stand the flag line when able, but make sure missions are set up, conducted, calendars are posted and emails sent.  They all do a fantastic job of coordinating with each other and helping out when & where needed.  Members stand the flag line and leaders get everything set up - it's a joint effort and both are needed to make sure Honor, Dignity, and Respect is bestowed upon invite.

Correction to last week's post:  The MN PG back patch and logo are under copyright, not trademark.  Expressed permission for anyone to use them is still required, and violations could be prosecuted under the law.  Apologies for the error.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

MN Patriot Guard Members,

We just had the annual Patriot Ride, sponsored by Dennis Kirk. The ride is the only real fundraiser other than sales from the MN Patriot Guard (PGR) on-line store. Therefore, it's important that the event is successful. We don't have final numbers yet, but with all the people at the ride I will assume it was a great success.

During the ceremony we were reminded of our mission by the words of the Kennedy family as they told us the impact we had on their darkest days.

I want to mention just a few things about couple of other Organizations. As you know our scope of what we do is funerals for our fallen heroes either KIA (Killed In Action), Active Duty (In a branch of service at time of death), or a veteran that had at one time served to protect the freedoms we have today.

We also attend Military send-offs and welcome homes. We do this only on invite and unselfishly by going to the mission and staying focused on why we are there - HONOR, DIGNITY, and RESPECT. It isn't about any one of us or any group in our organization; it is about who we are standing for and their family.

It doesn't mean it stops there. The MN PGR stops there, because we focus on what we do best and other groups take it from there.

TTT (tribute to the troops) is a great example (many of the Patriot Guard are also members of multiple groups). The TTT does remembrance missions of our fallen heroes since 911. It is an awesome experience to attend their missions.

Another group would be the Honor and Remember group honoring the memory of all veterans. Attending their mission is another great experience.

If possible and you have time outside the MN PGR, I would recommend checking out the other groups to continue the mission after we have done ours. You won't regret it. Just always bring your sunglasses to hide the tears.

Tim Leonhardt
President, MN PG0

Friday, June 28, 2013

Update on the Trademark:  
The National PGR Board is still waiting for the United States Patent and Trademark Office to make a decision.  It could come at any time or it could be a few more months.  We are all just waiting for the final decision to be made.  National remains confident that we will prevail in this law suit.
The MN Patriot Guard back patch and logo used on our small patch and magnets are under copyright by the MN Patriot Guard organization.  Use of either image, or the words "Patriot Guard Riders" without express permission is a violation of copyright law and not allowed - that includes t-shirts, magnets, stickers, etc.  Violations could be prosecuted under the law.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Why do we have 2 calendars on our website?
- Anything that is an official mission or event of the MN PG per Mission Scope is placed on the MN PG calendar. The MN PG has responsibility for those or we have a part in it that we manage and we run them. RCIC's are assigned and we officially participate and represent the MN PG organization.
- The Non MN PG calendar is for events that benefit/proceeds go to support military and/or veterans for member awareness if they wish to attend on their own as part of the general community/private citizen. There is no official participation or representation of the MN PG/PGR or members in these events. Members can wear their patches to these events, as long as they are participating as part of the public and not in any official capacity at the event, in the program or otherwise making it appear to be official MN PG/PGR participation.  Members asked for a way to know what else was going on around the state to support military & veterans if there wasn't a mission going on or one going on in their area. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mission Scope

What is Mission Scope?
The most current mission scope we operate under was revised and has been in place since 2010 after being voted on by the LAC (Ride Captains, SRC’s) and ratified by our Board of Directors. It helps guide our leaders as to what is an approved MN PG mission and what isn’t.
The revision was a very painful process - as our missions grew, some things had to fall by the wayside to support the mission, and many factors were taken into consideration. Each year at the State Leadership meeting, mission scope is discussed to see if it needs to be re-looked and again at the Oct 2012 meeting, it was again voted to make no changes.

The Mission scope ensures that we don’t take away from the great things that other organizations do or play preferences by offering services to one and not another for a like event. It ensures that we don’t leave families feeling that their veteran is more important to us than another’s by offering different services in different parts of the state. It upholds our Gold Star families who felt that being a flagline for "show" took away from our presence at a very difficult time for them.  Most important, it keeps the flag line sacred for those who gave all and have served.  Failure to follow the mission scope causes unnecessary hurt to those we are held to uphold - our military, veterans, and their families.
The MN PG Mission Scope is located under the Member Documents on our website (  If you have any questions, please contact or your local Ride Captain.  Thank you for all you do!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Riding Season & Warm Weather are here - some things to consider:

Now that riding season and warmer weather have finally arrived, it’s a good time to go over a few things.

We are not about motorcycles! We have many members who do not ride and we are grateful for their attendance at our missions and events. It doesn’t matter HOW you get to a Patriot Guard mission or event - what is important is that you are there to pay honor, dignity, and respect to someone serving or have served our great nation; and that you arrive safely there and home again. Instead of teasing someone who didn’t ride a motorcycle to a Mission how about welcoming them instead?

As the temps rise, we all need to be thinking about sunburn, heat stroke, heat exhaustion and all the other things that come with warm weather. Please take care of yourself and watch out for each other. We have faithful members who would rather pass out on the flag line than to step aside to cool off - definitely not what we want! Drink plenty of water to hydrate before and during the Mission. As a note… only bottled water should be on a flag line.

MN PG/PGR identification: some things to remember……

      - Set the right example when riding/driving with MN PG/PGR identification (patches, logo's, magnets, etc). Believe it or not, we have and do receive emails from the general public who saw someone going down the road (vehicle or bike), or visiting establishments and other venues, identified as MN PG/PGR because of a logo/patch/sticker/magnet, and were not impressed with what they saw - what you do reflects on the organization, including all of our members and leaders. It's about our mission and taking reasonable measures to protect it.

      - While some states have gone as far as mandating a PGR back patch to only be worn at official missions/events, we have not gone that route here in MN. Please keep in mind that you are representing not only the MN Patriot Guard and the PGR, but also all those we have stood for and their families. We recognize it is your patch to do as you choose but please remember when wearing it out for fun, what and who we represent. Wearing the identification at things like political events violate our 501c3.

     - When riding through other states be aware that not every state accepts wearing your PGR patches unless you are at a Mission. This is especially so if you still have the old 3 piece patch. In some states that is strictly enforced so know what the requirements are in the states you are travelling in. Some of those groups may be less than pleased and their actions less than pleasant. This is your responsibility to know. We do not keep track of what other states mandate.

      - Just a reminder, as we want all of you safe! We are not an MC, nor a Riding Club/Group.

Merchandise…… Patches, Pins, T Shirts, and Other Goods: The MN Patriot Guard and Patriot Guard Riders logos and slogans are trademarked and owned by either the MN Patriot Guard or Patriot Guard Riders. Those two organizations are the only ones authorized to use those symbols or words and provide them for sale. If you buy merchandise from any other place or person they are counterfeit. Sadly counterfeit goods exist and only line someone’s personal pocket - not the organizations and military groups we support. Buying from our state or the national store ensures that you are purchasing original (not counterfeit), and benefit those groups we support as well as our own costs (website, plaques for families of fallen, etc).

The Patriot Ride is 15 June!! This is a great opportunity to meet with each other, and re-charge the batteries for what we do and what our mission is. It is also an opportunity to reflect on those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for their freedoms and ensure that their families know that these brave men & women are never forgotten! If you have not yet registered, you can pre-register and purchase raffle tickets for a 2013 HD Street Glide or $10,000 cash at There are also links for information on lodging and the ride.

Thank you for all you do!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

National Donation & Patriot Ride

Thank you for all you are doing! We have missions around the state, Veteran Home visits, and they all get accomplished because of your dedication and commitment to those who are and have served!

A couple of things I want to tell you about:

1. Periodically we get questions on where proceeds from our State or the National Store go, and other places that may be selling some of the same items. When you purchase from either the State or National Store, you can be assured that the proceeds go to help our veterans and military. Other places that sell these items are most likely counterfeit items and don't support anyone other than someone's own pocket.

One of the things that National recently helped with was the Medal of Honor Ceremony at the White House for SSG Clint Romesha. SSG Romesha was being honored for his actions above and beyond the call of duty at Combat Outpost Keating near Kamdesh, Afghanistan 03 OCT 09.

On that day, 8 American soldiers were killed in action. 53 Americans were attacked by a battalion strength (over 300) group of Taliban fighters who had planned their assault for over a year. SSG Romesha organized a defense that saved many American lives and recovered, under fire, all of the dead and wounded.

He wanted to share this day with as many of his brothers as possible. Our National PGR leadership was made aware of his desire and made a significant contribution to the effort to bring these men to Washington for today's ceremony.

The next time you donate or even buy a PGR hat or shirt from the state or national store - I ask you to remember this and purchase your items from either the State or the National Stores - great things happen with the proceeds!

2. The Patriot Ride is coming! Mark your calendars for 15 June 2013!!

Information is on the Patriot Ride link at our state website ( registration is now open, as are raffle ticket sales to win $10,000 in cash or a 2013 Harley-Davidson Street Glide FLHX. Information on lodging for those coming from out of town, ride route and other details are listed. Check it out, get registered and buy your raffle tickets all on-line!

The Patriot Ride Committee and Dennis Kirk are busy making sure that this year's Patriot Ride is again a huge success, with proceeds being split between the MN Patriot Guard and the MMAF (Minnesota Military Appreciation Fund).

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. 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.

 Karla RichardsonState CaptainMinnesota Patriot Guard, Patriot Guard Riders