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.