Wednesday, January 27, 2016

We would like to Welcome 2 new leaders!

Richard Klugherz has moved to the Ride Captain position for Metro SW.
Rich has been an ARC for quite a few years, and is also part of our
FSNC team.  Thanks for stepping up Rich!

Jerry Schneider has stepped up to an Assistant Ride Captain position
in Metro NE.  We are fortunate to have Jerry on the team - thanks

Monday, January 11, 2016

Members and friends...

Happy New Year to you and your families.  I hope 2016 dawned bright with hope for you!

State Captain Karla Richardson recently sent out a Mission review for 2015 but the number of Missions bears repeating.  424 Mission days were attended by you in 2015.  The number is slightly above 2014 and is a validation of our need going forward in these days of reduced losses from war.  The Board of Directors discussed the Mission Scope at our Fall meeting along with the Senior Ride Captains and no changes were made or recommended.

The 2015 - 10th Annual Patriot Ride was a special day this last year.  Over 3,350 riders were part of the day.  It's an amazing testament to our continued sense of patriotism to see that number of bikes and riders.  It was moved to the Anoka County Airport and the results were everything the planning committee could have asked for.  The phrase "State Fair for bikers" was a common theme.  The ride has moved to July 9, 2016, to help avoid the wet weather this ride has been plagued with in the past.  Please make sure you mark this website down and I hope to see you at the Patriot Ride again this year.  Thank you to Dennis Kirk and the hundreds of volunteers for their amazing support and dedication to this ride.

We are fortunate with our ability to raise and donate funds every year at the level we do.  We aren't about the money and never will be.  We are in a position to help and we take that seriously.  We raised about $86,000 last year with much of that (about $62,000) coming from the Patriot Ride.  The balance came from general donations and a small profit from the MN Patriot Guard store.

We used about $83,000 in our expenses and donations
1.     Wreaths Across America: $1,000
2.     Vets Home HOTH Expenses: $6,900
3.     Veterans Hunting Events: $4,700
4.     Administrative: $3,600
5.     Mission Expenses: $2,400
6.     Grants: $65,000
          a.     MN Military Family Foundation: $15k
          b.     Flags For Fallen Military: $4k
          c.     Toys For Military Kids: $2k
          d.     Minnesotans' Military Appreciation Fund: $10k
          e.     National Patriot Guard Riders: $2k
          f.      Tribute To The Troops Education Fund: $26k
          g.     MN Veteran Family Support-Project Backpack: $4k
          h.     Misc: $2k 

It's important to note a few things.
  1. All the money we spend (except for the National PGR donation) stay within Minnesota
  2. Our administrative expenses are at 4% of expenses and most of that is insurance and tax preparation.  As a 100% volunteer organization none of the funds raised cover any personal expenses of leaders or members.  As you make donation choices please keep this in mind for every charity you evaluate.
  3. We don't donate to individuals as a rule.  We aren't skilled professionals in evaluating needs and situations so we instead donate to groups who can do those things far better than we can.
  4. The Board votes on the budget and every donation request.  Majority rules for the vote dictate our decision so no one person has control over any part of this.  As a note to you not every vote is unanimous or passes so they are taken seriously and discussed.
  5. Our Treasurer sends copies of the check register and bank statements out to the Board every 6 months so, while a not a formal audit, all transactions are reviewed.
  6. Our income tax and charity filings are prepared by professional tax accountants.
We choose to always keep one year of expenses and donations in reserve to ensure that if our funding ever went away we would have a year for the MNPG and those we donate to time to adjust.  To that end we have just over $100k in reserve.  We don't foresee that changing or be at risk.
The Mission is the most important thing for us.  Anything you can do to help by attending Missions or telling your friends and neighbors to join is appreciated.  Many of us have been doing this for over 10 years and people have drifted away.  Work keeps many of us occupied during the week so Monday through Friday Mission support is critical.

The Board and Missions team thanks all you from the bottom of our hearts for what you do.  Without you there is no Mission.

Happy 2016!!!!!

Honor, Dignity, Respect
Doug Bley
President, MN Patriot Guard
High Plains Region Captain
Former Minnesota State Captain

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2016 Patriot Ride

Patriot Ride - 9 July 2016!!  Save the date!!  It will be held at the same location as last year.

Raffle Tickets for the 2016 Patriot Ride Raffle Bike are now available for you sell.
This year’s ride will be July 9, 2016 @ The Key Air Facility (Anoka County Airport)
The raffle bike is a 2016 Harley-Davidson FLHX Street Glide or the option of $15,000 in cash!  Tickets are once again $20 each.
Common questions
1. Cash or checks are fine...  no credit cards
3. You do not have to be present to win
4. No more than 5000 tickets will be sold
5. People can order tickets form the Patriot Ride website as well
If you want tickets to sell please email Tammy Becklin at with your name, phone number, street address (No PO box), and the number you want in packs of 10.  She will UPS the tickets to you with prepaid return postage included.  It is important to recognize that if you take these tickets you are responsible to return them at the end.
Message from the National Board of Directors:

My brothers and sisters,
I hope you all had a great holiday season and will have a great new year. Bees here again, with a short update from your Board of Directors. 2015 was a busy year for the Patriot Guard Riders. Our VP of Operations, Robert “Gator” Collins has just finished pulling some numbers for 2015 and we wanted to share them with you all as soon as possible.

Our membership is now at 330,302. That’s right 330,302….whew that is a bunch. Let me put that in perspective for you. The Patriot Guard is larger than the active duty components of the US Navy, The US Air Force and The US Marine Corps, and 72% of the US Army.

There were 141,840 threads started on the national site and 2,505,699 posts in response to those threads.

We participated in 10,844 missions of all types in 2015. To be more specific, 9,493 Honor Missions, 33 missions at Arlington, 97 Memorial missions. We did 51 send offs and 191 welcome home events. There were 104 Wreaths Across America missions, 30 Snowball related mission and 845 Help on the Homefront (Hoth) missions.

I had to read these numbers a few times to wrap my head around them and it made me think of how we got to this place. I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of hours have gone into the planning all this activity. How many times we have been hot or cold, how many times we have rolled and unrolled our flags. How many hours we have stood in the flagine. I could go on and on.
All this has been done without ONE, yep, ONE paid employee. Every penny that comes to the Patriot Guard whether on the State or National level is used to support the organization, all of us should be very proud of that. I’m sure that there are not many organizations that can make that statement.

Ok, now think of what these numbers really mean. Think of the difference you have made in the lives of the people that we have served and stood for. The smile of a lonely vet at an ice cream social, the pride of a wife or husband when they arrive at a tiny church down in the country and see US Flags waving in the breeze held folks dressed in jeans that say “It’s my honor”. To be allowed to serve another and the most desperate time of their lives, to show honor to those that have stood in harms way for our way of life is what these numbers really mean. I will say what I said to you the last time, what I say every time I get the chance. What you do is right and a noble thing. It’s what, as Americans, we must do.

Our mission is far from over, so get busy, read the national site, find a mission, post condolences and go. We don’t care if you ride or what you ride….just go.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact any member of your State leadership.
Thanks for what you do and Ride Safe!

We are offering up a possible source for a new flag pole that is available through one of our members.  The MN Patriot Guard store sold these a few years ago and they were popular.
The costs have gone up so instead of us buying them to resell to you we have agreed to help get the word out about them.  The MN Patriot Guard gets a commission for each on he sells through this email and Patriot Ride store.  You save some money and we get to raise a few dollars this way.
These are a newly designed pole similar to the one offered in our web store two years ago.  They are 4 sections 24" long each as opposed to 5 sections and when assembled are telescoping from 7ft to 9ft 8 in. tall. When dismantled the tube bundle fits nicely in most motorcycle hard saddle bags.
They are chrome plated and come with rubber end caps and flag attachment snaps.
$30.00 each unit plus shipping if mailed, (appx. $10.00 USPS in MN).  Contact Jim (Kilroy) Larson at 612-868-1192 or  Please make sure you tell Jim you saw this on the MN Patriot Guard email and he will donate $5 to us when you pay for it!