Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I am honored to announce Craig Ugland as the State Captain of the Minnesota Patriot Guard Riders as of June 1, 2016.   Our Leadership Advisory Council, our Board of Directors, and the National Board of Directors have voted and confirmed Craig for this position.  Craig has long been a dedicated member and leader in the MNPG, having served as a Ride Captain, Senior Ride Captain, and Assistant State Captain and the organization is in very good hands.  Many of you already know Craig and know how huge his heart is for our mission. 
As I leave the positon, a few parting words:  You, our members and leaders are our most valued asset. You are the ones that make sure the mission is carried out.  We provide comfort to a grieving family, we are there when our military deploy, we are privileged to be there again when they come home to their families and loved ones; and we bring smiles to the faces of those in our veterans home. I have talked to some of our Minnesota National Guard members who have said when they see us at the border, they know they are HOME! What a feeling for them, their loved ones, and for us to welcome them back.
With over 400 missions a year – 400 times that the MNPG has in some way taken the time in our busy lives to pay Honor, Dignity, and Respect to those that have served in our military – what a powerful statement!  Your dedication can’t be matched, let alone beat.  We know that it’s “not about us” and we know what that really means.  You get what we do and why we do it, in all types of weather, wearing sunglasses and holding back tears.   That is what makes each of you so very special - you give of your hearts, and you also give of your time and expense to make sure that we uphold our mission.
When I came aboard as the State Captain, I asked each and everyone to be kind to each other and take care of each other on the flagline, and as I leave this position, that is still my request.  It doesn’t matter who is standing next to us, we can unite and be grateful each one is there for a common purpose.
To continue what we do, we need people willing to step into leadership positions – without our leaders we wouldn’t know where to be, or when to be there.  If you are interested, or interested in running Veteran Missions when you can - talk to your Ride Captain!  If you lack some computer skills, we can help with that.  If you are worried about something going side-ways at a mission – they usually do, and our members are wonderful at adapting.   For members – bring a friend and introduce them to what we do and invite them to help – it all matters and makes a difference.
It has been a privilege serving you.  I will be taking on the Acting Assistant State Captain until that position is filled.  And I will see you on the flagline – that’s the reason I joined this organization.  Thank you for maintaining the integrity of the mission, and the reputation that we enjoy – those things are not possible without each of you.  YOU ROCK and don’t forget it!!
Karla Richardson
Flagline Member
State Captain
Minnesota Patriot Guard, Patriot Guard Riders