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Patriot Guard & Warriors Watch Missions
Introduction to PGR Mission Photo Stories More Info & Web Links
I joined the Patriot Guard Riders in 2007 after seeing a news report about a group of insane religious extremists who were protesting at soldiers' funerals. Watching this report and seeing the disgusting signs they were holding...happy that soldiers were dying as "God's" punishment for America's tolerance of individual freedoms...made me sick. I thought about how painful it would have been if someone had done that at Donny's funeral in '66 (USMC, Kilo 3/7, KIA, Nam, Operation Prairie, Hill 484).
The news report also mentioned how the Patriot Guard Riders were now attending these funerals as a way of protecting the families of fallen heroes from seeing/hearing the antics of these lunatic protesters. I immediate did an Internet search on the Patriot Guard Riders and, after briefly reading their Mission Statement, I signed up. That was early in 2007.
A few years later, besides becoming a Soldiers' Angel and member of US War Dog, I also joined up with Warriors' Watch. Many riders work missions for both groups, as...sadly...there are still MANY soldiers being deployed and we need to be there for them when they go and when they come home.
See this wonderful, short video to better understand the "problem" and how the Patriot Guard "solve" this problem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP6gneH1DRU
If you would like the Patriot Guard or Warriors Watch to be there for your solder as they are deployed or come home, go to their web sites and submit a request. Also, if you are or have a soldier who is already deployed, be sure to submit their names/addresses to Soldiers' Angels so they can receive support, letters and care packages from grateful Americans while serving. See My Soldiers page to read about many of the soldiers and K9s I've 'adopted' while they were deployed.
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Sadly, the PGR attend hundreds, maybe thousands, of events each month around the US from attending deployment ceremonies to welcoming home deployed soldiers, from standing in Respect at their Wakes and Funeral services to escorting fallen heroes to their final rest.
Due to being the primary caretaker for mom (elderly stroke victim) for 15 yrs, I couldn't always get away to attend as many missions as I wished. Below are just some of the ones I did manage to attend.
06/16/12 - Neal Chapman Deployment, Twin Lakes, WI
05/09/11 - Cpl (now Sgt) John Peck, Antioch, IL, Welcome Home (lost limbs from IED, Afghanistan)
03/10/11 - Spc Andrew Wade, Antioch, IL, killed in Afghanistan
03/11 - Major Eric D. Bauer, USANG (Passed)
03/11 - Charles L. Schmelzer, US Navy 1944-1953 WWII Veteran and Ronald A. Johnson, US Army Veteran 1960-1963 (Passed)
12/13/10 - Meet SSgt. Salvatore Giunta, US Army, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient
06/24/10 - Honoring Airborne PFC Gunnar Hotchkin, RIP (KIA, Afghanistan)
05/28/10 - Honoring Lt. Thomas "Tommy" Wortham, Chicago Police Officer & Army Soldier, (Murdered, Chicago)
05/20/10 - Honoring Army Master Sgt Joseph F. Fatigato, Sr., WWII Hero, RIP (Passed)
04/30/10 - Welcome Home Pedro "Pete" Medina...Chicago Police Officer and Army MSgt (Paralyzed, Afghanistan)
11/16/09 - Honoring PFC Francheska Velez, RIP (Murdered, Ft. Hood)
09/27/09 - Gold Star Mother's Day Memorial Ceremony
09/25/09 - Honoring PFC Matthew Michael Martinek, RIP (KIA, Afghanistan)
09/10/09 - Welcome Home US Army 122nd Artillery Unit
04/17/09 - Honoring US Marine, Brian Sean Norman, RIP (Passed)
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More Information & Web Links
To view many more PGR photo stories, see Donald E. Russ's photo site, here: http://pgr.pxxq.com/ and also http://community.webshots.com/user/LakeForestPhotography. Don is not only a Patriot Guard Rider, but an amazing news photographer!
And to learn more about the Patriot Guard Riders and what they do...see these terrific tribute videos:
Patriot Guard Riders on ABC World News
Patriot Guard Riders on NBC Nightly News
A Tribute to those who ride for the Fallen
Tribute to the Patriot Guard Riders
Strangers on Steel Horses
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To Dian's main Angel site.