June 28, 2008

To All Who Ride for the Heroes,

Dear Friends,

I received a package in the mail a few days ago that had many warm and encouraging notes in it.  It was a Patriot Guard Flag, that had the signatures and well-wishes of handfuls of fellow Patriot Guard Riders, and American Legion Riders.  Please let me say THANK-YOU.  For those of you who are Veterans, and recall the happiness that mail always brought, you can imagine how I felt when I opened the package and saw the signatures of many whom I have ridden with in the past and some whom I have not.  Since then, I have been trying to get as many people/places pictured with that signed PGR flag as possible.  Unfortunately, getting an entire shift together is somewhat of a challenge--and add to that, the fact that the US Air Force doesn't like anyone taking pictures of any of it's resources!  So I hope the attached photos will be alright...for now!  Please know that what you all are doing IS extremely important, extremely giving, and extremely appreciated by all service members and their families-- and especially by me and my fellow USAF Security Forces members serving here at Bxxxxxxx Ixxxxxxxxxx Airport, Iraq!

Keep riding, and THANK YOU!
-SrA Johnson, USAF

Personal note from SrA Johnson to local Ride Captain. ***Hey Tim!  [redacted] I just thought you'd like it (the picture) b/c the PGR flag does sporadically fly over the Bxxxxxxx Ixxxxxxxxxx Airport.  We had another detail here the other day, I and 5 other guys carried yet another flag draped casket onto a C-130.  But each time we have to do it, I know that you guys and other PGR members will be there to honor that fallen hero as they are taken off that aircraft in the US.  It's just challenging having seen both sides now.

Unfortunately, I have to get going--I should try to get a little rest before work starts again in 4 hours so, I apologize.  Just know this- my personal amount of patriotism, and love for our country has grown to an amount so vast since being here, that it is amazing.  I am thankful to be an American, which is something I think a lot of people take for granted; or feel they just deserve.  And as for the American Legion, and the Patriot Guard Riders-they will always be something I believe in for the rest of my life [redacted].  Please tell everyone to keep pushing forward-even when it becomes almost unbearable to do another funeral escort/ hear another 21 gun salute/ or see another mother, father, sister, brother cry.  Because what you are doing at home- MATTERS!

May 1, 2008

Hello, I am Jonathon Cotes cousin. I went to the wake last night and will be there tonight. Your presence was very appreciated. I wish I could have thanked the many men & women who were standing out there for Jon. We are unable to thank each and everyone one of you at this hard time so I wanted to senda  special thank you to you all. It means so much and will always be remembered. God Bless you all. Kathy

April 29, 2008

To the crew who braved the rain this morning, thank you again. Few in attendance we were, our appreciation of the Patriot Guard Riders presence today is vast.

While it was a small funeral, I feel it was just what my great uncle would have wished.

Ellis was a quiet modest man who spent most of his life working the farms around New York.

I don’t know all the details of Ellis’ service to this great nation, modest he was, and his responses to our questions were short.

Ellis is a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal. I recall him speaking of being shot in the leg by a sniper as he was beginning to dig his foxhole. Where this took place, I am not sure.

I’d also like to say thanks to the Burial Detail, in spite of the foul weather thrown our way, they did an outstanding job. Thanks again guys!

Patriot Guard Riders, I can not say thanks enough! I wish smooth roads and warm rides for all. America could use a few more like you.


April 25, 2008

My name is Christian Haerter.  I am Jordans father and a member of the PGR.  I'm sure I have ridden with some of you either on Long Island or in Rhode Island.  I want to express my sincerest gratitude and heartfelt thanks to everyone who has posted here, everyone who rides for a fallen warrior, every PGR member who dedicates so much of their precious time for so many, but most of all to the men and women in every branch of the service who put their lives on the line every day so that we can do so.  A big chunk of my heart was ripped out of me that fateful day in Ramadi, Iraq and it is a hole that will never be filled again.  Jordan was not only my only son, my only child, but he was my best friend.  Its very hard losing all of those things at once.

Please hug your children for me and tell them that you love them.....that alone brings me some solace.  I know I'll be seeing many of you in Sag Harbor this weekend and if I don't get to personally shake your hand to say thanks please do not take offense.  You now know what is in my heart.....

Thank you so much and ride safe.

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