Patriot Guard Riders members - here ‘s my fervent wish that everyone had a most joyous Christmas and Hanukkah. That everyone got what was coming to them (?) and that the lumps of coal were kept to a minimum. It’s hard to believe that another year has flown by – that’s the good news and bad news – time does fly and it’s up to us to make the best use of that time. The Patriot Guard Riders know how to do that – better than most.
We should reflect on years past but with an eye on what is coming in the future. This past year in New York alone the Patriot Guard Riders fulfilled our main mission over 700 times. We attended the funerals of our fallen heroes, honorable veterans and those who lost their lives while serving our communities. We lost too many of our own – Patriot Guard Riders who passed on whether by tragic accident or sickness. Let us take a moment to remember them – now and for the rest of our lives.
What we do has touched countless lives of the families of those we honored. We receive countless e-mails – letters of thanks - that are written with such eloquence and heartfelt thanks for what the PGR has done for their family and friends in some of the darkest moments in their lives. Many families express their heartfelt thanks by making monetary donations to the PGR NY - big and small. These donations go directly to our Help On The Homefront program that helps veterans who are having financial difficulties. Tens of thousands of dollars went to help veterans and their families this year. During the last quarter of this year our HOTH program made $25,000 in donations to 5 Veterans Administration Hospital Volunteer Service Organizations - organizations where 100% of monies received by them are used in support of their veterans. We were also in the fortunate position to be able to donate $5,000 to PGR Florida and to their efforts to assist veterans devastated by hurricanes last season.
I’ll make this short and sweet – thank you everyone for the hours and hours of noble volunteerism in service to the Patriot Guard Riders of New York and to the families that we served. What we do DOES make a difference – our impact on families is profound.
Let us wish for each other a happy and above all a healthy New Year. If 2023 is anything like previous years, the PGR will be called upon more and more to perform the noble work we do – and we’ll do it with a sense of well-earned pride in how we do it.
Thank you again, one and all, for choosing to make the work of the Patriot Guard Riders such an important part of your life. I am humbled and proud to be in the ranks of the finest men and women I have ever come to know.
I’ll see you in the escort – on the flag line.
Patriot Guard Riders NY - State Captain
Veteran Recovery Program - NY State Coordinator
PGR NY Board of Directors - President