June 28, 2008
To All Who Ride for the Heroes,
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!