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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

PGR Mission: Smith - Burkburnett, TX

November 30, 2011
Colorado, USA

Texas -- Today Patriot Guard Riders across North Texas will roll out to stand the flag line in honor M/Sgt Leonard B Smith, USAF Veteran.

Rest in Peace, Sir and thank you for your service!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Celebrating #40 Today!

November 22, 2011
Colorado, USA

Tim & Vik - Grand Mesa CO 2011Forty Years! Who woulda thunk it?

Every time in the past year when we have mentioned we are working on #40 we most times get a look, usually a double-take that says - how in the heck did you manage that! Sometimes we get a congratulations!

Honestly, if we try to explain it - we just end up sounding tongue-tied and a wee bit spooky or like some sappy by-line from a romance novel talking about drop-dead love at first sight or first bite (smirk!) or explaining we were childhood sweethearts and so on or some other kind of sentimental, mushy forever and always destiny crap. Yikth!

You know what I see when I look back over a year's worth of photos? Or 40 years of photos? Smiles. Every step along the way - smiles. And yeah - most of the recent ones are compliments of the Harley. Harley smiles are S'miles. I think it is no mistake that the word smiles is the word miles with an S stuck on the front of it. S'miles.

You know what I say when someone asks how can you stay with the same man for that many years? I say, He makes me laugh. That's it. Plain and simple - the man makes me laugh. And, if you ask Tim - he'll likely answer the same - the woman makes me laugh. Like any marriage, we've been through our share of ups and downs. We always say we have survived the good times, the bad times, the sad times, the ugly times and the weird times. But how did we survive them?

We try not to take life or money or ourselves too seriously. As they say - nobody gets out alive, anyway.

For forty years, we have found the funny in the absurd and we laughed. There's not enough room on the Harley to carry forward any memories but the good ones. Somewhere along the way we learned to leave all the baggage behind and just carry around the important stuff. The good stuff. The fun stuff. The stuff that makes us laugh.

That's it - that's my anecdote for 40 years. If you have any doubts - take a look at the following video - am I right or what!

Tim and Vik Celebrate 40 years!

Click here to play

To Tim: here is your anniversary card/video. Thanks for 40 years of laughs - you make lovin' fun! -V- s.w.a.k.

Here is a link to a slide show of just the photos (no music or animation):
Tim & Vik Celebrate 40 Years Slide Show

PGR Mission: Katzaman, Wichita Falls, TX

November 22, 2011
Colorado, USA

Texas -- Today Patriot Guard Riders across North Texas will roll out to stand the flag line in honor T/Sgt Carl D. Katzaman, USAF Veteran.

Rest in Peace, Sir and thank you for your service!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

PGR Mission: Spc4 Joseph Perkins, Texas

November 19, 2011
Colorado, USA

Texas - Today the North Texas Patriot Guard Riders roll out to stand the flag line in honor of Spc4 Joseph Perkins, US Army Vietnam Veteran, Bowie, TX.

Rest in peace Sir and thank you for your service!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Short Ride to Veterans Plaza

November 13, 2011
Colorado, USA

Tim at statue The statue at the new and not quite completed Veterans Plaza of Northern Colorado was unveiled today. We almost forgot about it. In fact, we had not really planned a ride today as winter weather is headed our way.

Still, there was enough sunshine to persuade us to do otherwise. We leathered up about mid-afternoon and rolled out for a short ride. One of our favorite lazy routes takes us through asemi-rural area we know is populated by eagles. Sure 'nuff they were roosting in a tree beside the road. I think it is fitting that a Veterans Day weekend ride include an eagle sighting.

eagles

statueOnce we remembered about the plaza we turned the ride in that direction, arriving after the ceremonies had concluded and the military vehicles were pulling out. The statue of a soldier holding a young boy on his shoulder is wonderful.

As described on the website: A bronze statue further conveys the story of generations of sacrifice. The statue depicts a World War II American soldier with a young boy seated on his shoulder. The soldier’s left arm extends in a sweeping gesture as if showing the boy the promise of the future. The boy smiles as he realizes that his freedoms, his liberties, and small pleasantries like the park are a gift from those who have served and sacrificed for their country.

The park where the plaza is located is not very far from where we live so it will be nice to visit and hopefully we will see more Veterans ceremonies in our area in the future.

Here is a slide show (20 photos):



The Veterans Plaza of Northern Colorado

Friday, November 11, 2011

PGR Mission: TX - Veterans Day Memorial Ceremony

November 11, 2011
Colorado, USA

Texas -- Today Patriot Guard Riders of North Texas rode in and solemnly stood in silent respect beside their motorcycles on a hill overlooking the Veteran's Day Ceremony at Crestview Memorial Cemetery in Wichita Falls.

Slide show of today's mission (41 photos):



UPDATE: Letter to the Editors of the Times Record News
Published November 21, 2011
http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/2011/nov/21/letters_to_ed-11-21/

Nezzie Foster, Wichita Falls

Veterans — Thank you for your service

The dedication of a lifetime.

This past Veterans Day meant a lot to a single man.

He woke early and prepared for the day's events. He wondered if the events so carefully planned would go as hoped.You see he is a 20-year veteran, serving his country in the U. S. Air Force and still serving with respect as a Patriot Guard rider. He was, as they would say in biker terms, "leathered up."

He went to the garage, mounted his "iron horse" with leathers on and American, POW-MIA and Patriot Guard flags attached to the bike. He looked at me and said, "I hope everything goes as planned and I hope my fellow riders show up to support me and the missions before me." I smiled and said, "Ride safe, stand tall and silent for you will be standing for those who stood for you."

He had two Veterans Day ceremonies to attend with the purpose to honor veterans. He is dedicated to his country, the flag and the men and women who have served and are no longer with us.

He supports the men and women of our military who serve our country today. He is not a young man, but is young-at-heart and devoted to doing the right thing for the right reason. I am proud to call him "my hero, my Veteran."

If you see him somewhere standing the flag line at a veteran's funeral, a homecoming for our men and women or riding in a parade with flags waving proudly, stop and shake his hand and say "Thank you for your service, sir." Those words mean more to a veteran than any other words.

He is a Vietnam veteran and served his country well. The missions of Nov. 11 were a great success.

He said, in his humble fashion, that he owes that success to all the Patriot Guard riders who helped him make the day special for him and for the other Americans who paused on 11-11-11 to honor veterans.

"Patriotism ... is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." ~~ Adlai Stevenson

Veterans Day Parade 2011

November 11, 2011
Colorado, USA

Uncle Sam gets a rideWhat a blast! Tim decided to take 11-11-11 off from work. A few days ago Charley Barnes of Journey 4 Justice broadcast on the radio and social networking sites they were looking for riders in the area to join J4J riders in the Veterans Day Parade in Loveland, CO. So, we accepted the invitation and I spent last evening decorating the ride parade-style.

We started out in full leathers but the sun was shining and breakfast at Fatso's Diner in Loveland was just what we needed to shake the early morning chill off. We then rode over to the staging area which was - in three words - chaos on wheels. Bikes and trailers and a huge assortment of military vehicles were parked helter-skelter over several blocks. We parked as best we could and eventually hooked up with Charley and the rest of the J4J crew.

Veterans Day 2011We spent some time strolling through the bikes and military vehicles and socializing with Veterans including the WWII Veteran riding on J4J's float/trailer.

By the time we lined up (if that's what you want to call it - ha!) for the parade it was warm enough to ditch the leathers. What a great experience! We rounded a corner from the staging area to see the streets lined with veterans, patriots, parade-lovers and what appeared to be every school child in the Loveland area, most of them waving flags and cheering at the top of their freedom-loving lungs. The parade moved rather slowly and it was more a walk 'em and rev 'em parade so before we reached the end of the route we were smelling hot Harleys...

Veterans Day Parade
After the parade we joined the J4J crew for lunch at The Village Inn not far from the park where the parade ended. They welcomed us into their ranks and we spent just over an hour laughing and talking and munching.

We were reluctant to call it a day and rode off from the restaurant in the direction opposite from home. We rode as far south as High Country Harley-Davidson where we stopped for a stretch and a warm up with some thermos coffee. Clouds and chilly temps finally forced us to turn The Ride north toward home. By the time we rode in, it was cold. We are not complaining though - it is not often we get a whole day in on the Harley in northern Colorado in November.

Here is a slide show of today's fun (72 photos):


THANK YOU VETERANS!



Journey 4 Justice is a great organization and the people we met today are a great bunch of bikers. We recommend you check them out and if you are so inclined - join a team and ride with them to Topeka for an exercise in free speech and a reckoning of justice, biker-style.

J4J Mission Statement:
1.To honor our fallen military men and women by exercising our right of free speech and displaying the American & State flags in all their glory.

2.To field teams that will travel to Topeka, Kansas to honor and defend the city by countering the vile and foul rhetoric from local hate groups.

3.To honor any and all people targeted by “hate groups” including, but not limited to the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.

4.To respectfully obey all State and Federal laws in accordance with the 1st Amendment.

Veteran's Day Tribute 2011 - for Dad

November 11, 2011
Colorado, USA

Salute! And Happy Veteran's Day to all Veterans today but this is a special shout out to my Dad who I know is out early this morning... organizing and riding honor missions with and for other Veterans... I don't have to say it because you know it - but I will say it... you make me proud Dad. And, I am betting Mom is out there today supporting Dad and being her patriotic self saluting Veterans as well. You both make me proud.

VETERANS DAY 2011

Click here to play

I know you are not much on the whole photo thing Dad so thanks for indulging me while I show the world in my own way how proud I am to be a Veteran's Daughter.

About as great a definition of a hero as I have seen...

Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid... He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world. -- Raymond Chandler

Veterans Day Tribute 2011 - for Tim

November 11, 2011
Colorado, USA

Happy Veterans Day to all those who have served and are serving!

I saw this comment posted out on the web... When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep? - George Canning

It is a question that some may puzzle over. My answer is NO! Not as long as I can stand or sit or lie with a flag in my hand... never. -V-

The following is a Veteran's Day Tribute to my Harley Guy... s.w.a.k.

VETERANS DAY 2011 - Tim

Click here to play
Yep! I am a military brat, the daughter of a Veteran and the wife of a Veteran. Today my Veteran Dad is out paying tribute at several memorial functions in north Texas. Today, I will ride with my Veteran husband and lots of other patriots in a Veteran's Day Parade in northern Colorado.

Gary Hart once said: I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot. I would go him one better - there is no title that should claim higher regard in this land than Veteran.

About Veterans Day

November 11, 2011
Colorado, USA

This is last year's post and thought I'd share it again... not much has changed. All my good guys are still fighting the good fight and I am still out there cheering them on...

Thank You Veterans! I was raised on patriotism although I did not know it as that growing up. In our home, pride in country, reverence for the flag and respect for the men and women who served in the military was status quo. We were proud Americans. We are proud Americans.

Veterans peopled my life... but, I knew them as Dad or Uncle or friends of the family. Veterans wives nurtured my life... but I knew them as Mom or Aunt or Mrs. The men served our country and the women as well, just in a different capacity. My perception was these are "the good guys", doing their "duty", fighting the "good fight". To me, they were all men on the same caliber as movie heroes John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart. Later, it should come as no surprise, I became the wife of a boy who became a military man. Carrying on in military family tradition came naturally.

My Dad served in the USAF for twenty years. He is a Vietnam Veteran (boots on the ground and in the air), but also a Veteran of other conflicts. My husband served in the USAF for eight years. He is also a Vietnam Veteran (thankfully, the closest his boots got to Nam was Guam near the end of the war effort). I say thankfully because war becomes a different animal when you can put a face in the midst of the chaos, when you hang on the words of the evening news broadcast and breathe a sigh of relief when your loved one's location is not spoken, when you wait for the postman to bring a worn envelope, worried by many hands as it made its way across the seas. Gratification was not as it is today... it was not instant via cell phone and internet... it was wait and worry, it was hope and carry on.

There were no flags waving or bands playing or fanfare when Dad returned from Vietnam. It was just US, the family, grateful to have his boots on American soil once again. There was no party when Dad retired from the USAF. One day he was active duty and the next he was retired with not much to show for it other than a document or two, a hard-earned bronze star and a few well worn uniforms. What I know to be an unspoken fact, is the sense of self worth, accomplishment and assurance that while it [his service] may have gone unrecognized - the contribution to society and this country as a whole was significant. The same goes for many who have served and those who serve today.

The key word here: unrecognized.

Veterans Day, as I remember it was acknowledged as an important remembrance day and the meaning and import of it was taught in our classrooms. I grew up attending military celebrations -- air shows, parades and fireworks where patriotic music blared across open fields and down city streets. We climbed in airplanes boosted up by powerful hands of men in uniform. We wore flags on our lapels. We stood and saluted the flag when it passed. We recited the Pledge of Allegiance and we sang the National Anthem (without question and without doubt).

I cannot think of a single faction of our society more deserving of tribute than an American Military Veteran. They deserve our respect, our homage, our heartfelt thanks. No single day set aside on our calendar could be more important.

A Veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life. Sadly, we (We the People) have cashed the check on far too many soldiers without many of us ever pausing to remember their sacrifice, or the sacrifice of their families... When you hug the neck of a Gold Star Mom or Dad trying to hold it together while we celebrate their son or daughter, or acknowledge the price they have paid, try putting the face of your child in their child's place.

Nowadays, Patriotism is vilified at every turn by the powers that be and their minions (the media). Being patriotic is the new kooky. FYI: it's a kookiness I whole-heartedly embrace. People march down streets and rally at our national monuments carrying signs that proclaim themselves to be Patriots, real Americans. I've participated in a couple of rallies and enjoyed the overall experience, but I have to tell you -- after examining the motivation behind the guest speakers and politicians (all brimming over with eloquent rhetoric), I grew weary of the the double-talk and slander. Not enough speech is red, white and blue rhetoric. Not enough of what I hear is grounded in red, white and blue ideology. Real American Patriots carry Ol' Glory and vote. Real Americans defend our country from enemies no matter where the culprits may reside. Real Americans voice their opinion where it counts - the voting booth. And Veterans? Veterans are the best of us.

What I believe is We are All Americans (at least those of us who can legally call ourselves American) so it should follow that we are all American Patriots. That's the logic of it. Unfortunately, there is a glaring deficit of proof in regard to such logic. It's a rather revolting revelation to learn that not all Americans are patriots. On second thought, perhaps those people are neither - really.

Because of my association with and appreciation of Veterans, I do not have to figure out who I am or which side of the fence I am on. I am an American. I am a Patriot. I am the daughter of a Veteran. I am the wife of a Veteran. I am friend to many a Veteran. My ties are firm. My beliefs are set. I am not conflicted.

I am not kooky either, despite evidence to the contrary... evidence collected by those suffering from a severe attack of politically correct delusions.

I believe in times of chaos and uncertainty, it is the philosophy of the Veteran that makes the most sense. Country First. Veterans are American Patriotism personified. The character of a Veteran is earmarked with traits and respectabilities that are above question: Duty, Honor, Truth, Justice, Freedom, Liberty, Allegiance, Respect, Courage and Remembrance.

Veterans wear flags on their lapels (on suits and leather jackets) and on their backs. Veterans fly flags at their homes and take issue with those who disrespect Ol' Glory. Veterans stand and salute the flag as it passes. Veterans recite the Pledge of Allegiance and consider it an honor to do so. Those who dismiss the pledge as an archaic children's poem - would be encouraged to reevaluate that position by a Veteran. Veterans know the words of the Declaration of Independence... or, more importantly they know when words have been altered, twisted or omitted. Veterans know the words to the National Anthem aka Star Spangled Banner. They also know, another Veteran would never belittle a teary eye or a moment of choked off silence after hearing oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave..... o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Veterans are not politically correct. A thing is what it is. A truth is a truth. A lie is a lie. A wrong is something that needs to be righted.

An enemy is an enemy.

Case in point: Terrorism. Oh, that's right, we are not fighting terrorists... our sons and daughters have died correcting the course of misguided (albeit murderous) extremists. Say that to a Gold Star Mom or Dad and I guarantee your backside will be permanently embedded with a Veteran's boot print.

The Veterans of my acquaintance would not hesitate to stand again to defend this country or the ideals that make the United States great. When Veterans learn that military families need assistance, they band together and provide that assistance.

When Veterans learned that others planned to dishonor our military sons and daughters, they soldiered-up and found a way to silence the deluded and protect and honor the fallen and their families. I am speaking of The Patriot Guard here, because most of our family and motorcycle friends are involved with that fine organization. Dad and many of his friends serve as Ride Captains for the North Texas Patriot Guard.

It should go without saying, there are countless other Veteran-based organizations that provide services too numerous to mention, all of them worthy and selfless in their endeavors -- most of them formed out of a proclivity to serve their fellow man - not because of some political mandate.

Veterans never stop being soldiers. They are still "the good guys", doing their "duty", fighting the "good fight".

Veterans walk among us. Young or old - the least we can do, when we run across a Veteran is to say a simple and heartfelt - thank you for your service! And, if you run across a Gold Star Mom or Dad, the least you can say is -- thank you for your sacrifice. And, if that all seems too personal - fly the flag, from your house, from your car and wear it on your person. Trust me, they will notice.

Following in another post is my Veterans Day Tribute to Ted (My Dad). He was my first hero. This years images show Dad and his friends, riding out, on roads that are "free", protected by their vigilance, determination and the blood of the brave, flags unfurled behind their motorcycles, or standing the flag line, honoring veterans and their families and generally doing what is "right". We could all learn from their excellent example. And, there is a tribute posted as well for another Veteran with whom I share my life. He knows I am proud of him but I am saying it again anyway - I am proud of you Tim...

To All Veterans. My thanks to you today and every day. You know who you are. You make me proud.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

PGR Mission - Wichita Falls, TX - Veterans Day Parade

November 5, 2011
Colorado, USA

Dad-Vet Day Parade 2011Texas -- Today the North Texas Patriot Guard Riders will ride in honor of all those who have served this country in the military. My Dad rides out as a PGR ride captain to join his fellow riders as they roll through downtown Wichita Falls, TX in the annual Veterans Day Parade. Today's ride for Dad aka Ted aka Frosty as a Patriot Guard Rider this year is #50 - that's 50 missions so far.

You Rock Dad!

A slide show of today's parade (18 photos):



Another PGR (Jimmy aka Smurf) in Wichita Falls escorted the Warriors on Wheels out of town on their journey to Fort Worth, TX and beyond this morning.

Never forget...

November 5, 2011
Colorado, USA

Today marks the two-year anniversary of the Fort Hood massacre.

Never Forget

1. Lt. Col. Juanita Warman, 55, Havre de Grace, Md.

2. Maj. Libardo Caraveo, 52, Woodbridge, Va.

3. Cpt. John P. Gaffaney, 54, San Diego, Calif.

4. Cpt. Russell Seager, 41, Racine, Wis.

5. Staff Sgt. Justin Decrow, 32, Plymouth, Ind.

6. Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, Kiel, Wis.

7. Spc. Jason Hunt, 22, Tillman, Okla.

8. Spc. Frederick Greene, 29, Mountain City, Tenn.

9. PFC Aaron Nemelka, 19, West Jordan, Utah

10. PFC Michael Pearson, 22, Bolingbrook, Ill.

11. PFC Kham Xiong, 23, St. Paul, Minn.

12. Pvt. Francheska Velez, 21, Chicago, Ill.

13. Michael G. Cahill, Cameron, Texas [civilian]


Thirteen men and women, plus the unborn child of Pvt Francheska Velez died at the hands of jihadist soldier Nidal Hasan.

Never forget 11-05-2009.

Friday, November 4, 2011

PGR Mission: Wichita Falls, TX to Fort Sill, OK

November 4, 2011
Colorado, USA

Texas -- Today North Texas Patriot Guard Riders will stand the flag line in honor of PFC Cassandra Hemming - US Army, Naval Reservist Veteran

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this Veteran! Rest in Peace and Thank you for your service!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

As Veterans Day approaches...

November 3, 2011
Colorado, USA

Some people are doing more important stuff like protecting the right of others to be destructive in the name of -- well, ya got me there - what!

Too Busy