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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

November 28, 2013

For the family and friends who have chosen to be part of our lives,
For the blessings we find in each other,
For the freedom to travel the roads we have ridden this year,
For the hope of riding those that lay beyond today's horizon...
We are grateful.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Friday, November 22, 2013

Just breezed on thru #42

November 22, 2013
Colorado USA

Tim & Vik - Picnic Ride - June 2013

Tim and Vik - Grand Canyon Ride - August 2013

It is winter in northern Colorado so we are thinking an anniversary ride is out but we have come to understand after 42 years that sometimes you just have to celebrate the good things as you go along... stay tuned...

Monday, November 11, 2013

It's what they do

November 11, 2013

The Folks on their way to Veterans Day memorials and celebrations in Texas today.

Veterans' Day 2013 - for Dad

November 11, 2013
Colorado, USA


My favorite veteran... my first hero... the face I put on the word hero today... a pavement patriot, a road warrior... Charlie Daniels said, Capability and confidence tempered with humility is a wonderful thing to see. That about sums it up - it's what I have all bundled up in one neat package labeled DAD.

What follows is an excerpt (with minor edits) from the 2012 Vet Day post (sans political commentary).

I am a military brat. I am the proud daughter of a USAF Vietnam Veteran. I am the proud wife of a USAF Vietnam Era Veteran. I often joke that I have 28 years of service myself (a veteran's daughter for 20 active duty years, a veteran's wife for 8 active duty years). All in all I have 50 some odd years of Veteran appreciation under my belt. I am the niece of Veteran uncles. I am proud friend to many Veterans. Needless to say, Veterans have always played a huge part in my life and continue to do so today. Talk about counting your blessings!

I saw an interview with children a good while back. The children were asked a simple question, "Who is your hero?" The children were very young so as you might expect, the answers were quite imaginative. Fireman. Policeman. Sponge Bob (Oh me!). Harry Potter (of course!). Batman (I had to grin at that answer). When a child answered with Dad or Big Brother, the interviewer asked what Dad or Big Brother did for a living. The children answered car salesman, teacher, banker and one child rolled his eyes and said in a duh sort of manner - he's a DAD.

What struck me as interesting about the answers in particular is this: Not one child answered Soldier/Marine/Sailor. I am guessing there were no military children in the group because most military children are well acquainted with the concept that military/soldier/veteran types are heroes - by default. In fact, when I was a kid, the whole mine-is-bigger-than-yours base housing playground mentality was all about whose Dad worked on the biggest, fastest airplane. I thought about it and wondered what sort of answer I would have given then and now -- and I am fairly certain I would have answered My Dad is my Hero, followed by the proud announcement -- he is in the Air Force and works on jet engines! (After reflecting on it - I realize I might have answered John Wayne but since I have always equated Dad and John Wayne's characters like Big Jake as being somewhat one-in-the-same - I am sticking with Dad.)

Yep, that would have been my answer - then and now. My Dad is my Hero, he is a USAF Vietnam Veteran Patriot Guard Ride Captain.
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Veterans are the heroes of my America. Veterans standing shoulder to shoulder, flag in hand, respect being the order of the day. Veterans astride motorcycles with flags streaming behind them. Veterans behind shades, chins slightly dipped in respect. Veterans snapping a misty-eyed salute as Old Glory marches by. Veterans getting a bit choked up when they get to the words o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave... Hoary-headed Veterans, grizzled, bone-tired, weary though they may be rising to the day's challenge. Veterans calmly going about the business of honor and duty with unfailing loyalty and firm resolve. Veterans who will go it alone if something needs doing. Veterans clearing trash from a neglected cemetery. Veterans placing a wreath on a forgotten soldier's grave. Veterans with a clear-eyed, stern countenance under bills of patriotic hats. Veterans with a firm grip on the elbow of other less able-bodied Veterans. Veterans ready with hands extended in camaraderie and friendship. Veterans offering the solace of huggable necks and strong, comfortable shoulders. Veterans who in the width of their stance and the pride of their bearing convey strength, integrity, endurance and unwavering courage. Veterans who in the core of their beings understand the ideology of America will thrive because men and women such as they have risen and will rise again without qualm and see her through whatever force of adversity places a stranglehold on liberty and justice. Veterans understand the cost of FREEDOM and still venture forth to pay the price.

Today American Veterans across the nation are engaging in patriotic activities honoring veterans past and present. Many of them I know are riding with the North Texas (Red River Region) Patriot Guard as they go about the business of the day. Hopefully they will get a handshake and a heartfelt Thank You For Your Service! somewhere along their busy way today. Ride safe. Stand Tall. Carry on. You make me proud.

This is my tribute to all Veterans today. I SALUTE YOU! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, INTEGRITY AND FORTITUDE. THANK YOU FOR BEING THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF AMERICAN GRACE UNDER FIRE. In a world where alleged leaders have to "toot" their own horn and decimate the reputation of others to serve their own egotistical, self-serving agendas in tiresomely repetitive rhetoric - it is comforting to know that some heard the drummer and quietly and unequivocally answered the call of duty long ago because it was the "right" thing to do. Those few brave, independent souls are doing the right thing still. Today. Nobody tells them to do it. Hardly anyone ever applauds them for doing it. They do it naturally because being a Veteran defines them in ways that those who have not served will never understand. We know being a patriot is never the "popular" thing to do. Thank goodness for that - because there is not a Veteran of my acquaintance who gives a hoot about the mainstream perversion of principles dictated by popular culture!

Finally, Thank You Veterans, past and present for reminding me who I am by being who you are. American Veterans - my Heroes one and all.

This is my favorite definition of a hero.

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 2013 - for Tim

November 11, 2013
Colorado USA

Here is a salute to my resident Veteran, the one who gets me out of the house and my head and takes me up and down freedom's highways to Veterans rallies and parks and memorials and rolls under big flags until I get just the right shot and who buys me new cameras knowing He and The Ride are going to be the main targets. Thank you for your service Tim - you make me proud - carry me on - ha!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Early salute to my favorite Texas Veteran

November 8, 2013
Colorado USA

Texas - As the plans proceed for the 2013 Veterans Day ceremonies in which Dad aka PGR Ride Captain "Frosty" with the help of his PGR buddies and other patriots will once again figure prominently, I thought to share last year's ceremony at Crestview Cemetery in Wichita Falls. Most of us are moved by a Patriot Guard flag line at funerals and memorials. What has been incorporated here is the motorcycle element. The simplicity of bikers filing in on two wheels, flags streaming behind them and those same bikers (many of them Veterans) standing in silent respect beside motorcycles in what can only be described as profound reverence - well, it makes me proud. There are no words here except - thank you for your service and commitment - carry on.

Veterans Day Mission 2012

Click here to play

You tube version of the above movie...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Moment of Respect...

November 7, 2013
Colorado, USA

Out of respect for a Veteran friend who was there - pausing for a moment of respect for the brave Blue Spaders who paid the ultimate price at the Ambush at Srok Rung, November 7, 1967 - Vietnam. May these heroes Rest in Peace and may their friends and loved ones know - they are not forgotten.

The following was shared with me a while back by the wife of the Veteran friend mentioned above. It seems an appropriate time to revisit it.

COMBAT VETERANS

Once the COMBAT PATCHES go on, they never come off whether they can be seen or not. It fuses to the soul through adversity, fear and adrenaline, and no one who has ever worn them with pride, integrity and guts can ever sleep through the `call of the wild` that wafts through bedroom windows in the deep of the night...

We wonder if he knows what he is leaving behind, because we already know.

We know, for example, that after a lifetime of camaraderie that few experience, it will remain as a longing for those past times.

We know in the world of veterans, there is a fellowship which lasts long after the uniforms are hung up in the back of the closet.

We know even if he throws them away, they will be on him with every step and breath that remains in his life.

We also know how the very bearing of the veteran speaks of what he was and in his heart still is.

Because we served, we envy no man on earth.

Keeping a good thought for you today Ray and whispering words of respect for those you knew and loved and respected who did not make it to today. - V

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Meanwhile in Texas - Warriors on Wheels

November 5, 2013

Warriors on Wheels are riding Texas today and all week. Last night they were honored by members of the North Texas Patriot Guard and other Patriots at a potluck dinner and reception in Wichita Falls, TX. This morning they wheeled out with a motorcycle escort to Windthorst TX and beyond. We thank them for their service and courage... ride safe and carry on. If you see them - give them brake and raise a hand in respect.

Ride Texas 2013 Team - Warriors on Wheels

Hosts of the Warriors on Wheels Potluck Dinner and Reception - Wichita Falls TX

PGR Ride Captain Jimmy Murphy - WOW (Warriors on Wheels) is a group of bicyclists who do a week long ride starting in Wichita Falls and ending in Corpus Christi on Veterans Day. While not all of the riders have a military background, several are wounded vets, including a double amputee on a hand cycle. Their ride is a fundraiser and will benefit the “Wish for our Heroes” organization this year.

Remembrance: Fort Hood 2009

Four years ago today a radical Muslim who infiltrated the ranks of the US Army opened fire on Fort Hood killing 13 and wounding another 38.

List of those Killed

Michael Grant Cahill, 62, of Cameron, Tx.

Major L. Eduardo Caraveo, 52, of Woodbridge, Va.

Staff Sgt. Justin M. DeCrow, 32, of Plymouth, Ind.

Capt. John P. Gaffaney, 54, of San Diego, Calif.

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

Spc. Jason Dean Hunt, 22, of Tillman, Okla.

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

Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka, 19, of West Jordan, Utah

Pfc. Michael Pearson, 22, of Bolingbrook, Ill.

Capt. Russell Seager, 41, of Racine, Wis.

Pvt. Francheska Velez, 21, of Chicago. She was pregnant.

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

Spc. Kham Xiong, 23, of St. Paul, Minn.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ride or rake leaves?

November 3, 2013

The question (as absurd as it sounds) was ride or rake leaves on what looks like the last day for a good ride at least for a few days in northern Colorado... the answer is apparent I think since The Ride was already parked at the curb. Ha!