Texas Patriot Guard Riders monthly newsletter
Mar 2015 edition
Welcome, Texas Patriot Guard Riders, to the March edition of our newsletter!
We have been very busy with our missions this past month, and we thank you all for continuing to honor our Heroes.
Texas has seen some excellent growth last month by adding 3-5 new members a week throughout the state. Well done!
A very good idea came from our West Texas DSC Teresa Galloway. When faced with multiple missions on the same day, get in touch with the local ROTC! They can assist in standing the flag line when the membership is spread thin. Thanks for the suggestion/insight – what a great way to involve fellow Patriotic organizations!
Many have seen, and participated in, the Vietnam Dog Tag memorial that has been traveling across the state for the last year, logging in almost 3000 miles. This past weekend the Memorial found a permanent home at the Museum of the American GI in Bryan College Station. A very heartfelt thanks was given to the Patriot Guard Riders for escorting the Memorial across Texas, never letting our Brothers and Sisters go anywhere alone…. Welcome Home! To see more, please visit www.americangimuseum.org.
We would like to introduce Jerry Moore (email@example.com) as the new ADSC for the Panhandle Region. North Texas has added two new RC’s - Mike Moore and Jim Wiggins. Welcome, and thank you for stepping up!
2015 Annual Texas Gathering of the Guard
It’s time to meet up, have fun, and tame the Three Sisters. This year's Texas Gathering of the Guard will be April 10 - 12 and is back at Medina Highpoint Resort, formerly known as Koyote Ranch. The North Texas Region is hosting this year and is in the midst of planning the event. We’re looking to build an event that will offer everyone the chance to relax, have fun, do some riding, enjoys some good food, and fellowship with old friends and new. We have some hill country rides planned for those who wish to tag along. Of course, we’re not the PGR if we aren’t helping our vets when we can, so we’re also going to make a run to the Kerrville VA Hospital. We’ll visit a bit and bring them items they need, more to come on what items to bring. Now it wouldn’t be a GOTG without the Auction. We need everyone to bring your “top shelf” stuff to sell and your “cold hard cash” to spend at the auction. If the opportunity to donate that one-of-a-kind item you know someone can’t live without isn’t enough, we’re going to be giving a “highly collectable” 2015 GOTG patch to everyone who brings an item to auction. You don’t want to be left out patch-less. 100% of the proceeds go back into helping all regions meet our missions this year.
Riders wishing to stay at the resort should contact the resort’s group coordinator Sara at 800-225-0991 to reserve your accommodations. Be sure to mention the PGR to receive a 10% discount. These spots fill up fast so you should search nearby towns, such as Kerrville and Bandera, when the Resort is full. The link to the resort is http://rvcoutdoors.com/medina-highpoint-resort/what-we-offer/#accommodations. The Texas Forum on the National Website will serve as a central point for information. Please feel free to post to this forum regarding any great ideas you have for this year's event. The link is https://www.patriotguard.org/showthread.php?399313-2015-Gathering-of-the-Texas-Guard. Registration begins soon and you can find the registration from inside. The cost will be $30 per person. This includes dinner Friday and breakfast and dinner on Saturday. We look forward seeing you!
Now for our Focus Region, This month we hear from North Texas, they serve the DFW and north of that area. The following is directly from Bryan Read DSC.
North Texas Patriot Guard Riders
On January 1 of this year I was entrusted with leading the North Texas Region. I am honored and excited to be asked to author this short article about North Texas, a region and a group of really awesome folks that I am extremely proud of.
North Texas is probably one of the busiest regions in the state, if not the busiest. Last year we averaged 49.5 missions a month. We’ve seen as many as 7 missions in one day, with 4 or 5 on one day a somewhat frequent occurrence. In addition to the mission load, each year we sup-port the Air Power Foundation’s Annual Sky Ball Gala and Snow Ball Express, both of which are huge undertakings, with each taking months of planning. Mix in a healthy dose of non-funeral missions such as civic events, Memory Portrait presentations, and you can easily see we stay busy. The amazing thing is this group doesn’t miss a beat and completes every mission with what seems like ease.
How do we do it you may ask? The answer is awesome Riders. We have over 3000 registered members, of which half are really active. Like any region we have our core group of Riders that come to 90% of the missions. Our Riders show up rain or shine, hot or cold, and day or night. The Riders make it happen in North Texas.
Additionally, because we are busy, we must be organized. I and the ADSCs have inherited an extremely organized operation. First up, we have an outstanding group of Ride Captains. These men and women are dedicated to doing what it takes to make the mission happen and dedicated to taking care of the Riders. They have established an excellent rapport and working relationship with funeral directors, escort providers, and LE agencies which leads to very seamless missions. Each ensures the family’s’ needs are met and the respect is shown for the fallen. They are exceptional leaders.
Another outstanding group we are blessed to have is our Support folks. Every Ride Captain will tell you in a heartbeat their Support folks are a God-send. These folks do an outstanding job with maintaining and setting flags and managing their stock of supplies. Each shows up early and coordinates with the RC on setting the flag line and making sure cold water is available on a hot day or the coffee is hot on a cold day. Both the Ride Captains and Support folks are conveniently located throughout the region, which makes for good coverage and spreads the mission load.
We’re also lucky to have a Mission Dispatcher, who probably has the hardest job in the region. The Dispatcher assists the DSC by validating and assigning Ride Captains to the incoming missions. Our Dispatcher does an outstanding job. We have dedicated photographers who do a wonderful job and are often praised by the families for providing them with a free CD of memories.
Lastly, when it comes to getting the word out, we have an awesome system designed by our own Web Architect. The system allows beginning to end mission execution, much of which is automated. Final Itineraries are generated during mission planning using web-based forms and then automatically sent out to email subscribers. The missions are also posted on the website calendar, with hyperlinks taking the viewer to the detailed Final Itineraries. Lickity split the word get out and the Riders are there at the designated time.
I know I didn’t do the region justice in describing all the great things each and every member does to make the mission happen, but I did my best in the space I had. I have no doubt every DSC is equally proud of their region. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to share North Texas with all the readers of this newsletter.
Bryan Read, DSC, NTXPGR
Thank you North Texas for the outstanding work and support you provide your region!
We thank you for your continued support and look forward to hearing from you – the member – on any ideas you might have to improve the Patriot Guard Riders.
“ The members who stand the flag line are the heart and soul of the Patriot Guard”
Bobby “Kawabob” Stroka
Mike “BigMike” Eubank
Asst. State Captain