Letters 2010

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    From Dave Kinnaman, Veteran’s Day Coordinator 1/16/10
    Hutto High School, Hutto Texas
    Sent: January 16, 2010

    Chuck Murphy
    Austin Area Ride Captain
    Patriot Guard Riders
    210 Almquist St.
    Hutto, Texas 78634

    “Dear Mr. Murphy,
    Enclosed is the letter Paul Lister and I sent to individuals who participated in last year's Veteran's Day at Hutto High School. We apologize for not sending and expressing our sincere appreciation for your contribution; however, since you attended our assemblies and air show, it must be noted that teachers, students, and citizens alike still recall how the "Patriot Guard, the motorcycle guys were here on Veteran's Day." Our business communities gave you a "thumbsup" then, and speak highly of you today.

    I do not know if you understand the significance of your presence at our Veteran's Day ceremonies. Students get to see and hear and feel, and, if possible, collaborate in ways, strangely enough, with you what civic pride involves, and how individuals like you embody exceptional virtues, for example patriotism on a high school campus. I would be remiss if I did
    not add that teachers treasured your presence too. Mix together a Harley, a flag, and a handful of men and women clad in patches and denim who stand at attention and salute those who currently serve our nation, well, can you think of anything more "American" than that?

    Once again, "Thank you" and God Bless You. I look forward to working with you next year, our seventh Veteran's Day.”

    Dave Kinnaman
    Economics, Psychology, Sociology Teacher
    Veteran's Day Coordinator,
    Hutto High School, Hutto, Texas 78634
    (512) 759-4700


    From Madeline De Long, Alumni Director 2/5/10
    San Marcos Baptist Academy

    “To the ladies and gentlemen of the Austin Area Patriot Guard:
    Words cannot express my appreciation for the support you show to the family of our slain soldiers. Though I have seen the Patriot Guard in action on previous occasions, I have never been so touched as I was when on of our own SMBA graduates was honored by your presence. Thank you for your service to our country, to families of the fallen, and specifically for your support of the family of Captain Paul N. Pena.”

    Madeline De Long
    Alumni Director

    This letter was a hand written letter from Ms. De Long


    From Vicki Young (Alton’s Wife) 2/12/10

    “I apologize for the delay in sending this note, but please express my personal appreciation and respect for those in the Patriot Guard who braved the weather to pay tribute to Alton. I was deeply touched to see your members standing at attention as I walked into the funeral home and again as we drove so many miles to gather at the cemetery. So many of my friends and family shared the same emotions as I experienced as we witnessed the respect your group shows to someone such as my husband.

    Alton felt a tremendous pride when he was able to join your group on a ride. I only wish he could have joined your membership sooner in life. Thank you for allowing him the privilege of serving as a fellow Patriot Guard Rider. The PGR was one of the highlights of his life.

    Thank you again, and may God bless you all and keep you safe as you continue to ride.”

    Vicki Young


    From a friend of Raymond Koopmann 2/20/10

    “It was amazing that 30+ of you would give up a beautiful Valentine's Day afternoon to drive for an hour out to the middle of nowhere on such short notice. It was quite an impressive display and I'm sure Ray's family appreciated it a great deal.

    I've also seen you at ceremonies at the Fallen Warrior Memorial here in Pflugerville. You people are wonderful!”

    Blake Krass
    Pflugerville TX


    From Mark Gil, (Paul Gil Sr. Grandson) 3/3/10

    “Patriot Guard Riders,
    Words will never express the pride and honor bestowed upon our family by your presence during our Grandfathers final tribute. Please know, you fine men and women of The Patriot Guard Riders will forever be in our hearts and prayers. God bless and keep each of you out of harms way with your ministry.”

    Mark Gil, Code Enforcement Officer II
    Code Compliance Department
    City of Austin
    1520 Rutherford Lane
    Austin, Texas 78754
    APD (Ret.)


    From a Friend of EJ Johnston 3/31/10

    “Dear Patriot Guard Riders:

    Today in the small town of Liberty Hill, Texas we buried a wonderful young man. SPC Elton J. (EJ) Johnston, a Texas National Guard soldier and High School student in our small town. My 17 year old son had been friends with EJ since they were both little boys.

    I run a business and could not attend the funeral with my son. My business is on Hwy 29, the route of the funeral procession to the cemetery. I gathered employees and family and we stood at the road, with a flag, to honor EJ and his family.

    I have to tell you that the sight of all those PGR with American Flags touched the very depths of my heart. What a wonderful way to honor a great young man.

    After the procession I did some research on your wonderful group. What you do is the most selfless acts I think I have ever seen.

    There are not words to define the kindness of the men and women (and 1 dog we saw in the group!). I showed my son the info on your group when he got home. In this day when people are not always as nice or giving or compassionate as they should be, it's an inspiration to know that there are people like PGR out there. You have inspired me and I may just become your newest member.”

    God Bless you all,
    Laura Collins
    Liberty Hill, TX


    From the Family of Charles Maxey 4/3/10

    “The Family of Charles Maxey would like to thank the Patriot Guard Riders for their precence at the funeral service. Charles was very patriotic and proud of the time he served his Country. Your organization emphasizes the brotherhood that is held in the armed services”


    From Mr. Sykes Daughter 4/4/10

    You and several other members of the PGR honored my father (Jim Sykes). I wanted to pass along to you and the others how honored we were that you came to help us say good bye to a man who loved his country so much. I know he was proud when he saw you there, over the past few years he watched the TV reports and was proud of what you all stand for.

    My family was grateful and proud to have you all , we are sending photos for your site (via Vandewalle) and a donation has been made (via Murray) to help off set some of the cost and if you need anything feel free to ask, you will always have a place in our hearts for not only what you did for my dad but what you have and will do for all of our hero's.

    Thank you so much again for taking time from your lives to honor my father, You are our Hero's”



    From a First Cav Soldier 4/14/10
    Subj: Hey, Soldier from First Cav Here.

    “Hey Lou, I'm a soldier from First Cavalry Division.. I was watching videos of the Patriot Guard, protecting our families from the Westboro Baptist Church.. I have the utmost respect for you men and women who, after we guard you in life, you guard us in death. Thank you, so very much, for paying your respects to our families, friends, and loved ones when our time on this Earth is over. Words can hardly explain the emotions I felt, seeing all those American flags, held high, proudly, by some of the most honorable men that aren't even in the military.. It means a lot to us, and our families. And we will never forget your patronage and respect. What you guys do truly is amazing, for the nation that forgets it's defenders will itself be forgotten, and America will only remain the Land of the Free so long as it is the Home of the Brave. ”

    Much Love and Respect,

    Private First Class Darian Browning
    B Company, 1st Battalion 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division

    Loyalty And Courage, America's Hammer!


    From LTC Wempe 4/15/10

    “Mr. Gonzales:
    On behalf of the 741st MI BN I just wanted to express my thanks to you and the Patriot Guard Riders for the professional, and inspiring, support you provided to the funeral of SPC Noelle Pagliaro, a Soldier from our Battalion. It is humbling to witness the intense patriotism and loyalty that your members display as you watch over grieving family and unit members.

    The loss of a Soldier is always cause for great sadness, and is felt even more acutely when the soldier is young, with a promising military career and life ahead of her. Your Patriot Guards provided enormous comfort as you allowed loved ones and fellow Soldiers to pay tribute to SPC Pagliaro and mourn her loss.

    I'm attaching a poem and photo which describes the poignant and powerful display common to military tradition at the passing of one of our own.

    Again, thank you, and best wishes to you and the Patriot Guard Riders as you continue your mission.”

    Pat Wempe
    LTC Patrick J. Wempe
    Commander, 741st MI BN
    Fort George G. Meade, MD


    From Vicki Young (Alton’s Wife) 5/1/10

    “Please accept my appreciation – even as belated as it is – for the wonderful flag presentation in Alton’s memory. That event will forever hold a special place in my heart, as will your entire group and its mission. May your membership grow even after the passing of someone as dedicated as my husband.
    You are extraordinary and very well-respected, and I am indeed honored that you would publicly remember Alton as you did. May God bless each of you and your families.”

    Until we meet again,
    Vicki Young


    From Ron Marcil and Barb Bowers 6/6/10

    “Hello Frank,

    My Wife and I drove out to Kerrville, TX on Saturday for an art show at the old post office. We were completely unaware of the Funeral of Cpl Leicht.

    As we were headed out back out of town, the proceedings were winding down at the cemetery. I wanted to stop and thank you folks from the Patriot Guard for what you do for the families and for the troops but it would have been unsafe for me to do so. Take this as my official hand shake and thank you. Please pass this thought along to the others you ride with.
    Thank You Very Much for what you do.”

    Ron Marcil and Barb Bowers

    p.s. it stuns me that some folks think it's ok to protest at a funeral and it scares me that we've gotten to that point.


    From Shelley Leicht 6/8/10

    “As the Aunt of Marine Cpl. Jacob Leicht, I would like to express my gratitude to you for honoring and supporting our nephew and his immediate family and widow (the poor little thing is so young for such a title).

    You cannot know the impact you have had on our family – we felt like we had angels guarding us. It was so moving to arrive at the church and see your membership standing in that horrible heat to honor Jacob, and support and protect his family. I will try to forward to you a note written by Jacob’s brother Jonathan which expresses his family’s gratitude much more eloquently than I am able.

    I just wanted you and your wonderful band of brothers (and sisters!) to know how very much appreciated and respected you are. It is not over stating the fact to say that you changed lives and hearts that day – thank you. Would that other Americans would follow your example; I plan to.”

    In sincere appreciation,

    Shelley Leicht
    Greenville, NC

    God Bless America!


    From Tracy La Porte Military Moms of Texas Founder 6-6-10

    “Thank you all so much for coming out to my son and Soldiers parade and leading the way. You truly made his day and he loved it! He is very fond of all of you and spoke highly of how he and his battle buddies feel about each of you! Just having all of you there with the PGR and as Veterans was all he needed to make his day feel special! I am honored and blessed to be amongst you! I hope to see you all again soon. I consider you a brother and partner with Military Moms Of Texas!!! Thanks so much attached you will find pictures.

    P.S.- He said if you have a flag or anything you want him to take back with him to Iraq he would be honored to do so!”

    Tracy A La Porte
    Military Moms Of Texas Founder
    Donate Button http://www.militarymomsoftexas.org
    Email: tlaporte@militarymomsoftexas.org
    Phone: 512-470-3485
    Fax: 512-218-9148
    P.O. BOX 1627 ,Round Rock,TX 78680

    Visit this online store for MMOT merchandise

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