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Old 11-19-2012, 09:36 PM   #11
R-man
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You guys who provide the live bugle do an amazing contribution. I get kidded about having no emotion some times, but attending a funeral with a live bugle playing taps always brings tears to my eyes. All I remember about my Dad's funeral was that taps bugle - I had held it together through the whole thing pretty well, but when that taps bugle started up I just broke down (I have tears coming into my eyes right now thinking about it again...). It was a good thing for me to let that emotion come out then instead of stuffing it in as usual, helped the healing process I think.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerE View Post
You will find that participating with the Patriot Guard Riders is a meaningful and moving experience. I attend many funerals with the PGR and sound Taps at Sarasota National Cemetery here in Florida. On a regular basis (almost every week) are funerals for veterans with no family and no friends to make arrangements or to attend the services. The Patriot Guard Riders turn out in large numbers to make sure that these veterans are honored for their service and sacrifice. The sad truth is that the overwhelming majority of these "no family - no friends" funerals are Vietnam era vets. One is on my calendar this Wednesday 11/21/12.

The welcome home events are a much different type of experience, and much more uplifting)
I absolutely agree. I've been doing PGR missions for a while now after a good friend invited me to one, and I've been as active as I can be with them. Earlier this year myself and a couple hundred other bikers escorted an 18 year old man home who was killed overseas. You don't come back from an experience like that the same way you came in. From watching uniformed Marine Corps officers escort this mother into a small white airplane to say a final goodbye before the casket was carried out into the hearse, to seeing flags draped over overpases and police officers standing outside their cars rendering a hand salute as you slowly ride by, doing 40 miles an hour BELOW the speed limit, and not a single soul behind you minds. In fact, they stop to let you get far enough ahead. I'm a Pastor and I've got some experience with funerals. I've ridden in the hearse with funeral directors and in the car with families. Getting passed in a funeral procession or getting flipped off by someone in a hurry is a disappointing experience. But when a young man was killed serving this country not a soul would dare do any such thing. Makes you proud to be an American, and proud to be a part of the community you are in.

Most in the PGR are vets. I'll never know the love they have for their fellow soldiers. But I do, for sure, know that I owe a lot to those men and women. I really encourage folks to get involved with them if they can, ESPECIALLY for the WWII/Korea/Viet Name vets. These are older guys who died years after the war, but the PGR is still often asked to honor their funerals/burials/processions. I've been to more than one where it might have just been me and the PGR Road Captain. When there are KIA's people come by the hundreds, and often that's because they took of work to do this and they certainly can't do it all the time. But I really think it would be great, for those that have time, to pay some special attention to PGR missions that will garner less attention. The families are really impacted by knowing that people really care. My friend who first invited me told him a Viet Nam vet widow told him that she wished her husband could have seen it, it was the welcome home he never got coming home from the war.

Also, you don't have to be a member to ride in a PGR mission, or even ride a motorcycle. If the weather is too cold to ride, find out if they are having a flag line (they almost always do) and show up in your car and hold a flag. Go early so you are in plenty of time to hear the briefing.

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Old 11-20-2012, 07:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R-man View Post
You guys who provide the live bugle do an amazing contribution. I get kidded about having no emotion some times, but attending a funeral with a live bugle playing taps always brings tears to my eyes. All I remember about my Dad's funeral was that taps bugle - I had held it together through the whole thing pretty well, but when that taps bugle started up I just broke down (I have tears coming into my eyes right now thinking about it again...). It was a good thing for me to let that emotion come out then instead of stuffing it in as usual, helped the healing process I think.
Thanks for your comments. My own father was an Army Air Force pilot during WWII and was buried with full military honors in 1976. It took me more than 30 years after his funeral until I was in an emotional place where I could sound Taps at a funeral. They are the most difficult 24 notes for any horn player to play.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:49 AM   #14
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Thanks for the wonderful comments, John. Membership in PGR is free. After you join you get emails for the missions in your state or area. Sometimes the smallest of missions can be the most meaningful. I rode a mission where it was just the Ride Coordinator and me. It was a dreary day, threatening rain. By the time the funeral was over it was raining steadly. We rode proudly in front of the hearse to the cemetary.

The American Hero that day was a Pearl Harbor survivor. The mission was made even more meaningful by the attendance of three living Pearl Harbor survivors.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:32 PM   #15
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[They are the most difficult 24 notes for any horn player to play]

Wow, never thought about that, just 24 notes. Have got to be among the most impactful 24 notes in music history, if not the top of the heap.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:30 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by R-man View Post
[They are the most difficult 24 notes for any horn player to play]

Wow, never thought about that, just 24 notes. Have got to be among the most impactful 24 notes in music history, if not the top of the heap.
They are the most impactful to Man and His Country.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:31 PM   #17
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:43 PM   #18
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I just recently joined the PGR and am crazy excited about getting to do some missions with them as a vet I feel it's our responsibility to support others that have chosen to sacrifice for this great country and ultimately the ones who sacrifice everything to protect freedom.


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