Monday, December 26, 2011

US Navy Seal, Retired, Scott Brachmann

To honor a true American Hero, 17 men and women of the Patriot Guard first assembled in Northfield to stand for Scott Brachmann and his family during the Visitation and Funeral Services on a brisk Monday morning, December 19, 2011, and then many joined their fellow PGR members where 43 stood to continue this tribute to his service at the Interment services at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery that beautiful sunny (albeit chilly) afternoon. Although adopted at age 8 from Korea, Scott went on to be a very successful Navy Seal until his retirement from the Navy in 2004, after which he continued service to his country by working with the Department of State High Threat Ambassadors Protection Detail in Bagdad, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He had just returned from duty providing maritime anti-piracy security in the middle east, when he died of a heart attack at age 48. The family expressed their heartfelt appreciation for the participation of the Minnesota Patriot Guard during their time of mourning.

As Geno has said many times, to our active Patriot Guard Members attending missions. "You are the Patriot Guard. You stand for those who can no longer stand for us and our Country. Thank you all for coming out to honor a true American Hero"! Thanks also go to Mike Marotta and Genko Komarec for making this a successful combined mission.

-- Steve Cartwright (Chief)Metro SE Ride Captain

Saturday, December 24, 2011

CW2 Lucas Sigfrid, US Army, Metro

0430 (that’s AM) – On a cold December morning, yet balmy for Minnesotans this late in the year, forty-four Patriot Guard members assembled at Fire Station 1 just outside the gate at Mpls/St Paul Int. Airport. It was a very proud moment to see the dedication in these 44 people that early in the morning. Some had come from so far away they had to leave their home at 2 am.
We were there to bring home CW2 Lucas Sigfrid who was killed doing his duty while serving our country. We awoke one of the firefighters to unlock the door to the fire station so the volunteer from the Armed Forces Service Center could bring in his load of coffee and treats for the family when they arrived. As military personnel and family arrived they were awestruck with all the flags greeting them. Warrant officers from Lucas’ unit were, one being a pilot that was flying with him that night in another helicopter that had to go back and find him after the crash. Brought chills down your back that had nothing to do with the weather. The plane arrived early as the procession formed with escorts to go out on the tarmac to pick up CW2 Sigfrid. We had time to warm up in the fire station and then reform our flagline as the hearse and procession came out the gate and passed through our lines. The Armed Forces Service Center volunteer invited us in to warm up and enjoy the leftover coffee and treats. Seeing this, Lucas’ father, uncle, cousins and friends returned from their parked cars and joined us inside. They just wanted to thank us and talk with us. We all offered our condolences and heard stories about Lucas from a very proud father. This, more than being indoors, helped warm us. To see and feel that what we do has such a positive effect on the families and reinforces why we stand our flagline. We do help them get through these toughest of days.

That afternoon we again gathered at the funeral home in Brooklyn Center for the visitation. Lucas’ widow surprised us by arriving much earlier than scheduled. A hasty flagline was formed as she entered with other family and friends. Over thirty PGR members stood during the evening as many, many family, friends and others came to pay respects. We presented our MN PGR plaque and challenge coins to Lucas’ father and widow followed by the Blue Star Mothers presentation. Our flagline stood till 8:45pm honoring one of our Heroes.

The next morning twenty three Patriot Guard came out for CW2 Sigfrid’s funeral in Mounds View. Our flagline lined the front of the church as the procession from the funeral home arrived escorted by law enforcement officers. The funeral service had a huge attendance by family and guests, including our Governor. As the entire front and side of the church had large windows, our entire flagline was also visible from the church vestibule inside. We all stood tall and respectful and the sight of our flags from inside was impressive. As the service started we stood down and all but six of us left for FSNC. In the church provided warm up room, the church ladies brought us coffee, sandwiches and lemon bars as we waited to reform our flagline. As the military pall bearers carried CW2 Sigfrid from the church our flags blew in the breeze and we honored him with a salute. A couple of us then left to beat the funeral procession to the cemetery.

On arrival at FSNC we went directly to shelter #4 as the flagline was already set up. What a sight, to drive through 40 to 50 flags as we found a place to park. The funeral procession arrived as a brisk wind kept our flags flying proudly. Full military honors were given by the US Army Honor Squad. The Ft Snelling Honor Guard was also there to stand their line. Rest in peace CW2 Lucas Sigfrid. Thank you for your service.

To all of our active members who chose to attend one, or all of this four part mission, I want to thank you. Lucas’ father wants to thank you and said his love goes out to all of you. Remember, what we do matters to these families during their grief. In some way we hope to help them through this. Believe me, we do.

Larry Myslicki “Slick”
Ride Captain, Metro NE

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jason Matson, 12 Dec 2011

This is the completed mission report for the interment of Warrant Officer Jason Matson on Monday, December 12, 2011 at the Mn Veterans Cemetery at Little Falls. Jason served during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the USArmy and had served more than 20 years in the military. Jason was diagnosed with cancer six weeks ago and passed away at Fort Drum New York at the age of 56.

With a couple of members that arrived a little late we had 24 members show up on this Monday morning. It appeared to me that everyone that showed up today was at the cemetery 2 days ago to place the almost 3000 wreaths in front of virtually every marker at the cemetery. Truly a dedicated group. It was great watching the interaction of the members at the staging as everyone seemed to know everyone and to an outsider I am sure it would have looked like a family gathering. I guess that patriotism really is the glue that holds all of us  together. 

Jason was given full military honors by the Color Guard and by the military. His family told us they were overwhelmed at the funerals they attended where the MNPGR was present and were so grateful that this time we were able to be there for them as Jason's illness took him so quickly and they were having a very difficult time of it. As usual many family members thanked us for being there but the most emotional for all of us was when Jason's wife went down the entire flagline to thank us while still carrying the US Flag given to her by the military

We were asked by the family to line up around the room where the service took place so we could be part of the family and because the family felt some security by our presence. After the service we formed two flag-lines to make an opening for family members to release doves. Some members had not seen that done before but we have been seeing that frequently lately. After the family left we debriefed at the Canteen.

RCIC James Parent

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stanley Anderson, 30 Nov 11, Aldrich, MN

Ten members of the Patriot Guard gathered to remember and honor Stanley Anderson for his service to our country.  The setting was a small country church, on a gravel road, atop a hill, with the cemetary next to the church.  There was a very slight breeze and people commented that the flags were beautiful as they turned up the gravel road and could see the flagline atop the hill.  Two members arrived early, and when the hearse arrived, we hopped on the flagline when a 3rd member arrived and joined us.  Instead of standing the flagline, we were asked to assist with carrying the casket into the church.
Flag line was established at 10:00 for visitation and stood down during the service, enjoying coffee provided by the ladies of the church.  Flag line was reformed as a light snow started to fall, with 6 members positioned in the cemetary, and the other 4 members flanked the pallbearers as Stanley was taken to his final resting place.  Military honors were provided by the members of the Wadena VFW.
Stanley's brother came thru the flagline to thank everyone for being there - it was his and Stanley's wish that the PGR be there when the time came.  Attendees were also amazed that one brave soul rode his motorcycle from the cities (we won't mention names Geno), and commented on the dedication of the PGR to honor those who serve and have served.  Several members joined in the luncheon provided.
Thank you to all who came today - it meant alot to Stanley's family and friends.  During a Silver Bay Vet Home visit in July, Stanley and his brother both asked if the PGR would be there when it was time, and we assured them we would be - Stanley was very happy to know that his friends of the MN PG would be there - he loved the monthly vists at the Silver Bay Vets Home and the MN PG was always his favorite group that came to the home - it always brought a smile to his face!  His brother commented that now he has to flirt with the nurses and aides there for both he & Stanley and wants to come see us all there when he can.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

John Bergseid

Eleven Patriot Guard and eight US Military Vets MC members stood the flag line in a wind driven cool rain to honor John Bergseid for his service to our country.

The rain was present from arrival time to the start of the service so parts of the service outside were in question but Mother Nature provided a break and the funeral went on as originally planned. The flag line stood down at 2:00 P.M. when the service started and was reformed at 2:40 P.M. As the casket and the family departed the church for the burial site, which is on the church property, the Patriot Guard and the Military Vets walked along either side of the casket and the family providing an escort.  We were joined by the Moorhead Legion Color Guard which provided the military honors.

After family and friends had departed the flag line was dismissed, there was no post-mission gathering as I believe everyone wanted to get home and get on some dry clothes.

Thank you to John Bergseid for his service to our country !  Thank you to all who were able to be there to honor his service.

Greg Syverson, RCIC

Friday, October 7, 2011

Maynard "Andy" Anderson

Twelve Patriot Guard were able to stand the flag line to honor Andy Anderson for his service to our country.
The wind was brisk (actually that isn't quite correct - it was very windy, and at times we had a difficult time holding our flags), and the flags blew crisp in the wind.  The funeral home arrived shortly after we gathered, so we quickly established a flag line as Mr Anderson was brought into the church.  We then had our briefing and reformed the flag line at 9:50 a.m. before family and friends started arriving.  During the service we stood down and were offered coffee by the ladies of the church.
Before the service ended, all but 4 went ahead to the cemetery to establish the flag line.  The remaining members stood the flag line with members of the North Dakota Air Guard for transfer to hearse, and then led the procession to the cemetery.  We were joined by the North Star Marine Corps League who provided military honors.  After family & friends had departed, the funeral director had the flag line move in closer while Mr. Anderson's ashes were placed in the ground.  Flag line was dismissed and post-mission gathering held at the Speak Easy.
Thank you to Mr Anderson for his service to our country!  Thank you to all who were able to attend today to honor him!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Benedict "Ben" Auer, Albany, MN 9 Sep 11

On a cloudless calm day, 29 PGR members came together to provide an outstanding display of Red, White, and Blue for Benedict (Ben) Auer at the Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Albany MN.

 The day started with 12 members staging at the River Boat Depot in Sartell MN. Mark Kerfeld led the 8 Bikes and 1 cage from Sartell through the back beautiful winding roads from Sartell to Albany. Upon arriving in Albany we joined up with the other 17 members, had a short briefing, during which we were then blessed with the company of the Auer family. They thanked us to no end for being there for them. We then took flags in hand and set up around the front and down a short sidewalk in front of the Church in preparation for the review before the service.

 At 11:00 the service started and we stood down and enjoyed the gorgeous day in a shady area, first in the parking lot then out in the Cemetery near the final resting spot. We then sent 4 members to provide a flag line at the church and the rest of us  set up in the Cemetery to await the family. As the hearse left the church the 4 PGR members took up position in front of the hearse and behind the Legion Color Guard and they all marched the short distance to the Cemetery.

Following a few prayers the Legion provided the 21 gun salute and played taps. There were 2 Military Honor Guards present to remove the flag from the casket and present it to Mrs Auer. The Legion members and Military Honor soldiers did their parts flawlessly providing a tribute to Ben that was much deserved.

 The PGR presence was due to some great members giving up their time when they could have done all kinds of other things. Members present were from St Cloud, Alexandria, Detroit Lakes, Brainerd, Metro N.W. and I believe one other area in the Metro. I can't thank those present enough for making this day the best possible for the Auer family. They know we care and they were truly taken back from the display you gave them. The flag line was maintained in true PGR Dignity, Honor, and Respect and I am proud to have had the opportunity to stand this day with some great people. One of the toughest times for a Mission is during the week as we all have busy lives and it is tough to miss work for too many Missions. But on this day you truly made a big difference with your presence and should all be proud of being a part of this Mission.
 Next to the Church is a school and during the review I was approached by the Principal who thanked all of us for being there and for what we do throughout MN. She told me that the students were really amazed at what they saw at the Church and she wanted to know how her husband and she could join the PGR. I luckily had 30 PGR cards and gave her a few to share.

 Without the statewide support given to St Cloud we could not provide the great day like today and without the help of the RC'S getting the word out we could not have the day we did. Without the great support from the people behind the scenes doing the web stuff we could not get anything done so I thank all of you that had a part in making this all work. Great job by all, Thank You!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

SGT Matthew Harmon

Sgt. Matthew Harmon escort Friday, August 26, 2011:
John Reuter RC’d the escort from Bemidji to Fosston. The plane landed at 10:00 a.m. at the Bemidji airport.  Eight bikes escorted Sgt. Matthew Harmon the thirty miles to the Fosston funeral home. Every town they traveled through had people waving flags in honor of Sgt. Harmon.  The escort arrived in Fosston at noon.  Thanks to the MN Highway Patrol for the LE escort.

Sgt. Matthew Harmon visitation and service Saturday, August 27, 2011:
The morning started out a little chilly but warmed plenty by the start of the visitation for the approximate 127 members and 100 bikes from Minnesota and North Dakota. At 10:30 a.m. we had a briefing for the day’s mission.  At 11:00 a.m., six riders escorted Sgt. Matthew Harmon from the funeral home to the Fosston High School.  The remainder of the riders stood on the flag line at the school.  After the casket was brought into the school, we stood down and had time for coffee, water, cookies, and bars that were provided for us.  At 11:45 a.m. we re-established the flag line for the visitation.  We stood down at 2:15 p.m. to prepare for the escort to the cemetery in Lengby.  Jim Cyr took about 12 members who were in cages to the cemetery to set up a flag line for the arrival of Sgt. Harmon.  We re-established a flag line outside the school with about 25 members when they brought Sgt. Harmon from the services to the hearse.  The 25 members re-joined the remainder of the riders who were staging across the street for the escort to the Lengby cemetery.  We all proceeded to be lined up on HWY 2 with the Polk County Sherriff deputy escorting 4 fire trucks, our 100 bikes followed by the hearse and the family of Sgt. Harmon.  As we rode the seven miles to the Lengby cemetery at 25 mph, there were people along the entire route holding flags in honor of Sgt. Harmon and for support of his family.  Upon arrival we set up a flag line around the perimeter of the cemetery.  After the completion of the services, which included the ringing of the “Freedom Bell” seven times, we stayed in formation until the family had gone through and thanked each of us and left the cemetery.

Thanks to Jim Cyr and Curt Nelson for all their coordination for this mission and for all the participants who were able give of themselves for the honor, respect, and dignity of Sgt. Matthew Harmon, a true American Hero.

Gary Metcalf, RCIC

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Waldemar "Wally" Ahlf, 28 Aug 11, Sebeka, MN

Under clear skies, 22 Patriot Guard stood the flag line to honor Waldemar "Wally" Ahlf for his service in the Army during WWII, and his many years in Law Enforcement, on 28 Aug 11, in Sebeka, MN.  Flag line was established for arrival at the church, and re-established for family and friends attending visitation and services.  Flag line was again established for military honors,   When Mr. Ahlf was brought out of the church, 15 squad cars from Hubbard, Wadena, and Ottertail counties and many local towns had their lights flashing and LEO also formed a line on both sides of the hearse.  Wadena County Sherrif's office had the honors of folding the US flag for presentation to the family.
Services were held at the church that Mr. Ahlf attended for many years.  There was a parking space sign that said "Pastor parking - you park - you preach".  We noticed no one parked in that spot, but the Pastor did come over with tears in his eyes to thank us for being there today and to tell us what an impressive sight it was to see all the US Flags when he arrived. 
Many family members and LEO thanked us for being there and for what we do.  We were very strongly encouraged/invited in for the luncheon, which some members were able to participate in.  Some of us went to A&W in Park Rapids for rootbeer floats.
Members came from Detroit Lakes, Bemidji, Brainerd and St Cloud Sectors - thanks to all who were able to attend!  Thank you to Mr. Ahlf for his many years of service to our community and country.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mission Report: KIA SO2 Nicholas Spehar, US Navy, Chisago City

Mission Report: KIA SO2 Nicholas Spehar, US Navy, Chisago City

Tuesday, 16 Aug: From the time the riders arrived at the Air Force base to escort home Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nicholas Spehar; I knew this mission was going to be something different, something special. With Navy escort, the Air Force guard at the gate just waved us through. The Navy Petty Officer brought us to the road just outside the tarmac fence where the family would gather to await the plane carrying their fallen loved one. With the coach and family behind us we left the base. All we passed stood at attention and saluted. The street just inside the gate was lined with what looked like 50 to 70 Navy and Air Force personnel standing shoulder to shoulder saluting the procession as it passed. As we exited the freeway and rode the last 9 miles on Hwy 8, people in large and small groups lined the road. Waving flags or standing in silent respect with hands over hearts as the procession passed. Near a school a large group of small children held their flags with eyes opened wide as the procession by now had been joined by fire trucks and more squad cars. Goose bumps rose and tears swelled as we rode.
With only four and a half hours notice, MN Patriot Guard members had a flag line at the Funeral Home awaiting Nick Spehar’s arrival. (This mission will be remembered by its last minute time schedules and changes)

Thursday, 18 Aug: 130 MN Patriot Guard stood the flag line at the Visitation services for Nick. PGR Riders came from as far away as Willmar, Brainerd and St Cloud. This long afternoon and evening began around 2:15pm with the arrival of the coach carrying SO2 Spehar along with law enforcement and PGR escorts at St Bridget’s of Sweden Church. Early arrivals for staging had a flagline set up at the main entrance of the church and showed honors as Navy SEALS carried Nick into the church. The local fire dept had a large flag hanging from their ladder truck parked in the street alongside the church. Our flagline stretched from the back entrance of the church, around the side to the front entrance, out to the street (Hwy 8. Main St of the town) and along the sidewalk for almost a block. Family, guests and Navy SEALS walked the line thanking us for our presence. The MN PGR plaque and challenge coins were presented to the family along with our sincere condolences and gratefulness for their son and brother’s sacrifice and service.
I think the entire town came out to pay their respects to one of their own fallen residents as the church was full. There was also a lot of Navy presence at the visitation along with their top brass.
The family and the church were gracious enough to provide food for us and the military that were there during our long evening. We broke down the flagline around 8:15pm.

Friday, Aug 19: 116 MN Patriot Guard members gathered at the parking lot of the St Paul College to stage for the Funeral of SO2 Nicholas Spehar. We walked over to the Cathedral of St Paul in a single file line of flags. An awesome sight of support and respect for our fallen warrior. Our flagline extended down both sides of the long steps leading from the front doors of the cathedral to the street, down the sidewalk along the entire block and around the corner to a side entrance. Fire trucks from Chisago City and Lindstrom were there with a huge flag hanging from the ladder truck. Nick and family arrived with law enforcement, more fire trucks and Patriot Guard escort. Navy SEALS carried him up the stairs to his funeral service. Amongst the large crowd in attendance were our Governor and Senator Amy Klobuchar.
Along with Ramsey County Motor Patrol and squad cars, Patriot Guard escorts led Nick Spehar to his final resting place. Upon arrival at Ft Snelling National Cemetery we were met by one of the largest PGR flaglines I have seen. A large formation of sailors, Navy Honor Guard and Rifle Squad were there, along with Nick’s SEAL team.
Military honors were given but the most touching was the Trident Ceremony. As Nick’s SEAL Team came one by one, they tacked their Navy SEAL Trident Pin to the top of his wooden coffin as a final honor and farewell to their fallen brother. Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nicholas Spehar, a true American hero.
A Navy (two star) Rear Admiral came by and thanked us for being there but hoped we didn’t have to meet like this again. Amen!

I want to thank all of our Patriot Guard members that attended this mission. The flagline is what matters. To all who stood with dignity and honor, this day we, the MN Patriot Guard, gained the respect of a very special group - The US Navy SEALS.


Larry Myslicki “Slick”
Ride Captain Metro NE
MN Patriot Guard Rider

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mission Complete: KIA SGT Chad Frokjer, USMC

Mission Report: KIA SGT Chad Frokjer, USMC

Thursday, July 7
134 MN Patriot Guard members came to Holman Field on this day to show honor for this Marine and another, CPL Michael Nolen, when they arrived home. Our flagline extended the length of the Air National Guard hanger and also lined the walls inside as we and family members awaited the arrival of the plane. The funeral coach for SGT Frokjer pulled into the hanger as he was first to be taken off the plane. When the plane stopped and engines were shut down our flagline moved out to it and wrapped around behind it.
Three St Paul Motor Patrol bikes and two Maplewood squads joined our eight PGR escort bikes to take SGT Frokjer and his family to the Roseville Memorial Chapel.
SGT Frokjer is the nephew of St Paul police Sgt Gerald Vick, killed in the line of duty back in 2005. Because of this connection the St Paul police were out in force to help us on our journey. They blocked all intersections on our route through downtown St Paul and all freeway entrance ramps on the way to Roseville. An awesome showing of respect for the nephew of one of their own fallen heroes.

Friday, July 8 Visitation
We had 23 flags lined up in front of St Marks Church in North St. Paul for the arrival of SGT Frokjer’s procession from the funeral home this afternoon. Eight PGR riders led the funeral coach and family with LEO escorts from Maplewood and North St Paul. The North St Paul Fire Dept came out with their aerial ladder truck and hung a huge American flag from it over the driveway entrance to the church.
66 MN PGR members came and went during this very long visitation, with a number of us staying for the entire seven hour mission. The temp on the sign board across the street said 97 degrees and the humidity was quite high. We had a comfort station set up in the back corner of the church parking lot with coolers of bottled water and a canopy for shade. I want to thank metro ne member John Moore for the canopy and water. Between him and me we must have had ten cases or more of water. Luckily there were a lot of trees and most people were able to stand in a shaded spot, rotating with those out in the sun. Then a lady from the church and her son pulled up in a car to our break area and unloaded a cooler and bags of food for us. We had large packages of ham, turkey, salami, roast beef, cheese, buns, potato salad, chips, chip dip, pop, cookies and granola bars. Even mustard and mayonnaise. I was awe struck and couldn’t thank them enough. Everyone on the flagline was able to enjoy some food and refreshment during this long, hot afternoon and evening. We also invited the fire fighters over to share it with them. Then during the last half hour of the visitation other people from the church brought out left over chunks of grilled chicken and steak, Caesar salad and French bread. We stood down at 8:00pm and all remaining PGR members enjoyed a meal before heading home. St Mark’s really goes all out in their hospitality mission. As we all thanked them they couldn’t stop thanking us for what we were doing to honor this Marine and his family.
The casket with SGT Frokjer stayed in the church sanctuary over night with a Marine guard on duty at all times.

Saturday, July 9 Funeral
115 MN Patriot Guard Riders came out on this Saturday morning for the final mission for Marine SGT Chad Frokjer. Our flagline was set up at 9:45am awaiting the arrival of the family. The funeral service got under way around 11:15 at which time we stood down. After a short break we moved to the cemetery less than a mile away. The Marine Honor Guard was already there preparing for the military honors ceremony. We established our flagline and awaited the arrival of the funeral procession. Our six PGR escort bikes were joined by four Leatherneck MC riders leading the hearse. It was an honor for them and us to ride together showing our respect for this young Marine who died for our country. The procession took a detour passing by the family home in Maplewood on the way to the cemetery. The graveside service took place next to Chad’s uncle Sgt Vick’s headstone. The Marines provided full military honors and I presented the MN PGR plaque to his wife. Chad’s mother was very insistent that we join them at the N. St Paul Am Legion for the luncheon afterwards. After I politely turned down the invite she said she would feel hurt if we did not attend, and said she would “track me down” if we didn’t show up. We didn’t disappoint her.

The family wanted me to pass on to all Patriot Guard Riders that attended during this three day mission their sincere appreciation and thanks for our being there. They said it made a big difference during these worst of their days. The Marine Corp members there also thanked us for what we do. Some had served with SGT Frokjer, and one having been there when he died. He leaves behind a sister, father, mother and wife who is 7 months pregnant with their first son.

Rest in Peace SGT Chad Frokjer.

Larry Myslicki “Slick”
Ride Captain Metro NE

Friday, July 8, 2011

Captain Eric "Dirk" Ziegler

Twenty-Five Patriot Guard from Minnesota and North Dakota gathered under clear skies and very warm weather, to pay honor, dignity and respect to Captain Eric Ziegler for his service. Captain Ziegler died while flying a training mission in Nevada on 28 June 2011.

Briefing was held at 8:45 by ARC Dean Foell and flag line set at 9:00 a.m. for the arrival of CPT Ziegler. Flag line then stood down, and was back in place at 9:45 a.m. for visitation. Once the service started, members were treated to ice water and coffee in the church reception area, giving us a much needed opportunity to cool off. Services were conducted at the Triumph Lutheran Brethren Church in Moorhead - the pastor stated that Mrs Ziegler was a long time member of the church and he married them.

Six members stayed at the church to escort to the cemetary led by Fargo RC Steve Allen. ND State Captain Tony Krogh led the remaining members to the cemetary and flag line was established. Military honors were provided by the Grand Forks Air Force Base Honor Guard. Four F-16's (the plane that CPT Ziegler flew as a training pilot) flew overhead with a missing man formation.

Many members and Air Force personnel expressed their thanks for our attendance.

Thank you to all who were able to attend today's mission.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Engel Bergseid

Mission Statement for Engel M. Bergseid on June 27th 2011.

Engel Bergseid's funeral service was June 27, 20011 at Rollag, MN. The service included military honors. 20 Patriot Guard Riders paid final respect to a WWII Marine. The weather held from the west/southwest but not so well from the north/northeast. We formed the flag line at 1000hrs. Mrs. Bergseid came out and thanked the flag line for honoring her husband. (Please forgive me if I miss quote) Mrs. Bergseid said that Engel would have been very proud. She commented on her son who was honored with a flag line in Washington DC. Her son was killed in the line of duty as a Police Officer. The flag line then and now was very comforting to her. With the large amount of truck traffic, some members became traffic controllers i.e. "Road Guards". The help was commented on as people walked through the flag line. After the service the Pallbears carried Engel 125 yards to the burial site. The PGR walk beside the casket and then positioned to the north of the site. The rain started at the walk. Thank you Steve for taking umbrella duty for Mrs. Bergseid. We were invited for lunch after the service. With no end to the rain several members help guests to the cars using umbrellas and also going to bring vehicles closer.

This was one of those multi-tasking missions. As needs developed the PGR’s identified and made it happen. Thank you for who you are and for what your service means to the families. This was my first mission as RCIC. I learned so much from this end of the stick. Thank you all for the support.

Dean Foell, RCIC

Sunday, June 26, 2011

2LT Harry Bedard, WWII MIA/KIA, Dayton, MN. 25 Jun 2011

Early morning 42 Patriot Guard gathered at the church in Dayton and prepared to ride the 7 miles to bring 2LT Harry Bedard back to the church. 35 motorcycles lined up behind me in perfect formation. During the 6:45am briefing I stressed the need to be respectful of the quiet sleeping community. But even while we were trying to keep stealth, it is hard to subdue the roar of 35 motorcycles on a mission. We rolled down the road holding a tight formation all the way to the funeral home. On the way we picked up one of our LEO escorts from the Wright County Sheriffs Department. (there is a sub-story about our LEO that you will need to ask Dan or Joe about)

At the funeral home our group lined the knoll between the road and the coach and waited for family. When they family arrived they had a special request for the Patriot Guard, so I asked for 6 volunteers. Without hesitation 6 stepped forward without even knowing what the mission would be. The group entered the funeral home and had the honor of transporting 2LT Bedard to the coach while the rest of the group stood at attention

2LT Bedard was readied for his trek to the Dayton church and we mounted up. As we crossed the river the Wright County Sheriffs squad pulled in front and cleared the traffic for us. A second unit was waiting at the busiest intersection to secure it for our safe passage. Our group was awesome it stayed tight and looked so professional, I would have to think that the people that saw up thought we practiced for this. 7 miles of perfect moves by 35 motorcycles was an awesome tribute to Harry.

When we arrived at the church our flagline run by Ernie Johnson had grown and was in place. Again we were asked to carry 2LT Bedard into the church, so 6 volunteers did the honors.

We held our flagline while the family and friends arrived. At one point a lady drove up that wasn’t part of the funeral and walked the entire flagline to thank each of them for what we do, then left right after, we had welcomed home her son.

Shortly after the service started our group stood down for a break. As the service ended our group had lined the road from the church to the cemetery and the cemetery driveway to the ceremony site.

The honor guard carried 2LT Bedard the whole two blocks to the graveside site with the family and friends following. As the last of them past our group fell in behind. Once we reached the grave site we surrounded the family. The church did the blessings, Chaplin Morris gave a great speech, and the Honor Guard did their honors. I had 5 minutes to present the family with a plaque and I praised the family for their persistence over the generations in keeping Harry in their lives, waiting for his return. as I finished the family thanked us for what they thought was a amazing act on our part and the guests applauded us.

As the clapping stopped it was replaced with the thunder of powerful F-15 engines as they approached, then they appeared just above the distant tree line. They came in low, I could see their numbers. Cpt. Allen’s coordinates that he supplied to the aircraft were right on, the missing man fighter peeled off and climbed what seemed to be straight up right over our heads. The roar was deafening as the afterburner came on, we watched as the F-15 went out of sight, we could still hear the roar for quite a while. On the conclution we were asked again to carry Harry to the coach and escort him back to the funeral home. There were 25 of us that escort 2LT Bedard back to the funeral home to prepare him for cremation. Again the escort performed their mission flawlessly, staggered, tight, and with as one moves.

Everyone that was there, I thank you. You made this a great mission.

Special thanks to all those that were on the escort, and well done. Also to my team working front and behind the scene: Dan Wilkenson, Ernie Johnson, Geno Kamerac, Jack Foster, Joe Eagan, and Mike McDonough. The Wright County Sheriffs Dept and the Elk River Police were great support, we couldn’t have done what we did without them. If there is anyone I forgot, THANK YOU.

Tim Leonhardt

POW/KIA SGT Ralph Carlson, US Army, Korea

Mission Report: June 25, 2011
POW/KIA; SGT Ralph W. Carlson, US Army, Korea
Braham, MN

It’s been sixty years but SGT Ralph Carlson is finally home. One hundred and sixteen MN Patriot Guard Riders came to show their respect as he was laid to rest in the family plot next to the old headstone that marked his death and burial long ago somewhere in Korea.
They came from all over Minnesota; Metro, Cloquet, Duluth, Thief River Falls, Brainerd, St. Cloud, Marshall, Willmar, Mankato and beyond. They came to honor this soldier who sacrificed so much so long ago. SGT Carlson died in a POW camp at the age of 22. We stood with dignity as the family finally had closure.
At their request the front row of the church parking lot was reserved for PGR motorcycle parking. What a sight as over one hundred bikes stood sentinel as our escort led SGT Carlson to his funeral service. Our flagline greeted family and guests as it lined both sides of the two driveways leading to the church parking lot and all across the front of the large church.
When we stood down after the service started, all PGR members had an opportunity to sign the guest book. So as not to disturb the congregation the books and their stands were brought outside the front doors of the church. A sketch drawing had been made of Ralph and his parents as they would have looked welcoming him home as a young soldier 60 years ago. A plate at the bottom was engraved “Home at Last”. It also was brought outside for all to see.
We then moved all but the escorts two miles down the county road to the cemetery where our flagline was put in place to await the arrival of the funeral procession. The POW/MIA hot air balloon was inflated and stood vigil next to the cemetery. As the service ended they carried SGT Carlson to the coach as the PGR escorts came to attention and saluted along with the military members there. The MN Patriot Guard escorts led SGT Carlson to his final resting place. The county road was closed to all other traffic. People were scattered along the route waving flags as we passed. Many of them children.
A horse show was going on along the way to the cemetery. The show stopped and people there came to the side of the road with some holding flags. Horses and riders stood in quiet reverence as we passed by.
Our flagline surrounded the burial place and formed a corridor for the pallbearers to carry SGT Carlson through. Full military honors were given and we presented the MN PGR plaque and coins to SGT Carlson’s brother and sister, hoping to ease their pain by knowing their brother was a true American hero and was now home. We moved our flagline to line the road out of the cemetery. The look on the faces in the cars as they passed by reassured us that our mission was complete. We did make a difference this day.

We were thanked for showing Honor, Dignity and Respect for the sacrifices of this young soldier:
SGT Ralph W. Carlson, US Army, Korean War, POW/KIA
“Home at Last”

I want to thank all the members that attended this mission. You’re being there is what matters.And a thank you to the MN PGR leadership from all around the state that led their sectors to Braham for this mission and for their help during the mission. A big thank you to Alan Peterson for the photos of this mission.

Larry Myslicki “Slick”
Ride Captain Metro NE
MN Patriot Guard Riders

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MSG Dave Riddering (Ret)

Under cloudy skies and pouring rain, 12 Patriot Guard from MN & ND paid honor to MSG Dave RIddering (Retired) for his 25 years serving in the US Navy as a Seebee and continued his service in the Naval Reserves, North Dakota Army National Guard, and the US Air Guard. Dave's brother Ted, MN PG member stood the flag line with us honoring his brother. Members came from Thief River Falls, Alexandria, Metro, Detroit Lakes Sectors, along with fellow PGR from North Dakota.

Staging was at 12:30 p.m. and flag line set by 1:00 for visitation. A few flag line members had double duty with umbrella's helping guests from their vehicles to the church. Flag line stood down once the service started and went to the basement of the church, where the ladies insisted we have sandwiches, cake/bars, and coffee - when we said no thanks, they sat trays of food on the table and said "eat"! The funeral home director said this was his first experience with the Patriot Guard and he was so happy to see us there as he had heard many wonderful things about the PGR.

Five members remained at the church for transfer and the remaining members moved out to the cemetary and established the flag line for the interment. American Legion in Barnesville provided military honors. Flag line was dismissed when all family & friends had departed.

Thank you all who were able to come today to honor Dave and thanks to all who were with us in spirit!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

1-125th FA Troop Send Off Mission Report – Pipestone, Luverne, Jackson and Fairmont

On Thursday, June 2nd, we had a full showing of support at all locations as we started at 9 am with one bus of soldiers in Pipestone. 324 miles and less than 8 hours later, six buses were proudly escorted to the gates of Ft. McCoy courtesy of our neighbors in the Albert Lea Sector.

Key to coordinating the details and the route was being able to work closely with members of the 1-125th contact team including Captains Douty and Vulcan of the A and B Batteries, respectively. It also doesn’t hurt that CPT Douty is a fellow Patriot Guard Rider! : )

In Pipestone, CPT Douty and the Citizens Committee had been busy getting the word out about the Thursday morning departure of our troops and the streets were lined with hundreds of citizens showing their support with the American Legion’s flags lining Main Street. Especially moving were the 100+ elementary school children lining the streets holding flags and signs courtesy of the school buses provided by the school district. Just prior to departure, we fell out from the flag line and presented two signed PGR flags on behalf of all Patriot Guard Riders to show our support for the 1-125th FA from based in Pipestone and Luverne. We had previously presented flags in St. James and Fairmont/Jackson.

For the 25 mile trip to Luverne we were generously escorted to the county line by two Pipestone Country Sheriff vehicles only to have two from Rock County waiting for a rolling hand off to lead us into Luverne. Along the way, we were grateful to see groups of people and vehicles scattered along the rural highway showing their support.

Luverne brought two more buses and another escort through town with, once again, hundreds of people along the route and the same showing of support received in Pipestone. We were escorted by a Rock County Sheriff car which was joined by a MN State Patrol car for the next leg of the escort which would be on I-90. CPT Douty had asked if we could escort the troops through Worthington as he had received a request from that community also. We gladly obliged and were greeted with one of our Rolling Thunder members on a trike waiting off the ramp, proudly flying the Red, White and Blue along with Worthington police and fire vehicles. We exited off of I-90 and were escorted non-stop through Worthington with police road guards making our detour seamless. Once again, hundreds of people were lining the streets through town until our MN State Patrol escort smoothly merged us back into traffic on I-90.

Meanwhile, in Fairmont, our members had formed a flag line as the members of the B Battery loaded three more buses and escorted them through town to our pre-determined meeting place by the interstate. Once again, the citizens of Fairmont came together by the hundreds to bid our troops well. The A Battery buses pulled in and after a brief stop and confirmation of plans for the next rolling hand off and a food stop, the second Patriot Guard Escort team led by two members of the Fairmont Police Department continued east on I-90 to the designated rolling hand off point where our Albert Lea friends would continue to escort our precious cargo to their destination.

Below is a report on the final leg of the escort from Albert Lea RC Joel Radjenovich:

Here's a little synopsis of what we did in our part for your mission if you want to include it in your mission report.

Albert Lea sector was proud to be part of the escorts for the Pipestone, Luverne, Jackson and Fairmont units that were deploying on 2June2011. We were the 3rd and final leg of 3 escort groups and did a rolling hand-off at the rest stop in Hayward, MN.
We picked up the 6 buses and headed East to Ft McCoy down I-90. We stopped at Dextor so the soldiers could stretch their legs and get a bite to eat. When Paul Ramsbey called from Fairmont and told us of their plans of stopping at Dextor to eat, we called ahead to the Pit Stop restaurant and warned them that 150 soldiers would be stopping to eat in a short time. At first they thought we were kidding them, but soon realized that we were serious. They had things ready for the troops and things went smoothly. Our hats our off to them for going the extra mile for the troops.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. We put two riders behind the last bus as we got off of the freeway in Sparta to keep the RC informed of their progress thru town. That was a good idea as a couple of times they got hung up at lights and we waitied for them down the road to catch up. We delivered them to Gate 20 and then met up with the Rochester escorts and had a debriefing at the American Legion in Sparta and headed home after that.

All went well and everyone got home safely as far as I know...Thanks Paul for all that you did in putting this together. It went off rather well.


THANK YOU to everyone who came out to help give the 1-125th FA A and B Batteries the send off they deserved! This includes Patriot Guard Riders from the Worthington sector as well as our neighboring sectors, PGR from SD, IA and numerous members of the American Legion Riders, Rolling Thunder and ABATE. In the past two weeks we have had more than 100 members and friends answer the call to help in some part of this send off mission and the preceding deployment cermonies. I know that your support meant a great deal to our troops and their families and that’s what it’s all about!


Respectfully submitted by Paul Ramsbey, Worthington RC

Below are some links to photos taken from various sources:

From Dale Claussen and Shirley Ethen:

From the MN National Guard website:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Precious Package Delivered, 125th Anoka Deployment.

About 30 Patriot Guard raised their flags lining the drive to the Anoka Armory to show support to the unit and their families as they dropped off their loved ones. The buses arrived about 11, the bus drivers open the baggage compartments and the flurry of subdued green baggage was on the move in a blur of movement. It seemed to only take minutes to get everything loaded. Once the unit had loaded and settle on the busses for the first leg of their year long journey the flagline moved to Main Street where they reformed so the unit had a good sendoff.

The buses were escorted out of the armory by two Anoka police, one Anoka Co Sheriff, one Hennepin Co Sheriff, and the six PGR riders. There were two on the fly (freeway) LEO handoffs, we didn’t even slow for them. We reached the MN/WI border about 12:40 and our last LEO escort peeled off leaving us on our trek. I need to thank Anoka County Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Washington County Sheriffs, and Anoka Police for there awesome assistance and support on this deployment.

Our trek down 94 to Menominee went without any incidents, traffic was very considerate to our procession. Our team executed many flawless lane changes when ever we came up on slower traffic. One of the bus drivers said we must have had a lot of training doing escorts from how well everything went. About 1:25 we got to the handoff point where our next team was waiting. We thanked the bus drivers and visited with the unit as they took a short break.

One soldier ask if we got scared moving in and out of traffic like we did, I told him yes because that is what keeps us on our toes. He commented that we made it look easy. I don’t think so, however with the team I had I could see how it appeared to him as looking easy.

Thanks everyone that were there doing the flagline, Jerry, Jim (Big-Um), Geno, Dan (expendable), Joe E., Pat, and especially Mark and Kip, for their assistance in making a great mission.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Don Gravelle Mission

On a beautiful Thursday 11 Patriot Guard Members came to Detoit Lakes to honor
and pay respects to Don Gravelle who served in the United States Army from
1967 thru 1968, Don also served in the National Guard specializing in Survival Training.

The Flag Line was set at the Church prior to the service.
We provided a 3 Bike escort from the Church to the Cemetery while the other members
proceded to the Cemetery to establish the Flag Line. The family of Don Gravelle came
thru our Flag Line and "Thanked" us for being in attendance.

There was no post misssion gathering.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Marshall Sector Activities May 15th, 2011

Fifteen Marshall Sector members staged in two locations and traveled to St. James, in the Worthington Sector, to support one of the two deployments the Worthington Sector had on the same day (the other in Fairmont). About half the group traveled back via Captain Dan Days at Lucan for lunch and fellowship. The families of Fallen Hero Spc. James Wertish, Olivia, Mn., and recently deceased National Guardsman Spc. Jason Goche, Sacred Heart, Mn., were among those embraced by this year's Captain Dan Days. Several attending Patriot Guard members joined the community flag line during the last ever Captain Dan Days ceremony, including Marshall ARC Chris Dunsmore, and former Willmar Sector Ride Captain Ron Mackedanz and his wife, Janet, and new Willmar Sector Ride Captain John Laughlin. When the rest of us arrived, we were thanked over and over again by members of the Lucan community for our support the past five years of this wonderful event.

125th FA CO C Deployment Ceremony, Anoka, MN

May 15, 2011

9am and 45 degrees the first of 136 Patriot Guard started arriving. Frigid morning but it was a clear sky, a great day for the ceremony. We lined the parking lot and street to the entrance of the football field where we welcomed family and guests.

Sandy (new member) and Angela (celebrating her birthday) accompanied me to the armory where the three of us presented the signed PGR to the Captain in front of the whole unit and their families.

We then returned to the field and joined into the caos of fire ladder trucks setting up a huge flag overhead of the stadium in the wind (think I forgot to say that it was very windy). At about noon the soldiers marched the four blocks from the Armory to the stadium. The street to the stadium was flat for three blocks and went down hill steeply for the last one. Walking from the Armory the sea of flags or fire trucks weren't visable until you crest the hill. As the unit crest the hill it was an awesome sight.

As the unit passed by the flagline fell in behind them, after a little delay the unit went in and mustered on the football field facing their friends and family that were in the bleachers. The sea of flags and all the patriot hearted PGR holding them entered the opposite side of the field and formed a wall of flags behind the unit showing support of of the heroes in front of them.

It was a good day and a great showing of support from the community and the PGR. A big thanks to the Anoka Police their support, they were and always have been great to work with.

Click here for Pics from Laurie Johnson

Tim Leonhardt, Joe Egan, Dan Wilkenson (expendable), Mike Mcdonough, and Genko (Geno) Komerac

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Who We Are... And What We Do.

There are some pieces floating around about the PGR and who we are. Many are close but they seem to focus on us and our motorcycles.

We are not all veterans
We are not about our bikes
We are not about ourselves

This wonderful profile was done by the NRA is it moved me.