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