The St Cloud Sector completed the escort Mission today for LCPL Beise thanks in part to Members stepping up and being there for this family.
I started my day by watching it rain like a broken water pipe but thinking we need the moisture, then the light came on that we needed to complete the last step for St Cloud and escort LCPL Beise from Princeton MN to St Francis MN. Now I am in a panic trying to figure out how to shut the rain off. I checked the "All reliable" forecast and radar which showed no clouds and no rain so I ran back to the window to see the rain still coming down with no let up in sight. You really have to love all our technology but you can't beat what you see with your own eyes! By 11:00 AM I figured I have to do the escort even if it is just me and my car as I believe it was the least I could do for this Veteran. By noon the rain was just a very little drizzle so I figured it finally caught up to the Radar and I am good to go. As I am about a half mile from home I am looking for some type of sign that the rain is done and it will be a dry ride, really hoping to see an eagle the sure sign things are good. Bam! 2 ducks fly over the bike so I knew it was not going to be dry! Ducks and not eagles just ruined my day and within about 2 miles the rain returned yes I had left home with my rain gear in one of my trunks so it was dry but not me.
Arriving at the staging site I knew Rick J was going to be there but after that I figured why would anyone else want to get wet on purpose. Within 15 minutes we had 7 wet members all looking at each other and comparing radar images that showed no rain, go figure! We waited a little passed the time I wanted to leave because the rain was coming down a little harder than what I wanted. By 12:45 I figured now or never and we headed out, well a few feet anyway, then Rick and I asked the question to each other one more time, Are we taking safety into consideration, and we both agreed that it was just a drizzle. Off we went and to my surprise it was not to bad. There was enough wind that the rain flew by you more than puddling on you. We arrived in Princeton with plenty of time to spare and just in time to see Geno (Metro ARC) drive up to help us out.
We quickly met with the director and put a plan together to get to St Francis and arranging who would fill what role and how many vehicles we had. Within 15 minutes the director was ready and the 6 Marines that stayed on watch moved LCPL Beise from the inside lobby to the front doors. We formed a a 4 person file on each side of walk way for the Marines to bring LCPL Beise through to get him to the Hurst. As the LCPL passed by we presented arms and held it until he was placed in the vehicle.
The funeral director led the procession of 6 Bikes,1 Hurst, 2 trail vehicles and then 2 more bikes from Princeton to St Francis keeping us all in tow throughout the trip. Unknown to any of use the Beise family farm is about 3 miles away from the Church and on the way there we had to pass their house to get to the Church. As we rounded a corner and went over a little hill we passed the Beise House where the whole family was standing at the end of their drive way as we passed by. I could not help but to feel the pain this must have been for them at the site of our procession, but yet I sensed the calm from our presence.
Upon arrival at the church we parked our bikes and again formed 2 rows with ourselves and 2 other PGR members that were at the Church so there was a pathway for the Marines to bring LCPL through to get into the Church. We all presented arms as the Marines passed and entered the Church. Due to the conditions of the roads and it still raining we all decided it was best for us to get back to the St Cloud area as the Metro team was there and ready to take over for us.
I know for me I would do all the same things again to include all the driving if it meant I could bring just a small amount of healing to any Veteran family. I want to give a special Thank You to Rick J, Bob Larson, Ron Daniels, Todd Vogel, John Clarmont, and Paul Brandmire for being with today and the Metro Team that was there to take over.
I can't tell you how many times the family Thanked us for what we did yesterday and today they were totally in awe of what we do and how we do it. We do make a difference and this family got to see the best of everything because of a lot of great people. Thank You ALL.