Patriot Guard Riders
frequently asked questions
The FAQ information below is mainly reguarding the National PGR website.
We here at NorCalPGR.org do follow and abide by the National PGR guidelines also.
If you can not find the answer to what you are looking for in the FAQ's below,
Contact NorCalPGR and we will get the information to you.
Q. HOW DO I JOIN THE PATRIOT GUARD RIDERS?
A. What you will need to do is go to the main National PGR website at: PatriotGuard.org and create yourself an account / membership there first. The people at the main national PGR website will then contact the appropriate people and Ride Captains for your State and area, and you will begin to receive Mission notifications, member information, etc. If you have any problems or questions, we here at NorCalPGR will assist you in any way we can.
Q. WHAT SHOULD I DO FIRST WHEN I JOIN?
We recommend you contact your State Captain and introduce yourself. He / she will have further information regarding activities in your state. Make sure you put NEW MEMBER in the subject line of your email, and include your national PGR ID.
You can find your California State Ride Captains by clicking HERE.
All other States, please click HERE for more information.
Q. HOW MUCH INFORMATION DO YOU NEED FROM ME IN MY USER ACCOUNT?
It is important that your contact information is up to date in the event we need to contact you. At a minimum you should have your full name, email, city, state and zip code. A phone number would be helpful too, if you don’t mind. No one but Administration and State and Ride Captains have access to this information. After you have created your account and logged in, click on your name in the upper right corner of the screen and it will take you to your user account where you can update your information.
We are currently working on a new email system to reduce wide area emails.
You will need to list a city/zip code to receive emails for your area.
Q. ARE THERE ANY DUES OR MEMBERSHIP FEES?
No, membership is free. PGR is funded through purchases made from the PGR store, public donations, member donations and member businesses who donate.
Q. WILL I GET A MEMBERSHIP CARD?
A. No. The PGR does not issue membership cards at this time.
Q. HOW WILL MY STATE CAPTAIN KNOW I’VE JOINED?
The PGR National Board of Directors, National Support Staff and all the State Captains (SC) are listed HERE. Open the link, scroll down to your state and email your SC to let him know you’ve joined. If you live in a state which does not currently have a captain you can post to the State Forum to let everyone there know you’re new. Post to the New Member Area and introduce yourself. You will also find a special forum there where you can ask questions.
Q. ARE THERE REGULAR CHAPTER MEETINGS?
No. The PGR is a volunteer organization not a motorcycle club. We do not hold regular meetings however many folks organize informal area or state get-togethers and meet-n-greets. You will find information regarding these in your State Forum.
Q. SINCE I AM A MEMBER CAN I USE THE PGR LOGO?
A. It may only be used for personal use and not for profit.
Q. WHERE DO I PURCHASE PGR ITEMS?
The National PGR store is now open and is owned by Patriot Guard Riders, Inc. with 100% of the profits used to support National PGR, Inc.
Q. DOES THE PGR HAVE ANY PRINTED INFO TO PASS OUT TO POTENTIAL MEMBERS?
Not at this time, however, our National PGR board of directors is working on that project.
Q. I OWN A BUSINESS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST TO PGR MEMBERS. CAN IT BE LISTED ON THE WEBSITE?
Advertising your own business or personal items for sale in our National PGR forums is prohibited. Our members are here to get mission information and we protect their right and ability to do so without fear of solicitation. Links to your business website are not permitted in your signature line.
Q. WHAT IF I HAVE AN IDEA FOR A FUNDRAISER FOR PGR?
All suggestions for fundraisers are appreciated. Fundraising ideas can be posted at Fund Raising section under the HOTH Forum. Any type of fundraiser in the name of the PGR should be approved by National PGR before it is actually implemented. Please read the Forums before posting, your idea may have already been suggested and it may already be in the works. Suggestions/requests should be sent to your State or Regional Captain or to PGR National Fund Raising Administrator Tom Hoffman.
Q. WHERE WILL THE FUNDS GO?
Some businesses will donate to a specific function like Help on the Home Front. When a business indicates that they want to support a particular area with the PGR, the funds will go to that area and will be spent for a specific purpose such as assisting Vets, Scholarship for KIA children, etc.
Q. WHAT KIND OF MISSIONS DO WE DO?
Our main mission is to honor our fallen heroes, their families, and communities by attending memorial services and funerals. We are there to pay our respects and to shield the families from any interruptions by uninvited guests. These missions include fallen heroes of the current fight for freedom and veterans of other conflicts such as WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. We also honor our fallen heroes from Law Enforcement and Firefighting.
While this was the original purpose of the PGR at its inception, our missions have expanded to include many other activities.
These are events that are held at various military installations across the country honoring our fallen heroes. Many bases hold monthly memorial services honoring the fallen from their units. This also includes private memorial services held by families when a full funeral is not scheduled with interment. You will find more information regarding these missions under the PGR Current Missions Information webpage.
Welcome Home and Troop Send Offs:
We also participate in ceremonies and events to welcome our troops home from overseas or to give them a resounding show of support when they leave the states for foreign countries. You will find more information regarding these missions under the PGR Current Missions Information webpage.
Help on the Homefront:
This program assists wounded veterans and their families in need. It includes visits to VA hospitals, assisting in cleaning, repairing or refurbishing homes of injured veterans. This program works with other agencies and supports some of their programs also.
A link can also be found in the About NorCalPGR webpage of our website. Please feel free to Contact NorCalPGR.org if you have any questions.
Q. HOW DO I REQUEST A MISSION?
You may make a request for any of our missions using the Mission Request Link located on the left side of the home page. You can also contact your State Captain or Local Captain directly to request a mission.
Q. HOW IS THE PGR NOTIFIED OF A PENDING MISSION?
Missions for KIA from current conflicts are published at the US Department of Defense website. On the right hand side of the site under Press Resources you will find the link for Releases. An official notification of KIAs comes from the DOD. Once the DOD has released the information this means that all family members have been notified and the Moderators then post the listing to the Watch List. You may subscribe to the DOD website, however, ONLY the moderators will post the official notices to the PGR website. The missions are posted to our site in the same format used by the DOD so they are found more easily by people using a search engine such as Google. Other notifications come to us through various agencies. If you hear or read a news report of a possible mission please contact your State Captain so that he may take the proper steps to determine if PGR will attend the mission. Under no circumstances are members to contact agencies or commit the PGR to attendance unless directed to do so by the State Captain.
Q. HOW DO I FIND OUT ABOUT MISSIONS IN MY AREA?
Email Mission notices are also sent out. You will use the Watch List and Confirmed Missions List. You may access these lists one of two ways. On the Home Page you will find a column on the right-hand side of the page. Click on the Watch List or Confirmed Missions List heading and it will take you to the respective forum. You can also access the lists by placing your cursor over the Forums link in the Navigation bar on the left-hand side of the page. A drop down menu will appear and you can then choose which Forum to enter by clicking on it. For further instructions please see the FAQ section for Forum Use.
Q. CAN I RECEIVE EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS OF MISSIONS?
We have an external mail system to send out initial mission notices to members. These notices are sent out at the request of your State Captain. The notice will include a link to the specific mission thread. It is then up to you to monitor that mission thread. Some of our State Captains maintain their own contacts lists and don’t use our mail system. It is best to contact your State Captain as soon as you have signed up on the web site. You MUST make sure you have entered your country, state and zip code in your user account in order to remain on our email lists.
You can receive blanket email notifications by subscribing to the Watch List. Possible missions are posted there until they become a Confirmed Mission. Click on the Watch List forum. In the top left-hand corner you will see a small check box labeled “Email me when someone posts to this forum.” Put a check in that box. Any posts to that forum will be sent to the email address you have listed in your profile.
Several members have set up a separate email address for PGR communications due to the high volume of information they wish to receive from the site. You may also want to keep track of other threads that are of interest to you. This will allow you to keep PGR communications separate from business and personal email. If you do not wish to receive blanket email from the Watch List you will need to log on to the site and check the list periodically. Information can change rapidly for missions so it is suggested that you check at least once a day. If you find a mission in your area you can enter the thread for that mission and subscribe to that thread by checking the Email notification box as described above. If you wish to stop receiving email notices on a thread, just return to it and uncheck the notification box.
Q. WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO RECEIVE STATEWIDE EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS?
If you do not want to receive statewide emails for mission notifications contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Put unsubscribe in the subject line and include the email address and your state. Our lists are maintained by state. It is recommended that you also notify your state captain that you do not wish to receive emails since they may also keep a separate list.
Q. IS THERE A DRESS CODE OR REQUIRED UNIFORM?
No. Dress for safety, comfort and respect. Many suggestions have been made regarding standard shirts or clothing but PGR has not adopted a dress code or policy for our members. A family may have a special request due to ethnic or religious practices for a specifically colored shirt or other form of attire. Since our mission is “respect,” we do everything in our power to honor those requests. Keep in mind that we are there to respect the family, and check your vests for any patches which may contain offensive language. Those patches can be covered with masking tape for the duration of the mission. Many members have decided to use a vest specific for PGR missions. You will see several different color ball caps at missions. Black hats are worn by National Officers and Regional Captains. Red hats indicate State Captains and Maroon is worn by the Ride Captains. This helps to make them more easily identifiable at missions and events. Blue is worn by the regular members. Green is worn by the Help on the Homefront officers and coordinators.
Q. DO I NEED SPECIAL CLOTHING TO ENTER MILITARY INSTALLATIONS?
Some missions do take place on military installations. These installations do require certain safety equipment for entrance to the base. You will be notified in the mission thread if you will be entering a military installation which required this type of safety equipment. This includes, but is not limited to, a DOT approved helmet, long sleeve shirt, full-fingered gloves, boots covering the ankle and long pants. Many installations also require a bright colored or reflective safety vest or belt. Proof of insurance, driver license, and your social security number may also be required, possibly several days in advance of entry to the base.
Q. CAN I WEAR MY M/C COLORS?
Some Law Enforcement Agencies have a “No Colors” policy for large groups of motorcyclists. You will be notified of this in the mission thread. Please respect their request and leave your colors at home. If you are unable to do so due to requirements of you club, we understand completely but ask that you stand down for the mission. If you belong to another riding club please check with them before placing the PGR patch and pins on your club vest. Many clubs do not allow other patches and pins on their vests. They may also have restrictions regarding where you may wear your vest with their patch.
Q. PGR BACK PATCH
A. The PGR is NOT a Motorcycle or Riding Club. This back patch is not representative of, nor is it an indication that PGR is a Motorcycle or Riding Club. We do not earn this patch but purchase it from our store. Back patches representing M/C’s or R/C’s are earned by their members during the year or two in which they “prospect” or serve as a prospective member. They work hard to earn the right to wear the patch.
If you choose to purchase or wear the back patch please check with your state captain to make sure that he/she has contacted the COC in your state for approval of the patch BEFORE you purchase the patch. COC in some states are recommending that the back patch not be worn due to safety concerns for our members. Trust in their judgment, they are more aware of the attitudes of the individual M/C’s than we are. WARNING: if you are asked to remove the garment on which you are wearing the patch, please do so immediately, and without contention, for your personal safety.
For more information regarding the 1%’ers, M/C’s, R/C’s and their traditions and policies please go to http://www.rcvsmc.net/
Q. WHAT CAN I EXPECT ON A MISSION?
This is a time of mourning and it is be very emotional for the family, community and the PGR members. It can get overwhelming so just let it flow. You will see many of your fellow members in tears or otherwise greatly affected. Don’t hesitate to give a hug or offer a hand. We are all feeling the same emotions. You will also feel a great sense of pride in being there.
Your State or Ride Captain will have set up a staging area for everyone to meet. Please make sure you are there on time, fueled up and have already performed your pre-ride safety checks. Your State/Ride Captain will hold a briefing for any instructions and last minute information you may need. Please be sure to check the thread for that mission thoroughly just before you leave to make sure there aren’t any last minute changes for times and locations. It is recommended that you print out the itinerary posted in the thread to take with you. Many SC’s will post Mapquest links within the thread to assist you with directions to various staging areas.
The normal formation, but subject to your State or Ride Captain’s discretion, with National approval, will be bikes with large flags in front, the rest of the bikes, then cars or other vehicles. In most cases there will be a pre-designated place for us to park, if not please DO NOT park in areas close to the building where the family and friends should park.
Once at the service there may be changes as to what we do or where we can help depending on what the family, funeral director, or Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) want or need, so be listening up for the State or Ride Captain to make more announcements. On one mission we helped direct parking because the funeral home did not have enough people.
Q. DO WE ATTEND THE ACTUAL SERVICES?
Many families invite us into the chapel to attend the actual service. It is up to you if you choose to do so. Your SC/RC will let you know if the invitation has been offered.
Q. WHAT IS A LIABILITY WAIVER?
It is an agreement that you ride the mission at your own risk without holding Patriot Guard Riders liable for any accident or injury resulting from your participation in the mission or event. You will be required to sign a liability waiver list in order to ride/drive or attend a mission. The list is made available at each mission and must be signed at each mission.
Q. CELL PHONES
Please turn your cell phones off or to “silent” during the mission. If you must make or take a call please remove yourself from within the sight and hearing of the family and other participants until your call is complete.
Please pack your trash back out with you if you can‘t find a proper receptacle. Put your butts in your pocket until you can find a can or ashtray. The use of a film canister or baggie has been suggested to discard butts. Absolutely NO consumption of alcohol during a mission. Respect includes respect for the church, funeral home or cemetery grounds. Please step away from the flag line if you would like to eat or smoke.
Q. YOUR THROTTLE
If you must leave a mission early please choose an appropriate time preferably immediately before or after the services. Always remember this is about respect and keep your throttle to a minimum when starting and leaving the area, or if you are late in arriving. Please park away from the immediate area if you can or push your bike as far away from the services before starting.
Q. WHAT DO I BRING TO A MISSION?
Make sure you bring water to drink. If you know it’s going to be a long day bring some snacks or even pack a sandwich. Some folks have been known to generously provide water and snacks during the mission but this is not expected of them and it is your responsibility to provide your own. If, by chance, they have a donation jar located near the snacks feel free to drop something in to help defray their costs. Many also choose to donate back to the PGR. You are under no obligation to make the donation.
You may want to bring your own flag. A collapsing pole is recommended for ease of carrying if you do not wish to attach it to your bike Flagpole To Go offers a discount to PGR members. Most State or Ride Captains will have a number of flags with them but the more we have the better. You can purchase different types of flag poles and mounts. Check out the Forum thread Flag Mounts. You will find a wealth of information there for mounting flags on your bike.
Sunscreen and a small first aid kit are highly recommended.
Q. HONORING SPECIAL RELIGIOUS OR ETHNIC TRADITIONS.
Our main purpose is to honor the fallen hero. We already do that with our presence and display of flags. There is no need to further honor religious or ethnic traditions of the family or community unless a specific request is made. If a family or community chooses to offer their thanks with a patch or other form of gift, as has been done on a previous mission, it is not up to us to return the favor. Gift-giving may be required by ceremonial traditions of certain ethnic groups. Some religious or ethnic traditions require clothing of a certain color. The family may make this request. Since our mission is to show honor and respect we make every effort to honor the family’s wishes.
Q. WHAT IF A MISSION IS CANCELLED?
If a funeral mission is cancelled due to the family’s request we DO NOT attend. This would be disrespectful to the family. If it is a public event you may attend as a citizen but we ask that you leave your PGR items at home, if possible. Our mission, first and foremost, is respect. Not only does that apply to families but also to the communities in which we live and serve.
Q. ARE MISSIONS EVER LIMITED IN ATTENDANCE SIZE?
A family may wish to invite the PGR but only on a limited basis. Again, we do everything we can to honor the family’s request.
Q. DO I SALUTE AT MISSIONS?
It has been suggested that civilians should salute by placing their right hand over their heart. Many military personnel will give a hand salute or place a hand over their heart. While it has been customary that only military personnel in uniform should salute, recent changes in thought have led to giving a choice to those who have served. PGR maintains that the salute is your personal decision as long as it is in keeping with our mission of respect and honor.
Q. HOW DO WE SHIELD THE MOURNERS FROM PROTESTORS?
If protestors are in attendance we simply hold our flags with our backs turned to the protestors. We, in no way, engage the protestor either verbally or physically. We may sing, rev our engines or say the Pledge of Allegiance but that is strictly up to the direction of the SC/RC. Take your cues from them.
Q. WHAT DO I DO IF A PROTESTOR ATTEMPTS TO PROVOKE ME?
Stand with your back to them and ignore them. Your only function at the mission is to pay your respects to the fallen hero and his/her family.
Q. CAN I BRING MY CHILDREN TO MISSIONS?
Yes. It is suggested that you use your best judgment with smaller children. If your child becomes restless please be prepared to remove him from the area so as to not disturb the services. Perhaps you and your spouse or a friend can agree to a plan of action before you attend the mission. Talk with your children before hand to prepare them for what may happen. You will find that they may be able to understand more than you think. Give them a flag of their own that is a size they can handle. Teach them some flag etiquette. This can be a positive experience for your child.
Q. WHAT IS THE PGR PLAQUE?
The plaque is something that is presented to the families of the fallen service member. It says: "On behalf of a grateful America and the Patriot Guard Riders, please accept our sincere condolences on your tragic loss. May your pain be tempered by the knowledge that “NAME” is a true American Hero." Then it has the PGR emblem on the bottom. It is paid for by any revenue created by clicking on the ads on the sides of the website, or by some purchases from the PGR store.
Q. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE “COMMANDS” AND TERMS I HEAR DURING MISSIONS?
Kickstands up, Saddle up, Clutches out, or Mount:
This means we’re leaving.
Stand respectfully with your flag, salute or put your hand over your heart, whatever you are comfortable with. If you are a flag bearer, do not salute or cover your heart. The national colors are presented straight up with no dip whatsoever and no salute will be hand rendered when bearing the flag.
Headgear, hats. Some members feel this includes do-rags. Covers are not required to be removed during present arms in an outdoor environment. Covers should be removed for prayers though.
Stay in place, but relaxed; soft talking is appropriate. Breaks as needed.
Rally, staging or meeting:
Gather for Mission brief, also signaled by extending one are straight up with index finger up moving the arm as though making a circle with the finger.
Dismissed at conclusion.
Q. WHERE CAN I GO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GROUP RIDING?
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has excellent courses on group riding. Sign up for a class and hone your riding skills. Some Owner’s Groups also give you a gift certificate for merchandise after you have taken the classes. This link contains three excellent videos that you can watch to get an idea of what is required for basic and group riding. Scroll down below the US map to the videos marked WATCH. Please see our Safety Guidelines forum for more information regarding group riding and other mission safety issues.
Q. FLAG ETIQUETTE
A. The flag that is of the utmost importance is our national flag, to which the greatest respect should be paid. No other flag can be flown above the national flag. It is imperative that no one show disrespect to the national flag. The national flag should never be “dipped” or lowered to any person or thing. However, Regimental colors, State flags, and organizational or institutional flags can be dipped as a mark of honor. The flag should never be allowed to touch the ground. Flags are displayed in a specific order with the US flag always being in front of a line or on its own right. If, in a flag line, you are in doubt of your position please ask your SC or another member if you are in the correct position if you are holding a flag other than the US flag.
Q. HOW DO I HOLD A FLAG WHEN IN A FLAG LINE?
A.The flag should be held straight up as much as possible. We never dip the US flag. While it would make a great showing and look really nice to see all members at attention and the flags all equidistant and at the same height we are not a military unit but a group of regular citizens who are there to show these folks that we care.
Q. HOW DO I MOUNT FLAGS ON MY BIKE/CAR?
The American Flag is always mounted on its own right. The flag’s own right is the side of the Canton, or blue field of the flag, also referred to as the Union. Other flags are mounted to the left of the American flag and at the same level or lower than the American flag. When several flags are used they are to be displayed in this order from the American flag's own right: US, other countries, states, counties, cities/municipalities, military branch, organization, and symbolic or personal.
You will find a wealth of information in the Flag Mounts thread in our forums on different ways to mount the flags on your bike or car.
Reprinted from the US Flag Code:
SEC. 3 That the flag, when carried in a procession with another flag or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag's own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.
(a) The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff, or as provided in subsection (j)
(b) The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motor car, the staff should be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
(c) No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy. (See Public Law 107, page 4)
Q. WHICH STATES HAVE HELMET LAWS AND WHAT ARE THEY?
Listed here you will find all the helmet laws for all 50 states. Further information on the actual statutes is available HERE. While some states seem to have no helmet law they actually do require a helmet unless specific insurance requirements are met. Please check laws in individual states for specifics.
Of the fifty states, only 4 are 100% helmet law free! :
Colorado, Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire
Of the other 46 states, 20 have full helmet laws for all motorcycle riders:
Alabama, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
19 States have helmet laws that exempt adult riders, riders over the age of majority - 18 years old and over. Those states are:
Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
There are 7 states that require helmets for riders between the ages of 18 and 20.
Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Texas.
Q. WHAT IS A CHASE VEHICLE AND WHAT DO THEY CARRY?
A chase vehicle is a car or truck which carries extra equipment for a group of motorcycle riders. This is a suggested basic list. You may not be able to carry all items listed. You may have more than one chase vehicle per mission and you can split the list with another vehicle.
Protein snacks, Water,
Bottled water (bottles of water in an ice chest),
Well-equipped First Aid kit to include:
Snap and shake cold packs,
Flag Tie Downs,
Ratcheting nylon tie-down straps.
Air compressor or air tank (for soft/flat tires),
Tire Patch/plug kit,
Reflective vests (for folks having to direct traffic around a break-down, etc.),
Flashlights (the new no-battery type),
Pre-paid cell phone,
Basic tool kit to include SAE and metric tools,
Low jack with a flat plate that would go under a bike.
Gasoline 1 - 2 gallons,
Hypoid Gear oil,
Zip-ties / Wire Ties,
Assorted Hose Clamps (diff sizes),
Extra Flags and poles.
For Chase Vehicle:
Large caution sign on the rear of the truck,
Revolving yellow lights on top (check local laws),
Two 7" x 20 yellow w/black stripe vertical caution signs to hang on either side of the tailgate.
Q. DO WE RIDE IN CANADA?
A. The Canadian Army Veterans (CAV) have been covering funerals for their military members since 2003. The Patriot Guard Riders are welcome to attend as the guests of the CAV, any CAV mission in Canada.
Q. WHAT DO I NEED TO CROSS THE BORDER TO AND FROM CANADA?
A passport card is required to cross the border. An application can be obtained at your local post office.
No fireworks, weapons, firearms.
If you have a DUI or OUI or any felony, you can be denied entry to Canada.
You must have proof of insurance (even though they usually don't ask for it at the border).
Speed limits are in kilometers!!! 100 km/h = 60mph.
As with everything, you need to be polite and pleasant, because if you give any attitude, you will encounter problems entering either country.
All Canadian provinces have universal motorcycle helmet laws.
Some smaller border crossings aren't open 24 hours.
Radar detectors are illegal.
When physically going through the border crossings, at minimum, ALL occupants are going to be asked where they're from, where they were born, where are they going, how long are you staying... but they can ask any other question they want. 9 times out of 10 you can get right through, but it is in their right to have you pull over and they will search the vehicle THOROUGHLY! Sometimes it's easier to avoid crossing at the larger "main" border crossings and going through some of the smaller points of entry instead, the guards don't seem as stressed.
Going to Canada, you can take 1 carton of cigarettes and 40 oz of liquor or a case of beer, preferably purchased at the "Duty Free" store at the border. Coming back, you can bring the same amounts back, but only if you've been in Canada for over 48 hrs (if it's less than 48 hrs, you would have to pay taxes on it). After 48 hours in Canada, you can bring back up to $400.00 in purchases (keep ALL receipts) - if it's under 48 hrs, once again, you would have to pay taxes. You're not supposed to bring plants, fruits or vegetables either way, although it seems to be stricter coming back in the US. (When crossing, most places will record your license plate, so they know how long you have been there.)
Canada has lots of taxes, if you spend over $200.00 on hotels or "large" purchases (not food, restaurants or little odds and ends), you can get the federal taxes (GST) back - there are forms available at the border and you can claim it there or you can mail it in. The receipts can be accumulated up to 2 years.
Most all Canadian's speak English. Those in the Province of Quebec speak French and prefer only French, and the signs are in French (where other Provinces have them in English and French).
Gas prices are almost double in Canada; fill up prior to crossing the border. Everything is metric, so gas is by the liter (approx 35% higher).
Right now the exchange rate is roughly $1.00US = $1.10CA. We have found that it's easier to withdraw cash at a Canadian ATM machine (with our US bank issued ATM card) because you will get the current rate. If you try to exchange money at most places, they will give dollar for dollar ($1.00US = $1.00CA). We also pay for everything with credit/debit cards just because the rate fluctuates. Canada has $1.00 and $2.00 coins, not bills.
If bringing presents, DON'T WRAP THEM!! They will be unwrapped and searched to make sure it is not contraband.
The trailer trucks in Canada carry more weight and are larger than in the US, so you need to be more cautious.
Q. HOW ARE FLAGS DISPLAYED IN CANADA?
A. Basically, in the same manner as in the US with the Canadian flag taking precedence over the US flag. No flag, banner or pennant should be flown or displayed above the Canadian Flag.
Flags flown together should be approximately the same size and flown from separate staffs at the same height.
The Canadian Flag should be given the place of honor when flown or displayed with other flags:
When two or more than three flags are flown together, the Canadian Flag should be on the left as seen by spectators in front of the flags; if a number of countries are represented, the Canadian Flag may be flown at each end of a line of flags.
When three flags are flown together, the Canadian Flag should occupy the central position, with the next ranking flag to the left and third ranking to the right, as seen by the spectators in front of the flags.
Where more than one flag is flown and it is impossible to hoist or lower at the same time, the Canadian Flag should be hoisted first and lowered last.
When the National Flag of Canada is raised or lowered, or when it is carried past in a parade or review, all present should face the flag, men should remove their hats, and all should remain silent. Those in uniform should salute.
Q. HOW DO I LOG IN TO THE NATIONAL WEBSITE?
Open the Home Page to the website and you will find the log in located in the far upper right corner of the Home Page. If your name appears there you are already logged in to the site.
Q. WHAT IS MY USER ACCOUNT AND WHERE IS IT?
Your user account contains all of your personal information. You can access it by clicking on your display name found in the far upper right corner of the website at the log in location. You must be logged in to gain access. Here you can change all your personal information and also determine what is viewed by the public, members only or administration only.
Q. WHAT IS MY FORUM PROFILE AND WHERE IS IT?
Your forum profile contains some basic personal information that only pertains to the use of the PGR forums. This includes your Avatar (a picture that can be placed under your name next to your posts), forum subscriptions, and a personal biography. You can access your Forum Profile by clicking on your name next to any post you have made or by entering the forums and clicking on My Profile found on the right above the blue header bar.
Q. WHAT IF MY EMAIL ADDRESS CHANGES?
Log in to the site and click on your name in the upper right hand corner at the log in location. This will take you to your User Account where you can make any changes necessary. Don’t forget to click on update or update profile in order for the changes to take effect. You might also want to send a notice to email@example.com and your State Captain to make sure that everyone has the correct address.
Q. CAN I CHANGE MY SCREEN NAME?
No, your Screen Name is the User ID for your account. In order to change this you must un-register the old account and register a new one with the preferred name. To do this you log in to the website, click on your name that appears next to the log in. When the page opens you then click on un-register. This will delete the old account and you can register a new one.
Q. I CAN'T REMEMBER MY USER ID OR PASSWORD. HOW DO I RETRIEVE IT?
Our User Support is firstname.lastname@example.org. Send an email requesting your information. We will look it up for you and send you an email with the user name and the email address listed in your account. We do not have access to your passwords. You will need to go to the log in page, enter your user id and then click on Forgot Password. The system will send you an email from info@ with the password reminder within 24 hours to the email address listed in your user account. If you do not receive the password reminder please contact User Support again and we will have the password reset manually.
Q. HOW DO I ADD A PICTURE BELOW MY NAME NEXT TO MY POSTS?
Enter your forum profile by clicking on your name next to one of your posts. Click on Edit Profile on the lower left. Scroll down to the Avatar section of the form. You can upload a picture from you computer. Make sure that the picture is no larger than 100 x 100 pixels and is save in a gif or bmp format notherwise it will not upload. The website does not accept jpg format for avatars and bio pictures. Click on update profile at the bottom of the form. It may take an hour or two for the picture to show up in the forums.
Q. WHERE DO I FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF FORUMS?
There is a link labeled All Forums in the Navigation Pane to the left of the website pages. Placing your cursor over the link will only list the main mission forums. You must click on the link titled All Forums in order to get the complete list of Forums on our website.
Q. WHAT ARE THE FORUMS AND HOW DO I USE THEM?
Q. HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE TO A FORUM OR THREAD?
Once you have entered a Forum by clicking on its name you may subscribe to it by checking the “Email me when someone posts to this forum.” You will find this located at the top of the forum on the left-hand side. If you don’t wish to subscribe to a Forum but want to keep track of a particular thread you may check the box labeled “Email me when someone replies to this thread”. You will need to enter the thread by clicking on it in order to subscribe to it. Please note: subscribing to a forum or thread can generate a large amount of email since an email is sent to your inbox each time a person posts in the forum or thread. Many members have set up separate mailboxes specifically for PGR email and opt-in forum subscriptions. You may have to log into the PGR website to visit links that are emailed to you.
Q. HOW DO I UNSUBSCRIBE TO A THREAD?
You may do so in one of two ways. Simply uncheck the box in the forum to which you are subscribed. This does not always insure that the opt in subscriptions will stop. To access a list of your subscriptions you will need to enter your Forum Profile as described above. You will see a tab marked Subscriptions. You can manually delete your forum or thread subscriptions here.
Q. WHAT ARE THE FORUM TOOLS?
Delete, Edit, Quote, Reply, Alert
These tools are found just above the posts in the forums. You may delete or edit your own posts but only the forum moderators are able to delete or edit the posts of other members in the thread.
Delete--you may delete your own post. If your post is the first one in the thread this action will delete the whole thread, not just your post to it.
Edit--you may edit your own post.
Quote--if you would like to reply to a particular post in a thread you simply click on Quote above the post to which you wish to reply. This will include a copy of that post in your reply.
Reply--this will allow you to reply to the thread in general without a quote.
Forums, My Profile, Search, Members
This tool bar is located in the upper-right hand corner of the Forums pages.
Forums--This will take you to a complete listing of the website forums.
My Profile--This link will open your forum profile
Search--This is the search engine for the forums. You may search for a specific post or for any posts made by a member.
Members--This is an alphabetical listing of all members on the website.
Q. WHAT IS A QUICK REPLY?
Located at the bottom of the thread is the Quick Reply. This allows you to reply to the thread but does not allow for uploading files and pictures or to post an active link. You must use the Reply button at the top of the thread to do so.
Q. WHAT IS ADD REPLY?
This tool is found on the left just above the Quick Reply or at the top of the thread on the left. With this option you may add pics to your post. Please keep posting of pictures and graphics to a bare minimum to prevent excessive use of bandwidth. Mission pictures are NOT posted in Forums. They must be submitted to email@example.com in a specific format for upload to the Photo Gallery. Further instruction for posting mission photos is contained in this FAQ under How Do I Use the Confirmed Mission Forum.
Q. WHAT IS A PRIVATE MESSAGES (PM)?
You can contact another member privately in a site-based message by clicking on the Message bar found just below their name next to their post. This message does not go to their email address but stays on the website and can be accessed by clicking on the message box found at the bottom of the left side of the forum pages. It can also be found on the Home Page in the upper right-hand side beneath your name. You may also send an email to a member through the forums by clicking on the email option below their name in any post.
Q. FORUM ETIQUETTE
Political debates and statements are discouraged along with links to these types of sites and posts containing these types of messages will be deleted by our Moderators. References to protestors are forbidden in our mission forums out of respect for the families and friends of the fallen; discussions of them elsewhere in our forums are also strongly discouraged. Our mission is to honor and show respect to the fallen heroes and all veterans. We have been praised time and again for our professionalism on our missions. That attitude should carry over into our communications with each other on our website. If you have a problem with a post or another PGR member please notify the moderators by clicking on the ALERT button found directly above the post in question. Please include your screen name and full name as a signature to the alert. You may also send an email directly to them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a link to the thread in your email.
Avatars, pictures and signatures--Animated Avatars and pictures are discouraged to prevent excessive use of bandwidth. Please keep in mind a PG-13 rating for your pictures and signature lines. You will be posting condolences to family members in our mission forums. Please make sure that your avatars and signature lines are respectful and clean.
Q. HOW DO I USE THE WATCH LIST FORUM?
POSTING KIA NOTICE:
It has been determined by National that to avoid confusion, only the Forum Moderators will post KIA Notices confirmed by DOD in this forum. If you receive or notice a media story of a KIA not yet posted please refrain from posting. Our troops have embedded media reporters with them and there is no way to determine how the story got out or if the family has been notified properly if there is no DOD Confirmation Release. Instead, please forward the story to your state captain.
In order to help cut down the confusion and thread buildup please refrain from posting such as "Keep me posted," or asking if there is pertinent info on a KIA yet. The state captains and ride captains are working diligently in the background to get this info to you. Mission forums are reserved for itinerary updates and condolences only.
SCs and RCs:
Once you have pertinent information that a mission is confirmed; please send an email to email@example.com with all pertinent information for posting. At this time the thread will be moved into the Confirmed Mission Rides forum.
To help keep the Mission threads on track please limit it to mission information only. Idle conversations and meet and greets can be posted to the Off Topic or State sections of the Forums. This helps keep the information on mission, times and places easy to find.
If you see a media report about services with times and locations please refrain from reply posting this as well. Instead please forward this info to your SC or RC.
Web administrators have provided a new module to the website in the Private Message feature. You can easily and quickly send your SC or RC a PM now.
Q. HOW DO I USE THE CONFIRMED MISSIONS FORUM?
SC’s and RC’s will email itinerary updates to Forum Moderators as it becomes available. Once received the Forum Moderators will add the Itinerary to the first post in the thread and make an edit to the subject line that says Itinerary Update. The date will also be added to the subject line and a reminder reply will be added to the thread to indicate an itinerary update. This bump allows for an auto email to be sent to subscribers to alert them that an itinerary update has been posted.
Once again, in order to cut down on confusion and thread buildup though, please refrain from posting such as "Keep me posted," etc. Please use the Private Message function or emails to communicate to your SC or RC’s. If you see a media report about services with times and locations please refrain from reply posting this as well. Instead please forward this info to your SC or RC.
To help keep the Mission threads on track please limit it to mission information only. Idle conversations and meet and greets can be posted to the Off Topic or State sections of the Forums. This helps keep the information on missions, times and places easy to find.
Q. RIDE REPORTS
Ride Captains will post the Ride Report from the mission in the mission thread. Please post your thoughts and experience from the mission that you would like to share with the family and other members in the mission thread. Once a mission is complete the thread will be moved to Recently Completed Missions where it will remain for 3 full days before being moved to Archives.
Q. MISSION PHOTOS
On your missions you may take photos and or videos with respect. Please respect the family and fallen hero by not photographing them or the casket unless requested by the family. Photos such as these will not be posted in the gallery out of respect for our hero. Mission photos are not to be posted in the threads or forums. Please refer to the “WHAT IS THE PHOTO GALLERY AND CAN I POST PICTURES THERE?” section of the FAQ for information on posting mission photos.
Q. WHAT IS THE PHOTO GALLERY AND CAN I POST PICTURES THERE?
The photo gallery is reserved for PGR missions and events only. On your missions you may take photos and or videos with respect.
Please respect the family and fallen hero by not photographing them or the casket unless specifically requested by the family. Photos such as these will not be posted in the gallery in respect for our hero unless the file is specifically labeled that family permission has been obtained.
Please limit your camera resolution to 640x480. This is the standard viewing size for internet pics and will turn out just fine. This will prevent us from using excessive storage space and limiting the number of pictures that can be displayed.
Place your photos in a .zip file labeled with the hero's name and location and mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get them posted up ASAP. Complete info for sending pics is listed on the homepage of the site.
To do this with Windows OS, once you have the pictures uploaded to your computer, navigate to the folder you saved them in. While holding down the shift key, highlight each and every pic file you want to send. Once they are all highlighted, right click on the last one highlighted and select send to/compressed file. This will create a .zip file for you to attach to your email.
Files should be no larger than 4-6 MB to ensure the photos will be received. We are unable to post .avi files, so please consider that before your submission.
Q. NAVIGATING THE PHOTO GALLERY
Click on the folder you would like to view. Once you have finished viewing that folder you can return to the main gallery by clicking the small arrow on the very left-hand side of the tool bar. To exit the gallery and return to PGR home page click the house icon in the upper right hand corner of the tool bar at the top of the gallery. The tool bar also allows you to email, download images in two sizes, and view images in a slideshow format.
Q. WHAT DO ALL THESE ABBREVIATIONS AND TERMS MEAN?
BoD – Board of Directors -
The five officers who are the executive leadership of the National Patriot Guard Riders.
Confederation of Clubs or Coalition of Clubs depending upon the state - This is an organization that was founded to oversee all motorcycle clubs in the United States. It is made up of representatives from many, if not all, of the M/C’s in the country. It is not a governing body per se, but a resource to which various M/C’s may go to resolve disputes and issues, and also serves as an advocacy group for various clubs. Some states do not have a COC but may have another organization similar to it. Some states, due to their size, may have more than one COC.
COC - Confederation of Clubs -
This is an organization that was founded to oversee all motorcycle clubs in the United States. It is made up of representatives from many, if not all, of the M/C’s in the country. It is not a governing body per se, but a resource to which various M/C’s may go to resolve disputes and issues, and also serves as an advocacy group for various clubs. Some states do not have a COC but may have another organization similar to it. Some states, due to their size, may have more than one COC.
CAGE - A car or truck, enclosed vehicle.
United States Department of Defense.
This is the agency from which we get our notices of KIA service members.
Head Shed -
Group of the various department heads and mangers who oversee the daily operations of the Patriot Guard Riders.
Killed in Action
LEO and LE -
Law Enforcement Officer and Law Enforcement. Local, County, and State Law Enforcement Officers are the folks who make the majority of missions safe. Without their assistance, the PGR would not be as successful as it is.
Missing in Action
Leadership position that covers the country and supervises Regional, State, and Ride Captains. Currently there are two co-captains.
Prisoner of War
PRC, TRC & RC -
Permanent Ride Captain, Temporary Ride Captain and Ride Captain.
SC’s recruit RC’s in varying parts of the state to help recruit riders and groups in their areas and help with missions. A Ride Captain can be temporary RC (filling in if a SC or another PRC cannot make a mission) or permanent RC. Permanent RC’s are listed on the Captains page and have full access to member’s lists.
Assists the RC with traffic control such as blocking intersections from cross traffic. They also keep an eye out along the line for potential problems.
Leadership positions that cover multi-state geographical areas.
The State Captain monitors and sets up missions. There generally is only one State Captain per state. Some states may have an Assistant State Captain. The SC makes contact with Casualty Assistance Officers (CAO), Law Enforcement (LEO), the Family, the Church, and Funeral Directors, to set up a mission, but may delegate that to a Ride Captain (RC) if absolutely necessary. State Captains can recruit as many Ride Captains as they feel they need to accomplish our objectives.
This is usually the last rider of the group. His/her responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, staying alert for possible problems within the group, keeping the group in formation and up to speed, assisting with Road Guards. Many may be able to communicate with the RC by CB to report any accidents or problems.
This usually means that a watched or confirmed mission is cancelled. This can be because a family has requested a family-only service or the service has been moved to a different state. If the service is moved to a different state the mission thread will be changed to reflect the move.
Uninvited Guest. An UG is any individual or group that is there to disrupt the services of a fallen hero. This is our preferred term to be used for any protesters.
Veterans Service Officer
This is a member who is the leader or director of the Help on the Homefront program for his/her respective state.
Q. IS THERE A MEMBERSHIP NUMBER? HOW DO I FIND IT?
The PGR does not issue membership numbers. The number that you might see in your user account is merely a database marker the site uses to record the number of user accounts registered on the site. To find this number, log in to the site and then click on your name that appears in the right corner next to the log in/log out. The number may appear on the first page that comes up next to your user id. We do not identify you by this number and we can't access your user account or information using this number. You must supply the site teams with your User Name or email address when requesting assistance from the site teams.
Q. HOW DO I POST A LETTER OF APPRECIATION OR THANK YOU?
Your letter can be emailed to Letters@patriotguard.org where it will be posted in our Letters of Appreciation section of our website.
Q. WILL I BE ASSIGNED A PATRIOTGUARD.ORG EMAIL ADDRESS?
A. No, our main national organizational email addresses are reserved for leadership only and are to be used for PGR business only. Solicitation to and from organizational email addresses is prohibited. If you have a question for leadership, please direct it to the appropriate Ride Captain.
Q. CAN I USE THE PGR NAME/LOGO AT POLITICAL EVENTS?
"Use of the Patriot Guard Riders, Inc., (PGR) name or logo while participating in political / partisan activities is strictly prohibited. Political or Partisan comments expressed by members are the sole viewpoints of the member and do not represent the those of the Organization. Use of the Patriot Guard Riders, Inc name and/or logo related to political / partisan events or activities is strictly prohibited and a violation of our internal policies."
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