Wednesday May 13, 2015
National Veteran's Awareness Ride - Reno / Fernley, NV
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 the National Veterans Awareness Ride departed Auburn, CA on it's eastbound journey to 'The Wall' in Washington, DC.
Jerry Connor, President of the National Veterans Awareness Organization including the visits to Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) in Reno and a wreath laying ceremony at the Northern Nevada Veterans' Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, NV.
The Patriot Guard Riders having been invited to stand a flag line at the parking lot's entrance welcoming the Veterans Awareness riders.
Approximately fifty (50) National Veterans Awareness Organization (NVAO) riders arrived in Reno, NV from California Wednesday morning for their first stop on the journey to 'The Wall' in Washington, DC.
A dozen Northern Nevada Patriot Guard Riders and two NorCal PGR along with many members of the Vietnam Veterans of America, American Legion Riders, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Combat Veterans Association stood a flag line at the entrance to the Veterans Administration Medical Center, saluting the riders upon their arrival, having been escorted by five Reno Police Motor Officers into the city.
After all bikes were secured in the lot, Jerry Connor, national President of NVAO, gathered the entire group together and delivered a heart felt 'Thank You' to all the VA employees, volunteers and veterans who 'made it happen'.
Adhering to a 'snug' schedule, the ninety minute stop allowed the riders to split into two groups, visiting veterans in the hospital, then returning to the parking lot for elk and white tail deer burgers prior to firing up the bikes and heading to the Veterans' Cemetery in Fernley, NV for a wreath laying ceremony and onto Elko, NV for the first over night of the trip.
Blake Hutchinson, PGR photographer and Ride Captain from Susanville, CA took several pictures of the day's activities. If interested, check their web site at: www.NorCalPGR.org and open 'Missions Photo Gallery' and select the mission by date.
I received the note, posted below, from a close friend and Patriot Guard member who was in attendance at the welcome for the National Veterans Awareness Ride.
What an example of the 'payback' for acknowledging and helping our veterans; it is immeasurable!
Greetings my brother..
As usual my mind wanders and questions the complexities of life.. I have been trying to help my brothers and sisters of the Military persuasion for over 40 years in many different ways. This current manifestation is that of the PGR which has lasted for 5 years now, well over 200 Missions, and looks to continue for many years to come. But I have to admit that after 5 years I have become somewhat jaded and forgetful of why it is that we enjoy this journey so much. Why it speaks to me with such volume and clarity.
Tuesdays mission found me back in a Catholic Church for the first time in almost 50 years..
Today's mission was just another mission, as different as all the rest. Just another mission until the leader of the ride spoke to us and reminded us all of why we are here.. To insure that the current generation of service men and women do not have to deal with that which I and most Vietnam Veterans endured.. There was so much love and appreciation in that parking lot that I was overwhelmed and forced to leave early..
What a small part of such a great movement and how proud I am to partake. Thank you my brother for thinking "outside the box" and calling this mission, and thank you for making me proud once again to participate in something larger than, and better than me. I leave you with this rhyme to show my concerns for the near future, where we probably will be needed.
In time of war, and not before,
God and the soldier, all men adore.
But when the war is won, and all things righted,
God is forgotten, and the soldier slighted.
Thank's again for the Mission and the reality check.. You and Joe (ed: Joe Mastroianni, NV PGR State Captain), all of your Ride Captains, and all of the PGR patriots, are truly touching hearts and making a difference, including mine.
The Patriot Guard Riders having been invited to stand a flag line at the parking lot's entrance welcoming the Veterans Awareness riders. The parking lot is located at the Community Living Center (CLC) at the corner of Locust and Taylor streets.
Standing For Those Who Stood For US
Northern Nevada Assistant State Captain
Patriot Guard Riders of Nevada