For more info, visit their website at: www.nvar.us
May 15th, 2019
"National Veterans Awareness Ride" - Reno, NV VA Hospital
4 motors and a few cages, 9 PGR members, formed a flag line to honor the members of the "National Veterans Awareness Ride" as the arrived at the Veterans Medical Center in Reno, NV.
Each day of travel during their ten day journey includes stops at Veterans' Hospitals and Homes to visit and thank our veterans for their service and sacrifices.
It was an honor to greet these amazing warriors as they continue their mission to Washington DC.
**See below NV PGR Mission Report, for daily BLOG report from the NVAR for this day.
Northern Nevada Patriot Guard Riders
"Standing For Those Who Stood For US"
**From the NVAR Daily BLOG;
After leaving Auburn, CA, we rode into a very heavy drizzle. Mountain scenery is quite interesting and entertaining under those conditions. The steady rain and fog obscured pine, spruce, or cedars which stood like sentinels on their rugged terrain. The heavy dark clouds over the mountain tops seem to send slow swirling whiffs of vapor into hollows, which held them captive. The rain poured down, and the fog laid dense on our trail. Had it been about 70 degrees warmer, it would have reminded me of riding through the monsoons in the Central Mountains of Vietnam. But temperatures at 5,000 feet in elevation made that memory an abstract.
A steady spray shot from the back of each motorcycle and mirrors reflected the dotted lines of headlights as we slowly wound our way up, and down, and up, and down the mountains, while trucks shot sheets of water from each of their 18 wheels. I didn’t wear my heated liners, and at low elevation felt overdressed with leather and rain gear, but soon wished I’d have worn them. But once over the Donner Pass it warmed, and by Reno it was comfortable and dry. All part of the adventure.
The Reno Motorcycle Police met us for an escort to the VMAC, where the Patriot Guard Riders, PGR, honored us with a Flag Line. That is something special. Thank you.
Our regular schedule was changed to allow more time to visit veterans, and that was special, too. After certificates of appreciation to the PGR of Nevada and California, the Reno Police, Sy - whose staff grilled about a quarter of an elk for burgers, and of course, staff at the VMAC, we got down to business of visiting the veterans.
A bunch of us pushed veterans confined to their four wheels on a tour of our two wheeled vehicles. William Daily, a Navy Veteran, was a long time rider with his sons and looked into memories as he gazed at each bike. He left Vietnam in the mid-60’s, then returned in 1971, only to be shot in Saigon— by cupid. His wife was waiting for him on our return from the bike tour.
The veterans and their stories are amazing, entertaining and humbling.
Gary Croft, aka Mr. Wizard met James Rhodes, and once I was introduced, I forgot to ask what branch of service he was in. James is an established book author with 24 westerns, mysteries, and children books to his credit; and he has more to write. We had a lot to talk about, of course, and time was not enough.
Jerry met a fellow who loved motorcycles, as any young man would; although, he never owned one. But his brother did and often lent it to him. In 1957, the handsome young man rode the streets to pick up chicks who loved guys on motorcycles. Some things never change!
Too often, we are humbled in our tracks on introductions to the veterans we meet. Jim Newman, a FNG, aka Fine New Guy (first time rider on the NVAR) reached out to shake the hand of a veteran in a wheel chair and thank him, but the veteran refused to shake. Instead, the man struggled a bit to stand before Jim and salute him in gratitude for the visit. Scenarios like that happen often; the guys we pay tribute to turn the table on us! How do you react to such an act of appreciation? You Never Forget, and ride the NVAR. Although our time was extended, it was still too short of a visit; as they all are. After the feast on elk burgers we bundled for a potential of rain, which never happened. Courtesy Mike Tipton, our weather man.
There was a bit of emptiness as we rode past the Fernley Veterans Cemetery on the spacious beauty of Nevada, but that stop for a wreath laying was the sacrifice we made for extra time in Reno. They are not forgotten, and I hope they would understand.
Interstate 80 laid looooong through valleys and over a few passes, and back onto distant stretch-es that seemed to go on forever, and ever, but our gas stops in Lovelock and Battle Mountain broke the continuity. We shared the lanes with occasional rigs, pickups, and very few cars; and we all got along well. An easterly breeze switched to a strong blow from the south, which brought a southerly temperature with it, and a peek of sunshine, which made for a pleasant ride into Elko.
A police escort and a band of bikers from the Elko met us about 25 miles out for an escort into town. They gave us an honorable and royal treatment with unrestricted passage to the VFW Post 2350; at each intersection Police Officers’ stood beside their vehicles with a salute to us as we passed. Traffic stood at a standstill in the opposite lane and pedestrians stopped in awe of our passage.
Daily ride excerp from the www.nvar.us website.