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Wednesday May 17, 2017
National Veterans Awareness Ride; Reno - Fernley, NV

The National Veterans Awareness Ride departed Auburn, CA on itís eastbound journey to ĎThe Wallí in Washington, DC. Each day of travel during the ten day journey includes stops at Veteransí Hospitals and Homes to visit with and thank our veterans for their service and sacrifice.

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The Awareness Riders were in Reno this morning at the VA for a hearty breakfast-lunch and then rode out to the Fernley Veterans Cemetery to honor their brothers and sister who passed before them. Over a dozen motors and a host of cages and a big turnout of PGR members were at the gate to welcome these folks as they will ride to the Wall back in Washington DC. It's a long haul back there ladies and gentlemen. ..ride safe and may the motorcycle angels be riding on your shoulders.

Roger Elliott. .
Central Ride Captain. ..
Patriot Guard Riders, Northern Nevada.

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Jerry Connor, President of the National Veterans Awareness Organization, had sent the groupís itinerary for itís Reno arrival and departure, which will include a visit to the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) in Reno and a wreath laying ceremony at the Northern Nevada Veteransí Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, NV.

The group of approximately fifty+ riders were escorted by the police, arriving at the VAMC at approximately 10:40 AM for a visit with veterans, lunch in the parking lot (PGR invited for lunch) and departing at 12:10 PM to be escorted to Fernley, NV.

The Patriot Guard Riders stood a flag line at the circular drive entrance off Locust St. welcoming the Veterans Awareness riders. This year lunch was served on the NW corner of the property which is the corner of Locust and Taylor streets. Letís stand the line at 10:15 AM and welcome the riders.

Our PGR will establish a flag line at the Veteransí Memorial Cemetery entrance, Fernley, NV to greet the Awareness riders following their visit at the VA Medical Center, Reno, NV.

The Awareness riders are planning to depart the Medical Center at 12:10 PM for their short visit to the Veteransí Cemetery.

"Standing For Those Who Stood For US"
Dean Shuff
Northern Nevada Assistant State Captain
Patriot Guard Riders of Nevada

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2017 NVAR Update: June 15, 2017
National Veterans Awareness Organization

National Veterans Awareness Organization Members,

The 2017 National Veterans Awareness Ride has been completed and from what we have heard, everyone made it home safely. This year's ride set a record for exciting days. Many of us did not take off our rain gear or our cold weather gear during the entire two week trip. If you were following the ride by reading Julie Manner's Sit-Reps, you know that we hit rain, sleet, snow, cold, wind and some of the riders hit a salt storm on the way to California. They closed Interstate 80 on us due to the blizzard in and around Cheyenne.

The good news is that we made many, many Veterans in the VA Homes and Hospitals very happy. As you all know, the Veterans look forward to our arrival with great anticipation. Lots of laughs, stories, hugs and a few tears.

We got more police escorts than ever before. This was the first year for the California Highway Patrol escorting us through Sacramento on our way to and from Mather VAMC. Many of the states' police officers are now providing escorts from border to border.

A huge thank you to all of the NVAR State Coordinators for all of their work with the VAMC's, the meals, the escorts, the memorial services, the school visits and their relationships with the local motorcycle dealerships.

The NVAR leadership team also did a terrific job. Our mission cannot be accomplished without the coordinated effort of everybody working together.

A few, special shout-outs and some requests:

1. Thanks to Kelly "Big Daddy" Rafferty and Mia for the daily, weather reports (complete with visual props).

2. Thanks to Richard "Spook" Hayden for driving his truck and bringing an extra trailer (thankfully, he was there when we needed him a few times when motorcycles decided it was time to break down).

3. Thanks to Jayson "Fat Guy" Stephenson for arranging a flag retirement ceremony and bugler at the Utah State Veterans Home. Many of the Vets living at the Home braved the cold weather to watch the ceremony.

4. A warm thanks to Kat and Mike Tipton for getting the Wyoming Highway Patrol to let us ride around the barriers of the closed Interstate 80 to get to Rock Springs for lunch and to Rawlins for the evening.

5. Thanks to Bill Luft and the Tiptons (working with Bill Breeden) for putting together groups of riders to visit the Cheyenne and Grand Island VA Facilities after the NVAR since we couldn't visit them at the planned times because of the blizzard.

6. Julie and Bruce Manner, are retiring from going all the way from California to DC. These two have put in many years of writing the Sit-Reps during the NVAR's, managing the merchandise in the Chase Trailer and comforting hundreds of Veterans in hospitals and homes. They have promised to participate in portions of the ride, but they are passing the baton to new folks to handle the Sit-Reps and merchandise responsibilities. We appreciate the dedication that Julie and Bruce have devoted to the NVAR over the years.

7. Upon hearing that help was needed, Mike Rinowski stepped forward and volunteered to handle the Sit-Reps for future NVAR's. That's one of the wonderful things about the NVAR family. When one of the participants sees a need, he or she eagerly jumps forth to lend a hand and help us accomplish our mission.

8. Roland "Sparky" Otte made copies of the DVD that was shown in Des Moines. On the DVD are the following: a. A 50th anniversary tribute to Vietnam Veterans, featuring the voice of Sam Elliot, b., "My Name is America" by Todd Allen Herendeen, c., "Thank You For Your Service", d. "The Eagle Cried", e., "The Wall Song", f., "Welcome Home" by Karl Sapp. Sparky will send you a copy of this DVD if you email him at pilot3252l@yahoo.com

9. Mac Henderson is a professional photographer and friend of the NVAO. This link will take you to photos that Mac took at Bowman School in Auburn, CA https://machenderson.smugmug.com/NVAR-Bowman-school-2017 This link https://machenderson.smugmug.com/NVAR-Start-2017 will take you to photos that Mac took at the Legion breakfast in Auburn, CA. Thanks, Mac. As always, great work.

10. Thanks to the amazing Patriot Guard Riders who stood a flag line at the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care Facilities in Reno and then again at the Northern Nevada Veterans Cemetery in Fernley, NV. And thanks to Dean Shuff and Burnout Blake for forwarding photos of the Reno and Fernley visits. This link will take you to their site: www.NorCalPGR.org (in the Mission Photo Gallery). The following link will take you to a video that Burnout provided that shows the NVAR arriving at Reno and then at Fernley: https://youtu.be/EPxEkQJqRXc

11. Thanks to Glen Jackson, Asst. Chief Voluntary Service for forwarding the attached photos of the NVAR visit to Sacramento VAMC in Mather, CA.

12. If you have really good photos of the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery please email them to the NVAR wreath layers: Gary Croft: outdrsman9@yahoo.com Dave Clemmons: clmm71@aol.com Dan Kress: lunarlake@msn.com Rich Behounek: rich_b_82009@yahoo.com

13. If you took a photo of the big, American flag over I-80, west of Salt Lake City, please email the photo to Jason "Fat Guy" Stephenson at jayson84015@gmail.com

14. We are excited to announce that Sandy and Ed Kintzele have organized a great NVAR Reunion in Kalamazoo, Michigan over the Labor Day weekend. Rooms have been blocked at the Hampton Inn, 2610 Airview Blvd., Kalamazoo, MI 49001 for Friday night, September 1 and Saturday night, September 2. The NVAR rate is $119 per night. The Hampton Inn provides a free, hot breakfast. The phone number for the Hampton Inn is 269-343-0400. The hotel will hold our block of rooms until August 11, 2017, so make your reservations as soon as you can.

There are two activities just minutes away from the Hampton that Reunion attendees will want to take advantage of. These activities are on your own so you may spend whatever time you want at one or both the Museum and Air Zoo. They are also open on Sunday if you haven't had your fill by the end of Saturday.

The Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Experience (6151 Portage Road, Portage, MI, 866-524-7966, airzoo.org) has over 100 rare aircraft and spacecraft. From the Wright brothers plane to WWII fighters and bombers, to the SR-71B Blackbird (the fastest plane ever built), there is a broad collection of intriguing aircraft. There are also interactive sections and a collection of fine art. The newest multi-sensory exhibit is "Operation Watchtower: The Guadalcanal Campaign". Also, there is the Kitty Hawk Cafe for a lunchtime sandwich. The Air Zoo is only 5 minutes from the Hampton Inn. The entry fee is $15.50 for adults 19-59, $12.50 for adults 60 and over, $7.75 for adult veterans. and $6.25 for senior veterans. If you want to save a few dollars, Sandy Kintzele will be leading a group to the Air Zoo at 10am on Saturday. If she has at least a 10 person group and you go with her, the price for adults drops to $12.40, seniors drops to $10.00. Veterans' prices remain the same: $7.75 for adult vets and $6.25 for senior vets. Proof of you being a veteran is required for the discount. The hours of the Air Zoo are Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday noon-5pm.

The Gilmore Car Museum (6865 Hickory Road, Hickory Corners, MI 49060, 269-671-5089, gilmorecarmuseum.org) is North America's largest auto museum. This is truly an amazing place. Sitting on a 90 acre campus, there are over 400 vehicles that date from the birth of the automobile to the present day. In addition to the autos, there is a 1930's Shell Gas Station, a 1941 Diner and a Disney section. And, of course, there is an entire section dedicated to motorcycles. Check out this museum campus on line. It's stunning! And it's only 25 minutes from the Hampton Inn. The entry fee is $12 for adults and seniors. No veteran discount. The hours of Gilmore are: Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 9am-6pm.

15. The NVAO Board Meeting will be at 4pm in the conference room at the Hampton Inn. The Board Meeting is open to everyone.

16. Dinner will be at 7:00pm at Brewster's (5135 Portage Road, Kalamazoo, MI, 269-344-0600). The Kintzeles have reserved a private dining room for the NVAR Reunion attendees. Brewster's is a very short walk from the hotel for those of us who might like to enjoy the extensive bar at the restaurant. Sandy has negotiated a dinner that will include two meats, four side dishes, coffee, tea, lemonade, for $20 and that includes tax and gratuity!! Bar drinks will be extra. To arrange for the appropriate amount of food and number of chairs and tables, if you are going to have dinner on Saturday night, it is necessary to email Sandy Kintzele and tell her the number of place settings you will need. Sandy's email address is: sandy@aworldoftravelonline.com

17. Sunday morning will be the "Good-bye Breakfast". Some of us will head home and others will visit one of the museums that they didn't have a chance to see on Saturday.

For those of you who would like to fly to the NVAR Reunion/Board Meeting, the Hampton Inn is right next to the Kalamazoo Airport.

Be careful out there.
Never forget.
The National Veterans Awareness Organization Board of Directors

Click HERE to contact NorCalPGR.org

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