The Connecticut Patriot Guard Riders started off the month attending the send-off ceremony for the 103rd Civil Engineer Squadron and the 103rd Security Forces Squadron on July 6th in the hot breeze-free maintenance hanger at the CT National Guard at Bradley Airport. It was stifling in there but nothing compared to what these young men and women will be experiencing overseas, providing a good reminder of the conditions these people endure serving our country. It was our distinct honor to be there for their send-off, and we will be even more honored to stand at their Welcome Home next year.
On July 10th, some of us participated in a different type of mission, the “Puerto Rican Day Parade Tribute to Latino Veterans and Fallen Heroes” in Bridgeport. It was a HOT slow moving parade but it was gratifying to see how much of the community came out to line the streets and support the participants. July 13th was out first Honor Mission of this issue, in Huntington for Arthur Robert Goodhue, a Navy veteran from WWII. Arthur was an aircraft mechanic on PBY Catalina flying boats during the war. July 18th brought a pair of Honor Missions. The first for Paul Protzenko, who served in the Army as a sergeant. He then went on to serve in the CT State Police for 22 years, before he was killed in Afghanistan while on duty with the US Department of Defense, training people to serve as police officers. The second mission of the day was in Coventry for Michael Porter, a Navy veteran who worked at Colt Firearms for many years..
On July 21st, we were honored to participate in the Welcome Home for Army Specialist Matt Shea returning from his tour in Afghanistan. Matt had told his sister that he didn’t think anyone would come out for this. But with a few day’s notice, there was a good showing of PGR and community to welcome him home and show their support for what he does to keep this country safe. Needless, Matt and sister were surprised and grateful. July 25th brought another Honor Mission, in North Branford for Nathan Turner, a 27 year old National Guard OIF veteran, that was preparing for an upcoming Afghanistan deployment at the time of his passing. July 29th brought another Honor Mission. This one in Bridgeport for 25 year old Etta Delgado, a proud member of the CT Air National Guard.
On July 30th, we had a different type of Welcome Home mission on East Hampton. On the town green is a tree with yellow ribbons on it for deployed service men and women. On their return, there is a welcome home ceremony where they remove their ribbon. On this day, the PGR was honored to stand a flag line while Air Force Airman Nicholas Pawlak and the family of Army Specialist Roger Boulanger removed their ribbons. There wasn’t a lot of room on the green, but the community really came out to show their support for these hero’s service.
The CT PGR stood another Honor Mission on August 4th in East Hartford for Ralph Serignese, who served in the Army in WWII in the Pacific theater. Two days later, on August 6th, we stood another Honor Mission in Clinton and Westbrook for Glenn Mudd, who served in the Navy during the Korean War, also serving in the Army National Guard for more than twenty years.
That’s it for the missions since the last CT Cruise News issue deadline. As always, we invite you to come out and join us in our mission to honor this country’s veterans at their funeral services. Come out to one, grab a Flag and stand alongside us, experience the same satisfaction the rest of us do. You’ll be back.
Go to www.patriotguard.org for more information or to join up.