Connecticut Cruise News – Mar/Apr 2011

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The Connecticut PGR started off the last month with a good mission, the Welcome Home of over 600 members of the “102nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain)” and the “186th Forward Support Company” of the Connecticut Army National Guard at the Hartford Armory. These guardsmen & women were returning from a deployment in eastern Afghanistan. Before the ceremony, the PGR was presented with a flag flown in Afghanistan and a plaque in appreciation of what we do. The only bad part of the mission was a pair of empty combat boots in the formation of the 600+, representing Sgt. Edwin Rivera, who died in May 2010 from injuries received in a firefight. The PGR stood an Honor Mission for Sgt Rivera in June of last year and remember his sacrifice well.

An Honor Mission was stood on Feb 16th on New Haven for Edward Savage, a US Navy veteran of Korea, followed by another Honor Mission on Feb 19th in Winsted for Arthur Haskell, an Army veteran of the Vietnam era, a Heavy Vehicle Mechanic/Driver. We stood this mission inside the VFW Post in Colebrook, avoiding the wintery weather outside. On Feb 20th, several members attended the 20th Memorial to Cindy Beaudoin in Plainfield. Cindy was the last combat casualty of Operation Desert Storm.

On the Feb 26th/27th weekend, several PGR members manned a booth at the Motorcycle Expo in Hartford, spreading the word of who we are and what we do. The following day, Feb 28th, we stood an Honor Mission in Wallingford for William Williams Jr., an Army veteran who served during WWII in Guam and the Philippines. Later that week, on Mar 4th, we stood another Honor Mission in Manchester & South Windsor for William Leonard Sr., another WWII veteran.

The following week brought a pair of Honor Missions for Army KIA’s from Afghanistan. Both missions were held in New York State but CT PGR members attended both. The first was on Mar 7th at West Point for  an Army 1st LT Daren Hildago, who at age 24 was killed in Afghanistan. Three days later, a large group of CT PGR attended the service for Army Specialist David Fahey, killed by an IED in Afghanistan at the age of 23. There was a large turnout of police/fire/bagpipers/PGR/etc at the church in Yorktown Heights and again at the cemetery in Putnam Valley, NY. Specialist Fahey was from Norwalk, CT. even though his interment was in New York State so 20+ CT PGR members attended to show our final respects for his service. At the Rose Hill Memorial Park, the PGR parked in the turnout for the cemetery’s 911 Memorial, a pair of upright steel girders, with a plaque and half-a-dozen granite benches with the names of local 911 casualties on them. A very moving place.

Well, that’s it for our recent missions, but I’d like to mention a couple upcoming activities.

On Saturday May 7th, the New England Regional Chili Cook Off will occur in Somers, CT. This is one of the major fund-raisers for the CT PGR, so please consider attending. Wander around, sample the chili from the various contestants, visit the vendors, and have a good time. Admission is $5 and two canned goods that will be donated to the local food bank. Visit www.chilict.com for more information.

On Sunday May 15th, the CT PGR will sponsor a “Respect Our Veterans Poker Run” which is the PGR’s 2nd major fundraiser for the year. Starting and ending at the VFW on Rt-68 in Prospect. Come early for breakfast, then enjoy the ride thru west central CT, and then stay for the BBQ lunch, live band, and door prizes. I encourage you all to attend to show respect for our veterans and support the mission of the PGR. Visit www.ctpatriotguard.org for more information.

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.