Patriot Guard Riders
The Connecticut Patriot Guard Riders started off this issue with a Poker Run on Sept 30th at GIO’s Pizza in East Granby. GIO’s donated the proceeds to the CT PGR and we managed to avoid the rain for most of the day. On Oct 5 we had our first Honor Mission in Waterford for Norman Sylvia an Army veteran of the Korean War. The next day, Oct 6th, we had a pair of missions. The first was standing a flag line at the opening of the “Out of the Darkness Walk” in Bristol. This fundraiser and awareness event supports the American Foundation on Suicide Prevention. We were honored to attend the event at the invitation of CT PGR member Jared Hayes, who walked in memory of his sister USMC Cpl Breanna Hayes who passed away last year. The second mission that day was a Honor Mission in Middletown for Joseph Lisitano, a combat infantryman in the Army in Vietnam.
Oct 8th brought another Honor Mission, this one in Suffield for Robert Mandirola, who served in the Marines in Vietnam. On Oct 13th we stood a Honor Mission in New Haven for Chris Chandesais who served in the Army and Army National Guard. Oct 20th brought a feel-good mission, a Welcome Home in Suffield for SSgt Brian Richardson and A1C Dylan Keenan who returned home from deployment in support of OEF. They are both part of USAF 104th Maintenance Group, Aircraft Maintenance Squadron out of Barnes AFB.
Oct 25th brought a unique mission. We provided an escort from Rhode Island to Foxwoods for Peter MacDonald, president of the Navaho Code Talkers Association, who was speaking there. Peter MacDonald is a native American who served the Marine Corps as a code talker during WWII. The Navaho Code talkers were a small band of warriors who created an unbreakable code from the ancient language of their people and changed the course of modern history. They were young Navajo men who transmitted secret communications on the battlefields of WWII. At a time when America’s best cryptographers were falling short, these modest sheepherders and farmers were able to fashion the most ingenious and successful code in military history. They drew upon their proud warrior tradition to brave the dense jungles of Guadalcanal and the exposed beachheads of Iwo Jima. Serving with distinction in every major engagement of the Pacific theater from 1942-1945, their unbreakable code played a pivotal role in saving countless lives and hastening the war’s end.
On Nov 4th, several members participated in the Veterans Day Parade in Hartford. This was a large long parade that the community really came out in support of. On Nov 6th we had a pair of Honor Missions. The first in Norwich for Laren Pottie, who served behind enemy lines in WWII, working with MI-6 and the OSS to deliver radios to the French Partisans as part of Operation Bodyguard, Patton’s fake invasion of Pas de Calais. Laren also served as a Navy Medic in the Pacific Theater. The second Honor Mission on Nov 6th was in West Haven for Albert Maginelli, who served in the Army during WWII.
On Nov 7th, the PGR was honored to provide a flag line at a celebration in Milford for “Hike for Heroes”. Hike for Heroes is a couple that is hiking the East Coast from Maine to Florida to inspire people they meet to help military families in need. One of the hikers, William Moseback, is an Army Vet who served 4+ years as a Combat Medic, being deployed to Northern Iraq and inserted by means of a combat jump. On Nov 10th we had another Honor Mission. This one in Moodus for Gasper Ingui, a Sgt in the Army in Korea, serving with C Battery, 238th AAA Gun Battalion
That’s it for the missions since the last CT Cruise News issue deadline. We hope we provided some peace to the families of the heroes we paid our final respects to. 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 our website www.ctpatriotguard.org to check it out or to join up. (Article by Jay D Koonz)