Member/Mission FAQs

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What should I expect on my first mission?

Many emotions and a whole lot of love and support from your new Patriot Guard Riders family.  Yes, when we come together to do what we do, there is a bond that is formed between all of us.  If you are unsure of yourself, do not be shy about talking to any Patriot Guard member – we help each other just as members of a family helps each other.  We are diverse, coming from all walks of life, but once we stand on the flagline, we become one – all doing the right thing, because it is the right thing to do. 

What do I wear on a missions?

The Patriot Guard of CT does not have uniforms or any set required attire.  “We are bikers and it is appropriate we look like bikers.”  When deciding what to wear, please keep in mind that we are there for the veterans, first responders and their families and not for us so please wear clothing that would show respect and reverence for the mission at hand.  Having said that, first and foremost we need to remember it is a funeral and we are there to pay our respects.

If you have a patch on your vest you wouldn’t want to explain to someone, then you might want to think about a ‘Mission’ vest. Usually the RCs carry around tape to cover up your patches. We leave responsibility to cover of any patches to the individual rider and what you believe is appropriate. Always keep in mind the last thing we want is to cause this family any more grief or pain.   If you are riding a motorcycle, please wear appropriate safety gear.

Whether you are on a motorcycle or  in an “cage” (automobile), please dress for the weather.   In any case, use your judgment on what is appropriate.  There are hats available through the national web site.  Hats are not mandatory.  Hats for general members are blue.  Red hats for RC and helps members spot them if you have any issues or questions… Never hesitate to ask a question… It may not be the first time we’ve gotten it, but rarely will you be the only one that needs the answer!

In a nutshell: Dress respectfully. Many members wear motorcycle attire. Dress appropriately for the weather. Avoid wearing patches on a vest or jacket that are vulgar, or express a political view.

If you are interested in PGR clothing, visit the PGR gear store on the National Website (www.patriotguard.org. –>Gear store) for outstanding items that you can purchase.    If you would like to examples of clothing at a mission, look in the photo gallery on this site.

How will I find out about missions?

All mission announcements are emailed in a statewide email from the Patriot Guard Riders of CT State Captain.  The missions are also  posted on this website, the national website, and Facebook.  The missions are also posted on the calendar here on this website.  This is what it is  for you to have supplied an email address when you registered, you will receive email announcements a day or two prior to each mission.

Do I need to respond to statewide emails for missions if I can attend or not attend?

No it is not mandatory that you respond to statewide emails.  These emails usually are the announcements of pending missions.  If there is a request for any type of volunteer service within that email AND you could assist with this volunteer service, please contact the RCIC (Ride Captain In Charge).  The name and contact information of the RCIC will be included in the statewide email for missions.  If you have any questions regarding the mission, please go directly to the RCIC, he/she will be happy to answer your questions or find the answers for you.

Do I need to bring anything with me to a mission?

No, just yourself and respect. Each mission has a briefing to explain the requirements of each mission. Arrive at the staging area early and introduce yourself to the Ride Captain In Charge (RCIC). Listen closely to the instructions given by the Ride Captain. Review the flag line guidelines on this site prior to attending your first mission. If you are riding your motorcycle in the escort, pay attention to your riding. This is a very emotional and moving experience, do not become distracted.

Do I have to ride a motorcycle?

No, riding a motorcycle is not a prerequisite to attend any Patriot Guard mission or event.  There are many members who ride motorcycles.  This does not mean that members, who do not ride a motorcycle, must do so.  We are pleased you are interested in joining us and standing a flag line with us.

What if I can only attend part of the mission?

We are appreciative that you are standing with us.  The family will be even more appreciative you standing the flagline to honor their family/friend hero.  We are welcome to stand all or part of the mission.  We are all volunteers.  Many of us has full time jobs and families.  We cannot expect you to neglect either.  You should feel comfortable knowing that you are welcome to stand any part or all of the mission and your presence will be appreciated either way.

Is it ok if I bring a stool or sit?

“I have a medical condition where I cannot stand for long periods.”  We have a members who cannot stand for long periods.  This does not prevent them from participating with us on the flagline.  It is absolutely acceptable to sit down.  If you have problems standing for a long period, we encourage you to plan ahead by bringing a stool or compact fold chair for use on the flagline.  You joining us on the flagline will mean so much to the families and friends of the veteran or first responder we are there to support.

Do I have to provide my own flag?

Patriot Guard Riders of CT does have a supply of flags.  In the mission announcement email, the issue of flags is usually addressed.  Typically we have ample supply of flags.  It is always a good idea to have a flag of your own in reserve as a back-up plan.

What should I expect when I arrive for a mission?

All participants are advised arrive at the designated final staging area prior to the mission, arrival by staging time is suggested.  The Ride Captain In Charge will conduct a mission and explain the itinerary of the mission.  During the briefing the procedures will also be explained.

What about talking on the Flag Line?

The first rule of thumb is respect.  Talking on the flagline is considered less than respectful.  If you must carry on conversations on the flag line, it should be kept at a minimal and quiet.  We should be silent when the family or mourners are present. We must always remember this is a funeral. Quiet and somber is usually the guideline for our actions as well.  Even when back at the bikes we should do our best to remember voices carry (and some of us are loud normally). Respect is always the key.

What about smoking?

There is no smoking on the flag lines. If you need a smoke break, just let the RCIC know. They will either hold your flag for you while you take a break, or have you take the flag with you. Always return to the bike parking area for a smoke. Remember to field strip your butts as we don’t want to get a bad rep with the Funeral Home or Church folks.

What about cell phones?

The RCIC will remind everyone before forming a flag line to turn their cell phones to silent or vibrate.
If you must answer a call while in a flag line, please fall out of the line and walk a short distance away. The best way is to return to the bike area so that it is not intrusive to the family and mourners. Once you complete your call, you can retake your place on the flag line.

REMEMBER:
The very most important principle to remember is we are there to pay respect to the family, the veteran, the military personnel.  Any disrespect is contrary for our whole reason for being on the mission.