My Last Patriot Guard Ride

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by ChemEng, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I'm a combat veteran. I think the whole PGR thing is an embarrassment. If people want to honor returning vets there are better ways than motorcyclists parading in their garb.

    There is no connection between motorcycles and serving one's country as a combatant. To attempt one through a public display is insulting.

    At least it is to me...
    #21
  2. txwanderer

    txwanderer Been here awhile

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    Well, ain't you just a special kind of cupcake. Join the club and get at the end of the line.

    PGR started to protect fallen service members' family from harassment. Bikers from all backgrounds, clubs, organizations, and places banded together to pull that off. Where were you?
    They broadened the role in some cases to greet and escort service members returning home from combat. They were there, usually no one else was until they figured out what the motercycle parade was and took notice, otherwise there would have been little to none. What did you do?
    We have escorted unit busses from airports to armories for retuning NG units as well, Didn't see you there either.

    Unfortunately PGR is an organization the seems to have outgrown itself in some ways. Since they don't take direct control of their "missions", there are some that don't exasctly fill the bill to represent the organization. Other places there are really good folks who have organized themselves to a point and they have better attitudes than some rides. They are also more organized rides with better logistics.

    Don't throw out the baby cause the bath water is dirty. If you believe in the PGR, do something besides leave it alone. Some have the personality and such that is needed and others don't. That doesn't mean you are less than wonderfull if you don't have those traits.

    As for the guys the OP had to ride with, I can see his frustration. I have the same feelings very often, and that is why I ride alone exept in the most rare of occasions.

    As always YMMV
    #22
  3. ray h

    ray h Been here awhile

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    Here's the deal, PGR are a group of people with good intentions. I don't think any of them mean to disrespect any service members so whether or not you agree with their dress or their rides or their methods or what they call their "missions", you have to admit that they have good intentions and are at least doing something they believe is helpful, which is more than most people do.
    For the record, I am a member of the PGR and I haven't participated in any of their "missions" yet because they've been too far away or have not been what I feel is something the PGR should be doing. So, I won't participate in everything they do but I won't put them down for it.
    #23
  4. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    I really want to believe all that but let me throw one out...
    One of the last rides I did was in the winter in northern CA.
    More than 50 members were signed up to attend (mostly local to the area)
    Then the snow and hail started and they all backed out, opting to not even take their cars to show support.
    I was one of 3 riders that showed up and it was nearly 4 hours each way for me. I did it because nobody else would.
    This soldier died for my freedoms and the least I could do was take a day and honor them being laid to rest.

    It was a very memorable moment as there was almost nobody at the funeral in what was a very small cemetary. The local VFW was very kind to us and offered hot coffee and snacks. They made up the majority of attendees and most of these guys were very up there in the years but still managed to make it.

    After this "mission" I raised a bit of hell with the local PGR chapter and caught all kinds of flack for doing so. This is when i realized that most people join for their own 'glory' rather than for support. It became (and this was years ago) a riding club for people to show the world how wonderful they are rather than keeping the focus on honoring the memories of the soldiers and protecting them from protesters. When it was in its early days, PGR had a common purpose and was made up mostly of people that had a calling.

    I guess I should stop now... its a prety sore subject for me though.
    #24
  5. Crisis management

    Crisis management Latte riders FTW!

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    Y'know there was no personal insult to you in Pantahs' post, your post says more about yourself than Pantah. :deal

    If you want your freedom of speech, be prepared to defend others right to the same thing.






    (This rant was bought to you by one of Pantahs imaginary friends.) :D
    #25
  6. txwanderer

    txwanderer Been here awhile

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    Sorry, you may not be able to understand, or just don't want to. He claims to be a combat vet. Cool, and thanks for serving, however he ain't the only one around and using it for a crutch or to gain credibilty is a sore subject. If you look around, it is rare to hear that statement.
    If you don't understand, that is ok, but hold your criticism for something you are knowlegable of. He is quick to show his point of view and is allowed to have it. Makes no difference how I feel about it, sounds like he might have earned it. I was pointing out, that if he wants to call out anyone or organization, he should in turn take its place or do something besides gripe.
    Those that can't, critisize.
    #26
  7. EricD10563

    EricD10563 Been here awhile

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    I have participated in a few, both went well, were well organized and the people seemed to know what they were doing. I do have one complaint and that was the religious overtone of one of the rides that involved holding hands, prayer and singing; just wasn't my cup of tea. I don't own any PGR stickers, clothing etc; I did happen to know both of the people we were escorting and the family requested the PGR riders. I would/will do it again I think it's for a good cause and it appears that the families often request their presence.
    #27
  8. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    Uh, radius or diameter?
    OP was saying radius of, what was it, 36 feet. That's 72 feet of pavement?
    #28
  9. JDK111

    JDK111 Been here awhile

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    Have you served?.... and seen combat?
    If you haven't -- then STFU

    ..... and even if you have, you're a pussy for calling out another serviceman who's giving his point of view for something that might have affected him.

    Thank You for your service and opinion Pantah
    #29
  10. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    Satellite image in post 6 shows the scene.
    #30
  11. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    Looking at the aerial pic, I'd say that anyone who can't get around that circle without putting a foot down probably shouldn't be riding on the public roads. Given the average rider's competency level, I feel that it's dangerous to ride anywhere near strangers.
    #31
  12. ray h

    ray h Been here awhile

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    Any PGR rider's abilities are a totally seperate issue from the PGR group itself. The PGR do not road test members so I don't see how anyone can blame the group as a whole for a few bad apples. I guess that's the easy thing to do though. We can also lump this guy in with all HD riders or all white riders over 50 or whatever the case may be if it's easier than just saying "that guy can't ride".
    #32
  13. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I am not special. I am a combat veteran of Vietnam. There are a lot of us. We killed people and people killed us. Your pirate brigade is pure bullshit. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. :D
    #33
  14. El Pescador

    El Pescador Been here awhile

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    And you're a special kind of douchebag. If you want to dress up like a Pirate and play Patriot by all means do so, but don't expect us to think you're somehow doing something noble. Supporting military isnt equal to being military.
    #34
  15. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    The problem is that group rides containing riders of all skill levels are inherently dangerous. The make of motorcycle has nothing to do with it. Neither does the name of the organization. We've all seen video of chain reaction crashes caused by the skill mix and by poor organization and planning. To me, it's just an accident on its way to happen.
    #35
  16. ray h

    ray h Been here awhile

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    I agree, it just seems that we have two different discussions going in this thread and some people are linking them together like they are related.
    The guy who can't turn around in a culdesac has nothing to do with a person's views on the PGR.
    #36
  17. dolomoto

    dolomoto Destroyer of Motorcycles

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    I've went on a half-dozen PGR "missions" in GA and SC and have been impressed with the organization of each one.

    On another note...

    "Combat Vet" means different things to different people and IMO, some folks are quick to throw it out there as if experiencing what they perceive as "combat" somehow adds credibility to what they are saying/posting.

    I'm not trying to debate what is real "combat", rather to maybe encourage folks to leave that out of the conversation. Members of this forum whose life experiences have been profoundly shaped by what was seen/did downrange don't necessarily need the label "combat vet" to get credibility.

    I still believe in what the PGR has evolved to. This photo was when we stood for Col. Murray.

    [​IMG]
    #37
  18. JDK111

    JDK111 Been here awhile

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    ...... uhhhhh, yeah you are.
    If someone has served and they say they've seen combat - I'll take them at their word.
    .... and if they tell the PGR to fuck off, I'll respect that too.
    As said above, there's a big diffence between supporting military and BEING military..... and there's too many people that don't respect what serving actually means (as is evident in this thread)

    I'd be real curious to know how many PGR members have served.
    (I haven't)
    #38
  19. Tom Herold

    Tom Herold Ugh...

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    I'm not ashamed of my service, nor am I embarrased about having the badges of honor showing my direct involvement in "combat" as it's defined by the United States military. If I want to talk about it publicly, I've served to protect that right not only for myself, but for all the other's.

    Just like I served to protect your freedom of speech to try and demand to set rules for others when you have no right to do so on a public forum - I may not agree with it, but I was willing to lay down my life to defend it, just like all the others who've served or are still serving.

    I don't need your permission to have "credibility", so - :ken

    To the rest of you - Happy Veterans Day whether you're an American service menber, or one from another country and thank you for your service regardless of whether you served in "combat" or not!

    For those who haven't served, but support the people who have - thank you, there's not one Vet who doesn't apprecaite it!

    Oh, and dolomoto - just so there's no misunderstanding in the message I'm trying to communincate here :flip

    As far as the PGR goes, my opinion doesn't matter - all I hope is they do the right thing by the Veterans and their families without turning it into a political event, or reason to party and not show reverence. Their original charter and intent is very honorable, and I respect that. It's good to hear other's are having a better experience than I had, ride safe under the blanket of freedom our Vets provide!
    #39
  20. pmacb

    pmacb Been here awhile

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    My experience has been a mix of good and less than good but is on balance positive. I'm usually the only non-cruiser rider there (on my mighty Wee Strom :lol3 ) but the PGR in this area have been nothing but welcoming. It's hard to be the new guy joining any established group, but if you say yes to going to breakfast a couple of time it goes a long way toward getting to know people. I never got the "HD nagging" (at least not seriously) that some people have mentioned, but it has mentioned that I don't dress like everybody else...

    I'm not a fan of formation riding and will likely never be. I find it very stressful to be in such close quarters with a bunch of other bikes and the inevitable slinky effect from the front of the line to the back doesn't help my confidence any. We have a national cemetery in our area so there's usually quite a few missions during the season (mission = a funeral, event = other rides like Toys for Tots, fundraisers, events for the local VA, etc).

    All in all I'm glad I participate. I've met some nice folks from all walks of life and the families of the departed seems to appreciate our presence.

    pmacb
    #40