Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rally 1 - 2nd Annual Indiana Patriot Guard Rally

Link1 Link2 are to pictures some of the attendees have posted. I’ll bet after reading this and looking at the pics any of you can figure out who Chief, Russ, Curley and John and Carrie are. Enjoy!! I sure did!! Can’t wait for the 3rd Annual IPGR Rally!! Oh yeah, before I forget, for another take on the festivities, check this out.


After the funeral for Cpl. Shawn D. Hensel, about 20 of us headed for Silver Lake for the 2nd Annual Indiana Patriot Guard Rally at Russ’ Barn and Grill.

It was kinda late in the afternoon when we got there and our host had burgers hotdogs and chips galore. It is amazing how good some things taste after an hour or so on the road.

Curly promised some home made apple pie and broke it out right after the late lunch. I’d guess it was about 4 pm. Just to set the record straight, Curly’s ‘apple pie’ is a drink, served in a Mason jar. Home made ingredients mixed with apple juice and cinnamon sticks. Smoooooth. I had 4 or 5 glasses all night. He brought 2.5 gallons, it was gone before dark.

There was a small program on a stage Russ had built out back of the barn. We heard Tim talk about the good he has seen in Iraq and how they would try to follow insurgents to their hide outs to catch the whole group but before the insurgent could get back to his hide out, the local farmers would catch them and bring them in. In his words, half a dozen guys with shovels would go after one guy with an AK. And they would win. Without fail, the captured men always had Syrian money in their pockets.

One of the absolutely most memorable parts was when a man named Rick Fields got up and thanked us for everything we do. He went on about how much he appreciated us and how we had helped him and that he was, as soon as he could get on a computer, going to join the PGR. He is Ricky Jones’ father. He said because of the divorce he had not seen Ricky for 16 years and the best day of his life was when Ricky came home from boot camp and walked into this back yard and re-introduced himself. After that they talked every day, through his special training, to his first tour in Iraq. Then the worst day of his life was about 2 years later when the Army came to his house to tell him Ricky had died. In a crowd of 60 biker types there wasn’t a dry eye to be found.

At some point in the activities, Curly ended up on stage. He was making some reference to that curly teddy bear tongue twister (fuzzy wuzzy was a bear, fuzzy wuzzy had no hair...) and flipped his hat off. That must have been a que to John that it was his turn to come up on stage. He goes up and grabs a teddy bear off of a stool in the back and starts in with ‘dating for 6 months’, ‘they say I’m too old and she’s too young’ followed by ‘Carrie will you come up here’. By now Carrie is covering her face with her hands and headed for the stage. When she gets up on stage John says he loves her and drops to one knee and some how the teddy bear has a ring in it’s paws, she’s crying, they’re trying to get the ring off the bear (it didn’t want to let go), Curly is still holding the mic and asking her repeatedly ‘Is that a yes, you have to say something girl’. Finally she says ‘YES’, they hug and everyone cheered. Heh, I got the whole moment on video on my phone... just can’t find the mini-micro adapter to let me download it off the chip...

Russ announced that the hog was done about 8 and we dug in to slow roasted pork BBQ, baked beans, coleslaw... all the fix’ens. At some point Russ announced that this was his 17th hog this season!!! That’s a lot of pork! After sufficiently stuffing our selves a karaoke band took the stage and entertained everyone... not my cup of tea, but some really seamed to like it.

Chief, DC and myself had our way with a 1.75 liter bottle of Jack. Between the 3 of us we drank it all. Chief is the party animal in the shots.

Some time around 3 am Russ and the last of us late nighters decided to call it quits. The Jack was gone, the Crown had a big dent in it and the aluminum can recycle tub was full. I knew we were heading out at about 8 am in the morning for the Support The Troops Rally in Indy so I had skipped setting up my tent so I wouldn’t have to take it down and could sleep as long as possible... but where to sleep. I staggered around the barn and saw that big empty stage. It has some carpet on it so it wouldn’t be too bad, besides, I thought, I should be able to fall right to sleep considering all of the alcohol. Crash, I’m sound asleep, then I wake up after what seems like seconds. Did you know a flock of mosquitoes could wake you out of a drunken slumber? Me neither, but they sure did. I still have a dozen or so welts on my arms. I had to unroll the sleeping bag and cover up with it, completely. Little BASTARDS!!

I want to end this with a quote. Russ sat on the stage during the program part and read this. I want to re-state it here because;

1 - it’s true,
2 - maybe there are some of you reading this that have not heard it yet.
Russ believes (as do I and many, if not everyone there Saturday) very strongly in what the PGR does. Russ is a Vietnam Vet and can read this with more feeling and sincerity than you can imagine.

I wish you all the best and remember, our freedoms have been bought with a price.

We are...

...the grandparents, fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, aunts, uncles, boy/girlfriends, nieces, nephews, friends and total strangers of our Fallen Hero's.
... the workers that in the first week of May have used all our vacation time for the year and have yet to have a vacation.
... the men and women whose paycheck is a little short this week because a priority caused us to take a day off unpaid.
... the active duty, reserve, retired, discharged, disabled vets and their friends, family and relatives.
... the neighbor who wakes you up at 5AM on a freezing morning as we depart for yet another mission, hours away, we would wish we were not making.
... your CEO and your janitor, your police, firefighter, grocer, mechanic, secretary and everyone in between.
... the people that drive minutes to hundreds of miles to ensure that no Hero is forgotten nor family disturbed in their time of grief.
... the men and women that give up time with our own families to show respect, love and support to families who are still grieving at their loss and wondering WHY??
... the men and women of the Patriot Guard Riders.
And why do we do all this...because it's the Right Thing To Do
Love and Respect, Your Indiana Brothers and Sisters of the Patriot Guard Riders


Jan said...

dnr..truly beautiful...all of it. God bless you, and all the others for the kindness and compassion you show to the families of our fallen heroes.

How great that you all have the comaraderie that strengthens you for the next mission, too. You are forming bonds that will last a lifetime.

Kat said...


I may "borrow" that statement for our own Georgia Guard Gathering coming up here in a couple weeks. :)

Dazd said...

Awesome post DNR!

DNR said...

Jan - Thank you, it truly is our honor.

They really are great guys, their hearts are bigger than there bikes.

Kat - Please do borrow. It was a poem/post on the PGR site last year some time.

Dazd - Thanks!! You missed on helluva good time. Next year, promise?