Last March, I assumed the role of Colorado PGR State Captain, which was about the time that we were put on "pause", due to the Coronavirus, and did not restart, gradually, until late May. In mid June, the National Cemeteries began to allow Interment Services, once again. It is difficult to believe that nearly ten months have passed. To say that 2020 has been eventful would be an understatement. We have been invited to participate in 275 Missions and Events in just over six months time, our most active six month period since we were formed. We have been fortunate to have some very dedicated members who have continued to participate throughout the pandemic. Unfortunately, a number of our members have not been able to attend due to personal medical issues or issues with vulnerable family members. We certainly have missed them. With the current status of the Coronavirus, it is looking like it may be several more months before these members will feel comfortable in rejoining us. While some of our long term members have been unable to participate, we feel fortunate to have been joined by several new ones. We also are grateful for the commitment of five members for stepping up to take on the the duties and responsibilities of Ride Captain. For those not able to attend Missions, we continue to appreciate the simple act of posting condolences. These words of appreciation mean so much to the families. The last day of February saw a tragic event within a very honorable Mission. A survivor of the USS Arizona, Pearl Harbor attack, Donald Stratton, was being escorted from Colorado Springs to Red Cloud, Nebraska for burial. During the procession there was a traffic accident that claimed two lives, one was a Kansas PGR member. Our thoughts and prayers remain with all who were impacted by this tragedy. In March we had a new website developed and since that time, we've had 245 members enroll. In May, a number of our members were able to stand for the dedication of an new home that was built to accommodate a disabled US Military Hero, in Bayfield, CO. There have been a number of homes built and dedicated in Colorado for those who have sacrificed so much, but, this was the first that was donated by the Gary Sinese Foundation's, Homes for Heroes. We participated in a Service at the historic Abbott Cemetery and Church near Last Chance, CO and other locations that were first time destinations for some of us. In early December, we learned of and continue to mourn the deaths of two of our long term members, Dennis "Moose" Smith and Yvonne Fitzpatrick. Our Missions have taken on special significance, this year, and this will likely continue into 2021. With the strict limit on the number of attendees at Funeral and Interment Services, currently five family and/or friends, our ability to be there seems more important than ever. Those who have been participating have witnessed the expressions of appreciation, first hand. When we receive notes of "Thanks", we will continue to post them to our website. For the first time, we declined several Mission requests due to potential health or safety concerns. For example, although we have stood for law enforcement at many annual appreciation events, we declined the event that was scheduled a few months ago at Civic Center Park, in Denver. It became violent and there were a number of injuries. Our Flag Line would likely have been a target. We continue to support our First Responders, but, we will not, knowingly, put our members in potentially dangerous situations. A few of days ago, I picked up an order of PGR pins from our supplier. Because of the pandemic, his 2020 business income was down 32 percent. Even though he has been hit hard by the effects of the Coronavirus, he credited our account for an October coin order in the amount of $950.00. He made this generous donation because he very much appreciates the important work that we do. His dad was a WWII Veteran who is interred at Fort Logan National Cemetery. Donations are down this year, as they are for many organizations. Our sponsorship group saw about 150 wreaths donated this year, down about 50%. The WAA wreath count at Fort Logan was also down about this same percentage from recent years, from 22,000 to about 10,500 wreaths. It has been a challenging year relative to funding our important mission. We have expenses of about $8.00 per Mission for coins and pins. With the high volume of Missions, in 2020, and the costs to develop our new website, our expenses totaled about $5,000.00 with little in receipts for much of the year. Fortunately, with the donation from our pin/coin supplier, PGR members who have been generous financial supporters for many years, a significant donation from a member's niece and proceeds from Wreaths Across America sponsorships, we have received about $3,000.00 in contributions to close out the year. This support is so helpful and greatly appreciated. Sincere thanks for the past support and for those who are so involved, currently. Once again, I offer thanks to our Assistant State Captains, Moderators and Ride Captains who have been very supportive and active during the pandemic. The past year was difficult for all of us. Several of our members have contracted the Coronavirus and have, thankfully, recovered. I know there are those who do not agree with all of the decisions that have been made, but, the safety, security, health and confidence from the majority of our members in our guidelines, has been a primary objective. With the challenges, and in some cases, pain and loss, the commitment to the Mission of many of our members, made this year one in which I feel great pride and I am truly honored to be serving as the Colorado PGR State Captain. Stay well, stay safe and best wishes for the New Year. High hopes for better days ahead.
Jim firstname.lastname@example.org 303-518-8790 Please read the following New Years message from our PGR National President:
From: David "Bear" Noble To: Regionals <email@example.com>; State Captains <firstname.lastname@example.org>; BOD <email@example.com> Sent: Thu, Dec 31, 2020 8:23 pm Subject: Happy New Year 2021 Regional Captains, State Captains, and Members of the PGR, I hope all had a very Merry Christmas. I wanted to thank all of you for what you have accomplished in 2020. Your dedication to our Military and First Responders has been outstanding, especially with all you have had to deal with this year. Covid-19 has become an issue we have had to deal with while trying to "do what we do". As we go into 2021, we all need to be ever mindful of the changing challenges we are certain to face. I had been skeptical of the virus and it's impact until I stood helpless as life support was removed from a close friend. Please, take all necessary precautions to avoid exposure to this deadly virus. The last thing any of us desires would be to expose ourselves or others to the virus. The State and Regional Leadership have been doing a fantastic job of keeping updated on their respective areas and making difficult decisions to limit exposure. Please follow their directions to keep all involved as safe a possible. I wish all of you a very Safe, Prosperous, and Happy New Year. It is my Honor to Serve as YOUR National President. With Respect, David 'Bear' Noble President Patriot Guard Riders, Inc.