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Paying Our Respects

by Pat F.

Every fall, I am in charge of getting items donated to put in care packages to our deployed soldiers. In November, we mail out these items to Minnesota based units in time for a Christmas arrival.

I am also a member of the Patriot Guard Riders. I have attended the funerals of over 70 soldiers killed in action or veterans in Minnesota and Wisconsin. As part of the Minnesota branch of the Patriot Guard, I am in charge of setting up Bingo games, bike shows, barbeques and Christmas decorating events for the residents of the Minneapolis and Hastings Veterans Homes.

I also attend all these events and do things like call the bingo numbers, cook the burgers, hand out prize money, etc. For the Patriot Guard, I go to the Minneapolis Veterans Home every other Sunday with my dog Zeus for therapy dog visits. I've also attended several days of the Remember the Fallen Tribute where we have been visiting the grave of every service member killed in action since September 11, 2001 to pay our respects, place flowers, and let the families know we are not forgetting the sacrifices they have made.

The Patriot Guard also attends the deployment and welcome home ceremonies for our deploying soldiers. I've attended numerous of these events as well. In several of these welcome home ceremonies, I have gotten to meet the people we have sent care packages to.

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