Veterans’ week appreciation festival  – Nov. 16

Patriot Guard Riders

Patriot Guard Riders

Norm Noble

On Saturday, Nov. 16, at Sun Lakes Country Club between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., the Arizona Patriot Guard Riders and Sun Lakes Rotary and Lions Clubs will host an appreciation festival to celebrate veterans’ week. Come out and have a bit of lunch and a drink while checking out the raffles, silent auctions, and other veterans service organizations. It will be a lot of fun and is a great way to show support and say thank you to these men and women who have done so much for all of us!

We don’t care if you ride a motorcycle or even have one, what your political views are, or whether you’re a “hawk” or a “dove.” It is not a requirement to be a veteran. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your station in life is. All we ask is that you bring your heart and join us in showing respect for those who have served our country.

The Arizona Patriot Guard Riders perform many types of missions and have many opportunities for people to become involved. Come see us in action and we guarantee you’ll experience the same feelings that have brought us all together to honor our troops.

Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. At each mission, we undertake two basic objectives:

1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.

2. Shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protestors.

We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.

It is the intention of the Patriot Guard Riders to proactively assist active duty military personnel and veterans of America’s armed forces who have needs that have not been addressed by other programs.

In Arizona, these programs include our Christmas Adopt-a-Family program, our educational assistance program, and several other programs that assist our veteran and first responder families.

The secondary mission of the Patriot Guard Riders nationwide is HOTH: “Help on The Homefront.” Basically, if it’s not a funeral or memorial mission, it falls under HOTH. This includes Honor Flights, Snowball Express, the Christmas Adopt-a-Family program, scholarship programs, doing limited repairs to veteran and first responder homes at no charge, installing flagpoles at veterans’ homes.

This is a national effort. Each state develops their own HOTH programs. As an example, the HOTH program in Arizona just donated $4,000 to sponsor a service dog and veteran through the Soldiers Best Friend organization and is getting ready to release about $15,000 in scholarships this year.

But there is more than this—the Patriot Guard Riders also collect canned goods and toys for the Kids’ Christmas program, as well as items for care packages going overseas for troop organizations.

Please come out to this free festive event and show your support! For more information, contact Stan Kaufman at [email protected] or 701-238-2310.