Patriot Guard Riders - Wisconsin
Early Summer 2017 Letter
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As most of you are aware there have been many changes in the past few months and some problems in getting our mission accomplished. As the old saying goes "Due to Technical difficulties" we no longer have a method to make sure the messages get out as efficiently as they used to (more on that later) so I am asking you all to forward this to all your PGR friends and we may each get 20 copies but it's better than some members missing the message.
We have been getting very low turnout for missions for the past three months. There are two possible causes:
- People have been burned out, are not excited about a mission for a veteran in a small town, or want to be part of something big and glorious. We are getting at least a dozen new members a month so we should have "new energy". We must remember that the Soldier, Marine, Sailor, or Airman we stand for in a small town, probably came home without recognition and this is our chance to say we care. Finally, as we have seen too often, we are not here for the show or our own edification. If you are on a mission for "the ride", you're in the wrong group.
- There have been some serious problems in the National computer system and people have been dropped from forum subscriptions. Remember you MUST BE SUBSCRIBED to the WI Missions forum and select Immediate notification to find out about missions. I'll paste the procedure at the end for you all to check your subscriptions. We also post the missions on our Facebook page and State web page so if you haven't heard anything in a few days, check there. We do over a hundred missions a year so you should have notice of something every few days.
As you are aware, we have had a number of changes in staff this year and it allows us to re-evaluate our structure. The original idea was to grab the most experienced people in the state (2-3 missions) as Ride Captains and the REALLY most experienced (maybe 7-8 missions!!) as Senior Ride Captains and define areas in the state where we could concentrate on the development of the organization. While it worked well at the beginning, it became "They do things differently than We do" or "That's not the way it's done in "our region" and finally people not attending a mission because as one member wrote "It's not in My Chapter".
There is no Them, We, Those Guys, Chapters, Regions, or anything else that separates people. If you are part of the Patriot Guard Riders, Inc you are part of ONE organization along with 345,768 others. WE also have some VERY experienced RCs with dozens and dozens of missions and they are great resources and deserve to be recognized. That all taken into account, I am open to all organizational ideas. You can write me directly at
That Means We Need
Every organization grows and shrinks but our mission has not changed and to do this properly we need:
- Members - and while I could emphasize the western half of the state, we need members everywhere. If you know of an event where we might do a little public relations, let us know and we can get some folks out there. We need to be open and remember that not all Patriots ride motorcycles.
- Ride Captains - We don't generally accept applicants but we do like recommendations. The primary characteristic of a Ride Captain is that they are humble and they would never say "Pick Me I'm really good and will do a lot and …" (I get a couple of those a year). We do like notes that say "Sam would be a good RC. He helped me when I started and he's really supportive of the family and has a big heart" or "Sue was so good when talking with the family. I could see she made a difference". Most of our current RCs had to be talked into the job because they know how important a job it is. The toughest job you'll ever love.
- Treasurer - We still need one; the last applicant was too busy. We would like someone who is computer skilled and can run Quicken (it interfaces directly with the bank and is easy to learn. If you have experience with 501(c)3 filings that would be great. Total commitment is maybe 2 hours a month?
- Membership Development - working with folks on PR and addressing the questions all new members have. Set up some Meet and Greets with the Public Relations person. Oh, yeah we need a person for ..
- Public Relations - The good news is, we have had few high profile missions, the bad news is, that's how most people learned about us. We need to get some newspaper, magazine, radio or talk show exposure so others can know the feeling we have by serving others.
- Constant Contact Administrator - As mentioned at the top, and for those have been around a while, when National has problems we all suffer. We have added the Facebook page and have had a state web site for some time but these don't allow automatic, direct notification of important information. We need to buy Constant Contact and then get members to register again (national cannot provide member info). A support coordinator will be a great help.
To make sure you're up to date with events and missions. You can check it manually or subscribe so you are automatically notified when something is added. Here's the middle part of the current Welcome letter in case you have questions...
You should also subscribe to two forums (Missions & PGR Midwest WI Forum) on the National web site.
For a walk through of the above steps, with screenshots, click here for Missions and/or here for General State Info.
- Once logged-in to National, you should go to the top and select PGR Forums, then Midwest, then Wisconsin. Just above the posts there is a header where you must pick Forum Tools, then Subscribe, then choose how to be notified about new posts. I suggest you choose Immediately.
- We also have a new automated Mission notification system. You must log in as above and on the main page select Missions, then Upcoming Missions by State, then Wisconsin. When you subscribe (as above) you should choose to be notified immediately and as soon as a mission is posted the system will generate an e-mail to you.
Also, we have a dedicated web site at http://www.patriotguard-wi.org/. The national site is still the official word but our site includes only items of interest in Wisconsin and the events listed there take you directly to the correct spot on the national site. You must be signed in to national to be taken to the right information. I suggest you sign in to the national site and click the little box that says [  ] Remember Login. Afterwards you will go directly to the appropriate forum and thread in national. If you have any software that "cleans" your machine or if you delete cookies this will be deleted and you'll have to sign in (and click the box) again.
Finally, we have a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/WisconsinPGR/. This is a closed group so you have to ask to join. This allows easier sharing of our information especially for HOTH (Help On The Homefront) and support events. A Mission notice will be added but there is to be no posting of mission information. That MUST be on national and the links on the State Web site will take you there.
Thank you all for letting me be part of the best family in the world,
Patriot Guard Riders - Wisconsin