May 30, 2009

What a Ride!

Here it is 1600 hrs. and I'm beat down to the bone. I just returned from a long riding day on my Goldwing. Even managed to stay dry until the last five minutes of the ride!

I participated in my fourth PGR Mission, this one a flag line and funeral escort for a Vietnam special forces vet named Steve McCarty. Mr. McCarty served with distinction and had received the Purple Heart for wounds received in battle and a Bronze Star for bravery above and beyond the call of duty.

The services were held in Gas City, IN., a little town about 82 miles NNE of where I live in Indianapolis. The staging for the flag line was to begin at approximately hour and a half ride to get there; an early staging time, you do the math.

I had only had roughly two hours sleep last night, so it was definitely a strong mug of jump-start time just to get this beat-up old hulk moving...and on top of it; my daughter decided that 14 WASN'T really the right age to be home alone for the time I would require to make the mission; and furthermore, the location was 2/3 of the way to the little town in NE IND. where my parents live, and "daddy, I haven't seen Oma and Opa in ever so long, can't I go with you, Pleeeeeeeezzzzeee?" So against what I thought was my better judgement, I took Anna along, hoping she wouldn't embarrass me at such a solemn occasion.

I needn't have worried, she fit in like a true Rider, and she was allowed to stand the Flag Line with the rest of us, which made her feel extra was a sight to behold; a little slip of a 14 yo girl proudly holding her banner in her assigned post amid 40-45 grizzled leather clad old Vet riders, responding to the line commands as if she was a seasoned veteran herself.

After the funeral was over and Mr. McCarty had been properly consigned to his well deserved final rest, I asked her what she had thought of the whole affair and she responded that she felt honored to have been a part of something so important, and she was looking forward to attending her NEXT mission for the PGR, but she hoped that it would be greeting returning troops and not another funeral too soon. There IS hope for the next generation after all!

We then rode for 45 minutes to get to my parent's apartment and had a nice visit and a small lunch with them while Anna recounted her adventures of the morning.

Alas, the time to start the 3 hour trek home came sooner than either of us would have wished, but a darkening sky threatened possible rain in the foresee-ably near future, and there is little I dislike worse than riding in the rain, and one of those things is riding "two up" in the rain.

Anna was tired from the exertions of the day and was complaining of 'feeling dizzy' and wanted to stop and test her blood sugar, as she was "sure it was much too low". (Sometimes 14 year olds can really be drama queens --she "was fading fast" and "not sure she could stay in the saddle", yet when we got home her first instinct was to want to go play at the park, LOL)

We logged 260 miles in the course of our activities and used up 6.19 gallons of fuel, so we averaged around 40 mpg, not bad for a 1500 CC Cruiser loaded almost to max. carrying load, glad I finally had that overdue service done last week!

I know this is rambling and disjointed....but it's MY blog, and I'll write any way I wish too, and you can ignore it the same way.

My main point is that I am really greatful that there is such a group as the PGR and I feel extremely honored to be a part of it. I hope Anna will continue to feel as she did today; another couple of missions, and I'll have to see about getting her her own set of leathers so she can feel a true part of the group....she's already bugging me to teach her to ride, but I don't see that day happening any time soon, I'll be DAMNED if I let her practice with MY bike LMAO!

Posted by Delftsman3 at May 30, 2009 05:19 PM | TrackBack

Awesome Bert, darn, I still think of Anna as that 10 year old on her 10th birthday, they grow up so fast. Thank you for what you did with PGR and above all thank you for including Anna. That is a wonderful and moving experience.
My wife, daughter, grandsons and I attended a solemn memorial service on Memorial Day Monday. We'd spent Sunday at several cemeteries honoring the fallen, then hit two abandoned pioneer cemeteries taken over by the forest.
This was the first Memorial Day service for my daughter and the grandsons, they all learned something about sacrifices made for their freedoms. There were over 70 combat veterans there from WWII forward with their families. Many relating their combat experiences and the challenges we all faced. You should be rightfully honored and proud of her. C'mon get her a ride too.:)

Posted by: Jack at May 30, 2009 07:13 PM

Good Anna,you are DEFINITLY a Meyer!

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You should be proud of that girl. That's pretty full day at fourteen. She could be another great Hoosier.

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