Gerry and I continue to participate in PGR missions. There was one today in Truckee for a sailor. He was killed in a helicopter accident in Virginia a week or so ago and his service was today.
We got up early, leaving Sacramento about 7:20am to drive to Truckee. It was a beautiful drive, although very cold. The outside temperature was in the 30's as we got to Donner Summit at 7,000 plus feet and in the high 20's when we got to Truckee. We were meeting some other PGR members to set up American flags at the high school where his service was being held.
First, we had some breakfast. The 3 guys we met had hearty breakfasts. Gerry and I had eaten breakfast so we had something light. Arriving back at the high school, we met up with our contact person and then started setting up the flags. A fire department ladder truck was already there and they were in the process of setting up a huge flag. We set up 5 or 6 large flags facing the street and were going to line the driveway with flags. Unfortunately, the ground was so hard and rock was being hit about 2 or 3 inches into the dirt. We went ahead and got all the flags together, about 60 of them. People were starting to line up along the street. One of the guys suggested asking the people if anyone was interested in holding a flag. Everyone that was standing out there walked over to get a flag. They were lined up on both sides of the street. It looked so impressive. I took my tablet with me intending to take some pictures and then didn't do it. I did take some for Bob with his iPad. He is the one that does the flagging.
The military honors part of the program was done in the stadium and then the actual service was moved to the gym. The stadium was packed. The guys formed a flag line down on the field. There is something about seeing numerous American flags blowing in the breeze that causes one to get teary eyed. I always do...at every mission we do.
There is a group called "Westboro Baptist Church" that pickets military funerals, protesting the United States participation in war. Word was out that a group would be in Truckee to protest this service. Some did arrive, however they were not able to get to the high school. Supposedly CHP blocked them at the freeway exit. Actually the PGR was formed to create a buffer between the protestors and the family of the fallen warrior. As many PGR that were in attendance today, the protestors would have had a difficult time getting anywhere near the service.
We had quite a bit of help in getting the flags taken down. I think everyone was tired. The PGR guys that rode up on their bikes went to the funeral home and was part of the escort to the high school. There had to be a 100 plus bikes. That is also an impressive sight.
We were going to go into Old Town Truckee to eat after we were done. We did drive down, then decided to just get back on the road and head home. We stopped in Colfax and had some lunch then got home about 4pm.
It was so cold when we first got to Truckee then it warmed up and we were taking jackets off. The temperature rose rapidly as we came down the mountain and it was pushing 70 degrees by the time we got to Colfax which is about 3000 ft (I think).
There has been a huge high pressure system sitting over California, giving us cold nights, warm days (in the 70's) and no rain.
It is such a rewarding experience being a part of these missions. Gerry and I look forward to being a part of them.
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