What happens on a mission?

Talking on the Flag Line

We do carry on conversations on the flag line. It is acceptable to carry on a quiet conversation, but we should be silent when the family or mourners are present. We must always remember this is a funeral. Quiet and somber is usually the guideline for our actions as well.

Even when back at the bikes we should do our best to remember voices carry (and some of us are loud normally). Respect is always the key.

 

Smoking

There is no smoking on the flag lines. If you need a smoke break, just let the RC know. They will either hold your flag for you while you take a break, or have you take the flag with you. Always return to the bike parking area for a smoke. Remember to field strip your butts as we don't want to get a bad rep with the Funeral Home or Church folks.

 

Cell Phones

The RC should remind everyone before forming a flag line to turn their cell phones to silent or vibrate.

If you must answer a call while in a flag line, please fall out of the line and walk a short distance away. The best way is to return to the bike area so that it is not intrusive to the family and mourners. Once you complete your call, you can retake your place on the flag line.

 

Dress Code

"We are bikers and it is appropriate we look like bikers."

Having said that, first and foremost we need to remember it is a funeral and we are there to pay our respects. If you have a patch on your vest you wouldn't want to explain to Sister Mary Thomas, then you might want to think about a 'Mission' vest. None of the Maryland RCs carry around tape to cover up your patches. We leave that to you as the Rider and what you believe is appropriate. Always keep in mind the last thing we want is to cause this family any more grief or pain.

Occasionally the PGR does get a special request from a family. In certain Asian cultures it is customary to wear a white shirt to a funeral. If the RC receives a request like this, we will make sure all Riders see that request in the mission thread and in the outgoing statewide email.

A word about hats since National thinks it is important. Blue Hats are worn by Flag line Riders... Red Hats by RCs... Black Hats by National Staff... Of course that makes the blue hats the good guys, red hats communists and no one has yet to convince me why National needs a hat at all... hmmm... Honestly the Red hat is so you can spot the RC if you have any issues or questions... Never hesitate to ask a question... It may not be the first time we've gotten it, but rarely will you be the only one that needs the answer!

 

PGR Gear

As you go to missions you will see some folks have different pieces of gear with Patriot Guard on it.

None of this is required to participate in a mission. The only things you need are a desire to show Respect and a 3x5' US Flag on a pole. And if you don't have a flag, we normally have an extra.

PGR Gear can be purchased through the National PGR Website.

Any other site selling PGR style equipment is a for-profit company that does NOT support the National PGR Mission. If they say they do, they are not telling the truth. Zero Dollars from those 'stores' have come to Maryland, DC, VA, DE, PA, WV, SC, NC or any other State in this region. They also have not donated a dime to the National PGR, Inc.

It is the National PGR that keeps the mission website running, pays for the plaques for families of the fallen and supports our Wounded through the HOTH Programs.

 

Salute?

At various times in a mission the RC will give the command to Present Arms. In some States they will mandate everyone in the flag line will execute a hand salute. Here in Maryland we are little bit less rigid. Many of our non-Veteran Riders are uncomfortable giving a hand salute. Our policy is hand salute or hand over your heart, whichever is most comfortable for you.

In almost every instance as a Rider your salute will be a 'slow-count' salute. Instead of the lightning quick salute we are taught in Basic, it is a four count salute. The same would go for the motion of placing your hand over your heart.

Some of us are getting up there in our youth and can't hold a salute for as long as we used to. We are not a militant organization. If your arm is dying, then just complete the salute and move your hand to your heart.

On the command of Order Arms, you will again execute in a four-count measure the return to the position of Attention.

If you are Holding the US Flag, all of the above is null and void. Flag bearers do not salute. In Maryland we hold the flag up a little bit higher, centered in front of us when those who are not carrying flags salute. Your mileage should you travel to other states on this may vary. Some states do require all PGR to salute, even when holding the US Flag. You should always follow the procedures of the State in which the mission is occurring.