Help on the Homefront

Peter Meade

On Saturday, Nov. 21, at Sun Lakes Country Club between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., the Arizona Patriot Guard Riders and Sun Lakes Rotary Club are hosting an appreciation festival to celebrate veterans. Come out and have a bit of lunch and a drink, while checking out the silent auctions and other veteran service organizations. It will be a lot of fun, and it 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! This celebration will also kick off the Arizona Patriot Guard Christmas program as a drop-off location for toys and/or non-perishable food items.

The Patriot Guard Riders is a nationwide, 100% volunteer, 501(c)(3) charitable organization. You do not need to ride a motorcycle nor be a veteran to join. The only requirement is a love of this great nation of ours and showing honor and respect to our fallen heroes, veterans, active-duty military and first responders, their families, and communities.

This is accomplished in two ways—honor and escort missions for our fallen heroes as invited guests of the family, and taking care of our veteran and active-duty military, law enforcement, and first responders via Help On The Homefront (HOTH) programs.

In Arizona, these HOTH programs include the educational assistance program, limited repairs to veteran and first responder homes at no charge, installing flagpoles at veterans’ homes—also at no charge, as well as the annual Arizona Patriot Guard Riders Christmas adopt-a-family program, Yuletide 4 Heroes.

With the restrictions resulting from COVID-19, every element of society has been affected, but one of the hardest hit has been our veteran community. Many of these veterans fall into the “target range” for susceptibility. Many necessary tasks, such as shopping for groceries, became a hardship (not to mention a scary venture outside!) and some not-so-necessary but still important events, such as birthdays, had to be put on hold. The Arizona Patriot Guard was honored to assist in supplying basic, non-perishable food items to those affected, and to participate in many drive-bys to celebrate our veterans and let them know they are important and are not forgotten. The Honor Missions were affected to the point of being shut down for several months, but now, although under restrictions, are back to honoring our fallen as they should be.

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 Stand For Those Who Stood For Us.

Please join us for this free and festive event and show your support. Don’t forget to bring along a small toy and/or non-perishable food item. For more information, you may contact Stan Kaufman, Sun Lakes Rotary Club, at [email protected] or 701-238-2310.