As promised I am back with the update that I planned on putting in the other day. Primarily I wanted to report on the Patriot Guard mission I was on in Madison, South Dakota. You may be able to get some idea of it by going to KELO TV in Sioux Falls, the Argus-Leader, or KSFY which is in Aberdeen among other towns in South Dakota. The funeral was for Chad Mechels, a 32 year old sheriffs deputy in Turner county. He was killed in the line of duty last weekend answering a call on a domestic disturbance. Our South Dakota assistant ride captain is retired Army and a part time law enforcement officer in the area,and he related some details in the case that the general public probably don't get. Chad went to a farm house to check on a guy threatening suicide. When no one answered the door he stepped inside and was shot in the shoulder with a 30-06 rifle, he retreated to his car and was shot a second time through the windshield in the neck, which proved fatal. The perp is a 19 year old kid that was working on a farm and by all accounts was a hard worker etc., I'm afraid that his life for all practical purposes is over. The kicker in this whole thing is that the kid texted someone that he would kill the first cop that came through the door. The text was relayed to the sheriff's department but it did not get to Chad in time. He leaves a wife and two small kids behind. We stood outside the University Playhouse before the service and I got to tell you that I have never seen so many law enforcement officers in one place in my life! Another member counted at least 300 before he quit, cops from the Twin Cities, Wisconsin and all over South Dakota. There were deputies with their Stetsons, SD highway patrol in tan slacks and maroon jackets with their smokey bear hats, the Sioux Falls honor guard and Rapid City policemen and women. The highway patrol also guarded the casket with M-14s, I hope that this is the highway patrol's small arm as it would give them some serious firepower. Anyhow a group of us that had driven rather than rode to the funeral went out to the cemetery ahead of time. Eventually all of the LEO's drove out to the road to the cemetery and lined both sides for least 1/2 mile on both sides with their Crown Vics with all of the lights going and standing shoulder to shoulder on both sides for the last 1/2 mile. I think that we had 26 bikes that led the hearse up the road and it made an impressive sight. We then stood on both sides of the group with our flags during the internment ceremony. This is a man that was as much a hero as anyone killed in action in any war. I don't know how long it has been since any LEO has been killed in the line of duty in South Dakota, but I am sure it has been awhile, particularly for sheriff's departments in rural areas. This was a mission that I really had to get to as our South Dakota group isn't nearly as large as Minnesota, besides being from southwestern Minnesota I feel a kinship with South Dakota my second favorite state. I feel a sense of satisfaction, sadness for the family and community, and I guess inspiration, if that is the proper term. Sunday we have another mission in Rochester as a memorial for a soldier that recently died from cancer, so Jan and I plan on hitting that one on the way to the Theobald's house for a sleep over. Monday I have a follow-up with my doctors at Mayo to see how I am coming along, hopefully good. I thought that I would finish up here with a few pictures from our past. The first one is me, Ron Schmoldt and my brother Paul under an overpass at Wasta on our 73 trip, then me in the Big Horns. Then Jan at a ball game in the Cities and her on the plane, before we took off on a trip we took to the Air Force Museum. After this trip she did not get on another airplane for 30 years (it was a rough ride). It is amazing what an incentive grand children are to overcoming your fear of flying, eh St. Jan? Well, stay in touch and be well.
Friday, March 20, 2009
I know that I promised to blog something yesterday, but time got away from me. I did have a PT session in the afternoon that went pretty well. I primarily wanted to relate somethings about the latest PGR mission that I was on last Wednesday in Madison, South Dakota. I will try to get back to the subject afternoon as St. Jan and I are headed to New Ulm for things this morning. I have also been searching my slide scans for a particular photo that I absolutely cannot find so until I do we shall have to wait. Although, if i can't find it I'll substitute something else. Here are a few from recent events in our households. Actually these photos are all from Leah's 3rd birthday party.