Captain’s Page

Good Afternoon All,

The following was copied from Facebook and I’ve chosen to share it with you.  In my opinion, this is precisely what being a Patriot Guard Rider really means.  Without YOU, our members, we would not be able to do what we do:

This is the backbone of the Patriot Guard Riders, our members. They are not Ride Captains, Senior Ride Captains, Assistant State Captains, or State Captains.

They are men and women, young and old who are willing give a few hours out of their day, day in and day out to stand a tall and silent Flag Line in honor of a Soldier, Sailor, Airmen, Marine, Coast Guardsman, Police Officer, Firefighter, or member of the Emergency Medical Services who has passed on from this life.

Our members are Black, White, Asian, Hispanic and nearly every other Nationality. They are Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, and Conservatives. They ride Harley Davidsons, Hondas, Suzukis, Yamahas, BMW’s. They drive cars and some drive trucks. I’ve even seen some show up on a bicycle.

Simply put, they are Patriots willing to stand in the rain, sleet, snow, or hail. They are willing to stand in heat as well as the cold. They pay their own expenses, take time away from their families and duties to honor those who deserve it most.

On occasion, they are the “family” of a Veteran or First Responder who has no family of his or her own. Sometimes they act as pallbearers when none are available. What they do they do as an act of selfless Patriotism and a love of country. They set aside political differences. There is no such thing as race, creed, or religion. They gather as one, to perform a simple task that has a profound effect on the families of our fallen.

For some, being a Patriot Guard Rider has helped them heal some of the unseen wounds caused by war. They embrace the brotherhood and camaraderie that comes along with being a Patriot Guard Rider. For others, it’s a way of giving back to those who gave so much.

Friendships are forged, tears are shed, and they walk away knowing they have done the right thing, knowing that what we do is the least that we can do as Americans. God Bless each of you, your dedication and willingness to do the right thing has touched the lives of families from California to New York, from Hawaii to Texas. Never doubt that what you’re doing is important. I can assure you that those families will never forget what you did for their loved one.


Joe Cumblidge

State Captain
West Virginia Patriot Guard

U.S. Coast Guard 1969-1980


E-mail: wvugo2001@suddenlink.net




  1. Very nicely written Joe. Really enjoy the new site. It contains a lot of information and will surely serve the PGR well.

  2. Joe, could you give me a call at your convenience at 304-233-0100, ext. 240. I am a newspaper writer and would like to include your organization in a story we are doing about patriotism. Thanks Heather Ziegler, associate city editor, Wheeling Newspapers.

    • Hi Heather…I called yesterday afternoon and left you a message but didn’t hear back. I’ll try again this morning.

  3. This month (August) has been extremely busy for the West Virginia Patriot Guard as we were invited to participate in Honor Missions for two active duty servicemen who made the Ultimate Sacrifice for our freedom and liberty. CPT David Van Camp, from Wheeling, laid down his life for us on 29 June in Iraq and EODT CPO Nicholas H. “Nick” Null gave his all on 6 August. In addition to these Heroes, we also stood for Henry Runyon, US Army WWII Veteran, and for Cpl James Murray, USMC WWII/Korea KIA/MIA.

    The mission for CPT Van Camp was extremely difficult and tiring on all involved as we provided escort upon his return to West Virginia, stood in silent Honor and Respect on the day of his services then provided escort to ANC for his interment. We had well in excess of 300 bikes to bring him home, 75 who escorted him to ANC and well over 100 on the day of his interment.

    Likewise, due to the sensitive nature of his duties, the mission for CPO Null was extraordinarily taxing on all who were involved in ensuring its successful completion as we also provided escort as he returned home, then stood in silent Honor and Respect during his services and escorted him to his final resting place. We were blessed to have almost 100 bikes for his return and nearly 150 on the day of his services.

    While they may have lacked the “drama” of the missions for our KIAs, the missions for Henry Runyon and Cpl Murray were no less important, not only for us but also for the families.

    I would like to personally thank Ron Jones, Buddy Palla, Linda Stimmell and Tracy Youmans for their exemplary work in Ride Captaining their particular mission and also thank YOU, our members, for taking time from your busy life to ensure these were all carried out in the finest tradition of the WV Patriot Guard.

    Let us all hope and pray that, from this day forward, the only Honor Mission we are called upon to do is for one of our Veterans or First Responders who lived a full and happy life.

    Well done, Patriot Guard!

  4. West Virigina Guard Rider Captain Joe Cumblidge. What part of the armed services were you in? Were you a Vietnam Veteran? Quoted in Parkersburg WTAP News Posted 5;29 PM Aug 21, 2011: Cumblidge says, “we are just patriot Americans. The Majority of us are Vietnam Veterans and we’re giving back to this era.”

    My deceased husband was in the Vietnam era however he served in the army in the states and would never claim he was a Vietnam Veteran.

    Thank you for serving our county but if you are claiming your a Vietnam Veteran you are in the wrong profession.

    I will be waiting your response Joe.

    • Loretta, I fail to understand the basis for your question, maam. Nothing I said in that interview was incorrect. I did NOT say I was an ICV nor would I stoop to such lows. Yes, I was in the armed services, from 1969-1980, serving in the U.S. Coast Guard and, if you are wondering, yes, the Coast Guard had a large presence in VN.

      Just as your husband would never claim to be a VN Veteran, neither would I. I will, however, continue to wear my VN Era patch with great pride. Apparently, you have taken what I said out of context.

  5. Joe, Please explain how you feel your remark “The majority of us” was taken out of context, Sir. Maybe if you had used the word “them” instead of us. To interpret something in manner in which it was not intended to be understood, often deliberately.

    Sir please you have all the right in the world to wear the Vietnam Era patch with great pride, but you don’t have a right to call yourself a Vietnam Veteran. Apparently you need to read on.

    For your information in 1974: VEVRAA, 38 U.S.C. & 4212 is an act of Congress in reference to Vietnam Era Veterans, disabled Veterans and any Veterans who served active duty time during a war.

    Just a little confused please define your meaning of ICV.

    Oh by the way you fail to understand the basis for my questions. Is one required?


    • Maam,
      As Mark stated, the use of “we” and/or “us” is common phraseology when referring to a group. Had I used the word “me”, I would have been totally and completely wrong. I would NEVER portray myself as someone who was an In-Country Veteran (ICV). That comes under the heading of the Stolen Valor Act and I have far too much respect for those who DID serve in-country and for myself to ever stoop to such depths.

      This organization was founded by a small group of Vietnam Veterans back in 2005 and I thank them each and every day for having the foresight to do this. Now, do I ever question whether or not they are ICV? No maam, I do not. Anyone who ever served, including your late husband, deserves nothing but my thanks and utmost respect, whether they were drafted or volunteered, as I did. They deserve that same respect whether they served in theater or not. The mere fact that they were willing to write a check, payable to the United States of America for an amount, up to and including their life, is all I need to know.

      As for the basis for your questions, it does appear you are attempting to discredit me and the West Virginia Patriot Guard. It it’s me you’re after, that’s just fine, but if it’s US you are after, I will defend our state membership and the National organization with great fervor. We have worked far too long and far too hard to gain the respect of the military and law enforcement in West Virginia and across this great Country to allow anyone to bring us down merely because they interpret something incorrectly that was said. To me, Loretta, you are simply splitting hairs and looking for reasons to bring discredit to our organization. If you choose to continue this discussion or continue your attempts to discredit us, please do so via private e-mail. Any further comments that appear to be argumentative or flaming in nature will not be approved for posting.

  6. Loretta,

    It appears as though you are trying to play “Gotcha” and discredit either the WV Patriot Guard Riders or the State Captain, for whatever reason. The terms “we” and “us” are perfectly legitimate when used in the sense that Mr. Cumblidge used them. To use the word “them” would be excluding himself from the whole of the PGR — the “we” being referenced in the phraseology. Many of US in the PGR are not veterans. The PGR is the referenced group. Many of US don’t ride motorcycles. Many of are veterans. Many of us are combat vets. Many of us had relatives who served. Many of us simply believe in showing appreciation for service. When I speak of the PGR, I speak in the inclusive plural sense; as it is the PROPER use of grammar. But, I suspect you know that already. None of those sentences tells you anything about ME as an individual because I am speaking about the group.

  7. Joe,

    It would appear you are a big piece of work for assuming that I would discredit the WV Patriot Guard Riders. At no time in my emails I discredited the WV patriot Guard and I resent your way of conducting business. Shame on you!

    Anyone who would show appreication for the Veterans are a plus in my mind. You are unwilling to take responsibly for your own actions and some of your friends are not smart enough to see the whole picture. They will at a later date, Sir.

    • Loretta,
      I fail to understand the reasons for your continued comments, unless you are someone who is posing as a concerned citizen with, what they feel are, legitimate concerns in an attempt to lure me into “war of words”. Whether you are legitimate or not is not of a concern to me for I will never allow someone to do that. It is quite obvious you are not a member of the Patriot Guard Riders and, quite simply, have no understanding of who we are, what we do and what we say. If you truly resent my “way of conducting business”, I would suggest you stay away from this site and offer no further replies.

      It’s very apparent that you, maam, do not see the whole picture yourself because, if you did, you would fully understand that an attack on me or any of our members IS an attempt to discredit the organization. If you are as patriotic as you’d like us to believe, you would simply channel your energies into something much more worthwhile, like becoming a registered member and standing alongside us to Honor and Respect each and every person who has earned and deserves that.

      If you do not wish to do that then, please, do not bother me again. Thank you very much.

      • Joe,

        It’s quite apparent that Loretta is someone seeking to cause trouble. It could be someone with a personal vendetta against either you or the PGR, a troll, or simply someone with mental instability. I suggest we “Do Not Feed The Trolls” and simply don’t approve any more public comments to the site from them. Someone comments on the site with an apparent grammar deficiency, posting accusations in the guise of questions, and then attacks the membership as stupid when called on their intent. It sure looks and walks like a troll. I say we call it a troll and move on.

        • I couldn’t agree more with you, Mark. I have little, if any, use for anyone who hides behind a keyboard with their own agenda, or vendetta, against me.

          It would seem that, no matter how hard we try to address someone’s questions/concerns and speak only the truth in doing so, absolutely no explanation is ever sufficient. They will still look for things to complain about or continue on the same subject. That, as you say, has all the makings of being a “troll”.

          No more comments shall be approved by me.

  8. Hello Patriot Guard,my name is Adam and I support,help,and bleieve in Vterans.I have a Facebook page called ”Thanking all Veterans”,please check it out also I am the owner/and team leader of the facebook Operation Hope which is supporters,helpers,and believers.Supporting those who served and/or are serving,helping those in need of help,homeless veterans,and bring home our men and women fighting right now,and believing in those who fought for our freedom…I was wondering if you can call me cause I was wondering if you and the patriot gaurd can do something for our veterans,I am trying to do some fundraisers,programs,events,and etc for them.I am currently talking to Sgt.Leo Dunson,my friend,and former marine but he is currently a famous rapper.Also talking with the local Oklahoma VFW’s,American Legions,VA’s,VA nursing homes,and many more.My number is 1580-399-3982,Oklahoma area code,so feel free to call anytime and just tell me that you are the WV patriot guard and I will know.Thank you all for your service for this grateful nations and god bless.

  9. See what happens when you don’t check in with your friends frequently?

    You get an “Attaboy” in unusual places !


  10. joe i think kevin should be the pgr writer that post was on the mark and well written

    Absolutely, Carl. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  11. Hi, I am an officer with the Righteous Few LE MC out of So.WV. We have been talking about your organization and wondered what is needed to ride with you. We are made up of law enforcement, fire, ems and public service. We are only about a year old, but have 34 patch members and another 30 or so supporters with us. Hope to hear from you, Mike

    • Hi Mike,

      The main requirement to attend missions is a desire to show support and respect for fallen military/veterans/first responders and their families. You can find postings of upcoming missions here on our WVPGR page or on the national site at https://www.patriotguard.org You can sign up at the national site and be alerted to upcoming missions in your area. You can also find more information from our site and flyer at the following link HERE and HERE

  12. Delbert (Butch) Phillips

    Glad we got together on this upcoming Honor FLight
    I like your website, lots of good info
    We appreciate your promise to help with HF2014 and look
    forward to meeting you. Hope we can come visit sometime

    Butch Phillips

    • Thank you very much, Butch. We would be honored to attend both the departure and their return, if we would be welcome to do so. Feel free to let me know of the details as soon as they become available. My address is wvugo2001@suddenlink.net and my phone #’s are: 304-834-1576 (H) or 304-534-1150 (C).
      Joe Cumblidge
      State Captain
      WV Patriot Guard

  13. I commented a wile back about the wv pgr facebook site. i still haven’t got a welcome letter and info on the facebook site.

  14. Hi all,
    My name is Al Whitlock and we just moved here from NY. I was a member of the PGR on Long Island where I went on a number of missions with a great group of people. although due to medical issues i cant stand for long periods. i’ll due my best to support our troops though. We live in Weston/ Camden and would love to get in touch with a ride captain from the area so we can get going.

    Proud to be PGR,
    Al (shooter) Whitlock

    • Welcome aboard, Al. Glad to have you with us. I just sent you our welcome letter to the gmail address I see here. I look forward to meeting you in the near future, hopefully on a “happy” mission.

  15. I would love some info on becoming a member of this organization.

    • Thank you for your contact, Joshua. I just sent you an email to the address you provided here. My apologies for being so slow in getting back with you.
      Joe Cumblidge
      WV State Captain

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