As your State Captain I must tell you that it is with great hesitancy that I even dare to change the message that has been posted on this page for the last several months, for that message was written by our friend and brother, Joe Cumblidge, our former WV State Captain. It was the last message he posted on this page as he announced he was stepping down after serving for 13 years as our leader. We all know the reason for his resignation was not due to his lack of dedication to our organization but rather was due to his declining health. Joe gave 110% to serving as our leader and was ALWAYS ready to help in any way he could, with just one goal…..making sure ALL OUR HEROES WERE HONORED as the deserved. He taught us well and will always be remembered and held in high esteem in our hearts.
Since it was Joe’s wish that I step up and become the next State Captain (promising to always be there in the shadows to help any time I needed him), you will at times notice that I am using Joe’s words and ideas as I move forward (slowly & cautiously) in my effort to serve you as the State Captain of the WV Patriot Guard. My goal is simple – I want to uphold this position the very best way I can. I will not claim to be a great leader, but I do claim to be a great TEAM PLAYER. I will tell you what my #1 goal is……to build a great TEAM of folks who want to WORK TOGETHER in unity and respect for each other and for our common goal of honoring our HEROES. I am surrounded by some of the finest people I’ve ever known, our Senior Ride Captains, Ride Captains, Our Board of Directors, and EVERY member of the WV Patriot Guard, and I consider everyone of you a part of this TEAM. WE ALL will keep this TEAM strong and moving forward, always remembering that we represent an honorable organization, the PGR, and we must conduct ourselves In accordance with those standards.
I will often seek help from my TEAM – whether it be advice, assistance with the details of day to day operation of the Patriot Guard, help with all the “behind the scenes” details that must be done, but no one ever sees, in order to get from the time we receive a mission request all the way thru until the mission complete report is posted, and a host of other things I will need help with. Many of you have already stepped up to help with many things that I had no idea how to do, and I am very grateful. All of you have been very supportive of me as I learn my role and responsibilities. I am beyond grateful for your support and your many expressions of confidence in my ability to fill these shoes.
As I continue to learn the responsibilities of this new role I ask that you bear with me when I stumble, when I ask you the same question over again, when I don’t know the answer to your question, etc., I will make mistakes, I will have to back up and change my decisions at times, I will fall down, but I promise you I WILL get back up and try again as long as I can see that our TEAM is moving forward and working for our primary goal.
Thank you for your help, support AND your confidence in me. Now, let’s keep this TEAM moving forward and let’s make Joe proud.
West Virginia Patriot Guard