November 29, 2018

I'm very pleased to inform you that State Captain Bill Schaaf and Assistant State Captain Nigel Heaton have supported and approved my request to appoint Bill Brainard as a Ride Captain in Region-1.

Many of you know that Bill is a former Ride Captain and Senior Ride Captain in Region-1.  Bill is known as a humble, quiet, spiritual and respected leader, full of Patriotism, and very proud of his U.S. Navy service.  His desire to Honor our Military and 1st Responders is second to none.

My sincere thanks to Bill for offering to step up and step back into a leadership role.  Please offer your congratulations and thanks to Bill when you have an opportunity.

Thanks very much.

Don Higgins, SRC, Region-1


July 13, 2018

I would like to announce Ken Titland as a new Ride Captain in Region 6.

Ken has been a PGR member since 2013. He is an Army veteran serving from 1981 to 1983. Ken has worked for Orange and Rockland Utilities as a lineman since 1987 and runs the apprentice training school.  He has run annual fundraisers for the Wounded Warrior Project. He is also a member of the American Legion post 1266 in Wurtsboro, NY.

Welcome Ken.

Bob Boisvert, SRC
PGRNY - Region 6



May 3, 2018

I'm pleased and honored to announce that PGRNY State Captain Bill Schaaf and Assistant State Captain Nigel Heaton have approved my nomination of Bob "Trip" Marien as a Region-1 Ride Captain, effective yesterday.

"Trip" has been a very active PGR Member for 3 years, and has been a regular Mission participant.  Living in Darien, he is a proud USMC Veteran (Corporal, '78-'82), and a member of American Legion Post 734 in Attica.

I look forward to "Trip" being part of the Region-1 leadership, and I appreciate his offer to step up to help.

Congrats, Trip!!

Don Higgins, SRC
PGRNY Region-1


 April 6, 2018

I would like to announce, with PGR NY Board of Directors approval, the election of Patsy Boisvert to the position of Treasurer along with its attendant seat on the BOD.  Patsy brings with her vast experience in the administration and management of financials in not-for-profit organizations.  We are pleased to have her aboard.
Our sincere thanks and appreciation to Sabine Reid who previously held this Treasurers position for the last 18 months after coordinating a successful transition from long time Treasurer, Laurie Martin.  Sabine brought to the position the requisite experience and attention to detail and continued the long held tradition of transparent accountability. With increased responsibilities at work, Sabine felt the need to step down at this time.
The Patriot Guard Riders of New York are fortunate to have such volunteers in our midst - willing to step up and do the work that is required. 
Welcome aboard, Patsy.

Bill Schaaf
Patriot Guard Riders NY - State Captain 


December 2, 2017

We are happy to announce the appointment of Steve Flubacher as the latest addition to the Region 5 Ride Captain team.  A dedicated PGR member since 2012, Steve is also a member of a group of Region 5 members known as “the usual suspects”…those that seldom miss a mission. Please join us in welcoming Steve aboard.


November 2017

Patriot Guard Riders of New York - Please scroll down to see a message from our National President concerning a very great honor bestowed on the Patriot Guard Riders.  Every one should feel justifiably proud to be a member of our great organization.  The message speaks for itself.  I am honored and proud to be in a leadership position of many of the finest men and women on the planet. 

Masked National Service AwardGood afternoon,

I got a call yesterday from Gen. Carter Ham, CEO of the Association of the United States Army.

He called to inform me the Patriot Guard has been awarded their prestigious "National Service Award".  The award is presented each year to an organization in recognition of exemplary service and enduring support to the American Soldier and the United States Army community.

We are in pretty good company as previous recipients are the Gary Sinise Foundation and the Honor Flight Network.

We've said many times that "It's not about us," and indeed it is not. It's about the heroes and the families we serve. What this award means is that the US Army community has acknowledged our commitment to them, that we cherish them and honor their service and their sacrifices to keep us free.

My voice betrayed my emotion as I accepted this award on behalf of all of our brothers and sisters that stand in the flagline. It was an honor I'll not soon forget.

As always, thank you for what you do.


Rob "bees" Butler
Patriot Guard Riders
706 987-0686



October 30, 2017

I have the honor of informing you that Bill Schaaf has asked if he would, and Wayne has accepted the position of the Senior Ride Captain of Region 8, (Nassau County as well as NYC). As Wayne will be continuing on as our Mission Request Coordinator, the position he stepped up to when we lost Smidi, I am sure it will be effective on the mission requested for Region 8.

Wayne is a dedicated, smart and energetic person who is always there for or heroes, veterans and the PGR. 

This is a position that Pete Jepson graciously offered to take on along with his SRC of region 8 a couple of years ago when the need to him was apparent. Pete has done an outstanding job leading all of NYC and Long Island. He is also smart enough to know the first rule in volunteer management is to start looking for your own replacement as soon as you are given a position so no matter what happens the to you the Organization can go on.

So I thank you Pete for the great job and for proposing the Wayne be appointed to this position.

Wayne, I and all the rest of State leadership are here for you and we congratulate you, as well as, thank you for Standing for those who stand for us.

Jim McElroy
Assistant State Captain   Patriot Guard Riders, NY 


October 6, 2017

Please join me in welcoming the two newest members to the PGRHY ROC-HOTH Warehouse team.

Jason Forte joined the team in early September as our new Donation Coordinator. Jason is processing the incoming Furniture Donation Pickup Requests and assisting in the preparation of the monthly furniture pickup and delivery routes.

Dan Ritz joined the team on September 29 as our new Scheduling Coordinator. Dan is scheduling the veteran's visits to the warehouse to pick out their furniture.

The current Warehouse Team now includes:
Tom Reichardt, Assistant Warehouse Manager, Inventory and Veteran Escort Coordinator.
Steve Ford, Assistant Warehouse Manager, Transportation
Jason Forte, Donation Coordinator
Dan Ritz, Scheduling Coordinator
Dave Lippa, Warehouse Liaison & Safety Captain
Steve Burley, Assistant Safety Captain
Ed Reulback, Inventory Assistant
Donna Barnes, Webmaster and Communications Director

Beth Read, Warehouse Manager

If you would like to learn more about the above positions and other volunteer opportunities within PGRNY and PGRNY HOTH, please visit Volunteer Opportunities section of the PGRNY website. 


April 4, 2017


I am Please to announce the Promotion of Bob Wheeler to Ride Captain. Bob has been a PGR Member for over a decade and has stepped up on numerous occasions when needed. Bob is an Army Veteran and retired from the Bath VA after almost 30 years service. Bob has a lot of community service including the Elks Club, volunteering as driver for veterans in need of a ride for medical appointments as well as the VA. Bob is also a founding Vice President of the Bath American Legion Riders. Bob has expressed a willingness to serve Region 2 when available wherever he is needed. Bob is not a stranger to Missions in Regions 1 or 3. Please take some time to Thank Bob for his commitment to the Veterans and Families we serve. Congratulations Bob, and thank you for what you do.

Nigel Heaton
Assistant State Captain
Regions 1, 2, 3


February 22, 2017

Fellow PGR Members:

I'm honored and pleased to announce that Don Becker of Cheektowaga has been re-appointed as a Ride Captain in PGRNY Region-1.

An 11-Year PGR member, Don previously served as a Ride Captain before taking a couple years off for personal reasons.
However, during that time Don continued to be of tremendous help and assistance behind the scenes to me and to other RCs.

A proud U.S. Marine Veteran, Don brings a very passionate desire and attitude in "Doing the Right Thing" for our Military and 1st Responders.

I have no doubt that Don Becker will be a very valuable asset as a Ride Captain.  Please offer your congratulation when you have the opportunity.

Don Higgins
Senior Ride Captain
PGRNY Region-1


November 26, 2016

From Bill Schaaf, PGRNY State Captain

Fellow SRC's - please join me in congratulating Ride Captain and Moderator Bob Boisvert as being appointed Senior Ride Caption for Region 6.  Bob is a longtime member of the PGR and has served as my go-to-Ride Captain for mission activity down in Region 6.

Region 6 leadership is in good hands and I look forward to Bob continuing his good work and representing the PGR in the Hudson Valley.

Well deserved, Bob.


November 4, 2016

From Bill Schaaf, PGRNY State Captain

Patriot Guard Riders - I am pleased to announce the appointment of Region 5 Senior Ride Captain, Ray Sestak, to the position of PGR NY Assistant State Captain - Eastern Region.  In this position Ray will assist me in the general oversight of activities taking place within Regions 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Ray is known to most everyone in these regions and have experienced the leadership he brings to any mission he is apart of.  I'm personally very gratified that Ray accepted the responsibilities of his new position and look forward to working with him in his new capacity.

Join me in congratulating Ray on his new position of Asst. State Captain.


November 4, 2016

Congratulations to Wayne Cohen who has been named Ride Captain for Region 8.


 October 23, 2016

Patriot Guard Riders of NY has a new mailing address.

PO Box 12445
Rochester, NY 14612


October 23, 2016

We would also like to annouce the following personnel assignments effective October 23, 2016:

Bill Schaaf - State Captain and President, Board of Directors

Nigel Heaton - Vice President, Board of Directors

Sabine Reid - Treasurer, Board of Directors

Ray Sestak - Secretary, Board of Directors

Donna L Barnes - Website and Communications Operations Director



Letter from our new State Captain:

My sincere thank you to Dave Kern for his un-failing and un-flappable leadership of the Patriot Guard Riders here in New York.  I came into PGR NY in 2007 and have known no other State Captain.  Over the last 9 years our participation in the military honors funerals of our Killed In Action is our primary Mission and we have performed that mission with honor, dignity and respect. We have taken those same KIA protocols and perform them with the same unwavering dedication to those funerals of our honorably discharged veterans.

Due to our performance in carrying out our Mission, the Patriot Guard Riders of New York have been rightfully acknowledged to be a first class, professional organization.  This has been accomplished, in no small measure, due to the guidance and direction of our State Captain, Dave Kern.  Dave has set forth and overseen the protocols that we follow here in New York.  He has worked hard with our Senior Ride Captains and Ride Captains to establish leadership guidelines that have served us well here in New York – and for that we are most grateful.  I know of the personal sacrifice Dave has made.  He’s got a full-time job you know and he balances those responsibilities with that of the many demands of his State Captaincy. There will be big shoes to fill.

I was privileged and fortunate to have been elevated to positions of leadership within the PGR – Ride Captain, then Senior Ride Captain and Assistant State Captain.  During these last 9 years I have worked closely with Dave and have engaged the PGR in any number of worthy activities and Dave was always there to voice his encouragement and provide direction.

I am very humbled – first by even being considered for the State Captain position – and second that the Patriot Guard Riders National Board of Directors saw fit to elevate me to the position of State Captain of New York.  So, I’m going to take a couple of deep breaths and then work closely with Dave to make sure the transition of leadership goes as smoothly as possible.  My first responsibility is to ensure that we maintain much of the continuity we currently enjoy throughout the state.  If something ain’t broke – then don’t fix it.  I look forward to reaching out to and meeting as many SRC’s and RC’s as possible so that I may experience what is going on in every one of our 9 Regions. In the meantime – if anyone needs to reach me – after 10/22 – I can be contacted at or

Once again, from my heart, thank you Dave for all that you have done for the Patriot Guard Riders of New York, for the grieving families of the fallen, for our Gold Star and Blue Star families, for our active duty military and for those veterans you have helped thru your personal involvement with our Help On The Homefront program.  I know your desire is to take a little time off and then join us in the flag line.  We look forward to seeing you there.


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