Patriot Guard Rider
Dehydration and Heat Illness
Good morning fellow PGR,
It’s that time of year when we all start hearing HYDRATE! HYDRATE! HYDRATE!
The two groups that are most susceptible to debilitating heat illnesses are children under two and adults over 60 years old. We have more than our share of Riders in the latter group, right? They be talking about US people!
Please, Please take this message seriously. Start hydrating the evening before a mission and begin again when you wake up in the morning. Heat Illnesses can happen to any of us. You may be among the many who just doesn’t like to drink water, unless you’re thirsty. Lots of us around. Please re-consider your thinking on hydrating the day before and the day of a mission. Or any other outdoor activities. Note the color of your urine. If it’s not clear, or very nearly clear, that’s your body’s way of telling you you need fluids. PLEASE NOTE: We’re not just talking about our own physical well-being here. We’re talking about being able to do what we love and also the idea of our personal responsibility to do what is necessary to make sure we don’t become a HUGE Distraction to the families we serve and the mission itself!
REMINDER: If you know you’re not feeling well, reach out to the Rider next to you and tell them you need to move away from the flag line to go sit in the shade. Don’t delay and don’t “wait for it to pass” and don’t wait for a Ride Captain’s attention before doing so! A Ride Captain will note the movement in the line and will be over immediately to assist. Dizziness, blurring vision, nausea/vomiting, headache, fatigue, decreased sweating, shortness of breath, hot, flushed, dry skin, are all signs things are going south quickly.
Every year we have Riders go down who have never gone down with heat illnesses before. Please don’t allow yourself to be caught up in the “It’s never happened to me before”, idea. Do what you can the night before and the morning of the mission to protect yourself and ensure you don’t become dehydrated and fall ill in the flag line. Wear light colored shirts/blouses, wear a hat that will keep the sun off of your brain bucket, retire the black leather vest for the summer and pick up a mesh vest or feel free not to wear a vest at all, grab one of those new fabric “cool” strips you can soak in cold water to wear around your neck, and stay in the shade as long as possible.
Start hydrating the evening before a mission and begin again when you wake up in the morning. We all need to be there in good health to support our families.
Mr. Jean “Dae Wi” Clark
Deputy State Captain
Patriot Guard, San Antonio, TX
Dignity, Honor, Respect