Ride Report posted for Handyman

At 23, CPL Ryan Brodsky has already served two tours – the first in Iraq and the most recent in Afghanistan. His parents, Gary and Cindy had been working tirelessly getting their home ready for our hero’s return, and were anxiously awaiting his arrival at Philly International. They did not, however, plan on mechanical problems with his first flight from Hawaii, nor the winter storms in the Midwest that delayed his departure from Chicago.

The weather in Philly was not too cooperative either, with heavy rains and high wind exactly coinciding with the mission times. Opting for safety, Warriors’ Watch Riders elected to attend in cages with one notable exception who rode with flags flying to lead the way for our hero.

After multiple delays, Ryan’s plane finally arrived in Philly and he was greeted with very happy parents, brother Kenny, and many other family members, as well as local media. Our hero was sporting a red Phillies ball cap and a fresh tattoo in memory of a very close comrade who was killed in action by sniper fire. Warriors’ Watch stood our flag line alongside the escalator to shake hands with Ryan, then descended to administer the official Warriors’ Watch “mug ‘n’ hug” along with a much better looking crew from A Hero’s Welcome.

Outside, preparing to leave the terminal for Ryan’s home in Bristol Borough, PA, the weather finally decided to change for the better, no doubt trying to make amends for the trouble it had caused everyone earlier. It continued to improve as we made our way North on I-95 behind escorts from Philly Police, PA State Troopers and Bristol Borough Police. Upon exiting at Rt 413 we were met by no less than five of Bristol Borough’s finest who did a truly amazing job of blocking intersections and providing safe passage as the entourage made its way down Radcliffe Street, then past the Bristol High School and then the Snyder-Girotti Elementary School, both attended by CPL Brodsky in his earlier years. All members of WWR agreed that Bristol Borough did one of the finest jobs that we had seen before. We salute Chief of Police Snyder as well as Officer Pete Faight and his fellow officers for their professional escort.

The sun was finally coming through and the air had warmed up enough that students from the high school senior class were able to come outside and cheer our hero on as we made our drive-by. Even more moving was the sight of what looked to be the entire elementary school streaming out the doors and lining the sidewalks along the whole block of our procession, waving flags, cheering, holding hand-made welcome banners and generally making sure that CPL Ryan knew how happy they were that he was home again. Our sincere thanks to Miss Parmigiani, Principal of Snyder-Girotti Elementary and Mr.

Shaffer, Principal of Bristol Jr/Sr High School. You, your staff and students made a lasting impression on not only our hero, but all in attendance. It was a truly moving sight.

Arriving at Ryan’s home we were greeted with Bristol Borough Firefighters with some impressive ladder trucks suspending Old Glory high above the street, complete with sirens, horns. There were plenty of friends, neighbors and even more family members there to make sure that our hero understood how much he was missed while he was away. Our thanks to Ralph DiGuiseppe, Bristol Borough Council President, for coordinating the township support agencies in attendance.

One item of note was that when the American Legion put Ryan’s family in touch with the Warriors’ Watch for this mission, Ryan was a LCPL. Shortly afterward he received a promotion just in time for his homecoming.

Congratulations, CPL Brodsky!

Speaking for Warriors’ Watch Riders, A Hero’s Welcome, the American Legion and all the support personnel from Bristol Borough, “Welcome home, faithful soldier, welcome home.” Have a relaxing and enjoyable holiday with family and friends. You had our backs while you were away and you deserve it. We thank you and your family for your sacrifice.