We received this request from our heroes aunt Sylva early Sat morning and just had to make this happen on the following Mon morning.

“Just heard about this group from my friend Amity Atkins, who’s father is a member of this group. My nephew Sgt. David Smith, USMC, has been called up in his second year of inactive duty to report to Camp LeJeune, NC this Monday, 11/17/08. He is leaving his home in Limerick around 9 am for the Philly airport. I know this is short notice, but I thought I would give this request a try anyway. I understand if there is not enough time, but I just thought this would be a really nice thing to do for a kid who thought his 4 year service and 2 tours in Iraq was sufficient. Now his orders are for Iraq OR Afghanistan… He is a proud Marine and will do what is asked. We as a family are certainly not happy about this, but will do all we can to support our Marine. His job is crew chief on an AAV. His new orders are for a full year. So if there is any way for this escort to take place, I would really appreciate it. If not, perhaps we could do this when he comes home for good! Thanks so much for your consideration.

A request like this just had to be honored.  We had about 12 bikes show up at the final rally point  by the 0700 briefing time.  Some of us got there about an hour earlier to partake of a good breakfast and warm up after a very brisk, 31 degrees, ride to the rally point.  We had a short briefing and mounted up to head for SGT Smith’s home.

As we approached the house, we saw no one outside and no cars.  But we drove up the driveway anyway and turned our bikes around ready for departure.  Shortly thereafter, Aunt Sylva arrived and then SGT. Smith came out.  He was quite surprised and, from the grin, pleased.  We all Said hello and conveyed our gratitude for his service and wishes for a safe deployment.  SGT Smith went into the house to get his gear together as we waited outside.  When he came out ready to go, he was presented with our coin and best wishes. We had told SGT Smith’s Dad Smitty and step Mom Jesse, who live in Alaska, that we would give him a hug for them.  I was honored to give him a manly biker hug from Smitty and Fefe gave him the somewhat more inspiring hug from Jesse.

We all mounted up for the ride to the airport and left about 0745.  The traffic to the airport was horrendous and it took us about an hour and 50 minutes to make the trip.  As we pulled into the terminal, there were another half a dozen people from A Heroes Welcome, The American Sheepdogs and the WWR, standing on the curb waiting for us with flags flying.  It was a great sight and SGT Smith was deluged with applause, hugs and respect for his commitment to duty.  Unfortunately, we got there too late for him to catch his flight and he had to take a later one.  He took this in stride like the good natured young man that he is and, as Aunt Sylva said, “at least we get to be with him another 2 hours”.  We hung around for another half hour or so and then departed.

A special thanks goes out to Butch and his daughter who told Aunt Sylva about the WWR and to Aunt Sylva for allowing us to share in this sad but proud tradition of American young men and women answering their countries call.

And to all of you that turned out, thanks for being there for this young man and his family.  This is what we do and we do it well.  We hope they will call on us again in a year so we can help welcome this American hero
home to “the place where he belongs”.