This is our fourth mission for the day and going on at the same time as Jared Miller.  Myself and Tim staged at Bob Dron’s H-D and waited for Luisa, Marco’s Mom.  Luisa is a Blue Star Mom at Chapter 101 out of Danville, CA and also lives in Lafayette.  The night before as you remember, we brought home SPC Keating at midnight.  Tonight was the night of the big Welcome Home for SPC Keating and Lt. Oriti.  This whole Welcome Home was planned by Kathie Lind, Patrick’s Mom; Bryan Welden of Lafayette Flag Brigade (LFB); Luisa, Marco’s Mom and myself.  The plan was to have Patrick escorted from his house by Lafayette PD around 20 minutes prior to our arrival with Marco.  Now, back to the airport…  We waited for Marco, picked him up, got him downstairs and collected his bags.  We mugged & hugged him but didn’t say much more than a Welcome Home.  Our mission now was to take Marco to the Lafayette Veterans Hall and NOT to his house, where he thought he was going.  When we left Oakland Airport there was hardly any traffic on the roads when it’s usually packed.  We arrived 20 minutes early, came off the freeway exit where we were met by two Lafayette PD cruisers who escorted us to the Veterans building.  As we rolled up, the Fire Department was positioned at the front door and about 60 people were waving flags & Welcome Home signs for Marco and Patrick.  I also saw Patrick standing on the steps giving me thumbs up as he had arrived 20 minutes earlier to this surprise.


As we all headed inside the big meeting hall, Bryan’s (LFB) huge flag was hung and a buffet table was filled – catered by a local Italian deli/restaurant.  The hall was filled with all of Marco and Patrick’s friends & family as well as other guests.  Members from the local VFW, American Legion and the Marine Corps. League were there.  Also in attendance were the Mayor’s of Lafayette, Moraga and Danville, the Blue Star Mom’s and the WWR.  Tim, who rode in with me, didn’t stay & headed back to Pleasanton to support Jared Miller.  So, I was the lone WWR Representative.  As I was sitting there and listening to all the awards being given to these young soldiers, I received a text from Rick & Paul stating their mission to Tracy with Ssgt. Renaud was complete.  Twenty minutes later, I received another text from Trevor stating the Pleasanton mission was complete.  At that time I was called up to present the coins of the American Legion, The Legion Riders and WWR to both of these young soldiers.  This mission to Lafayette was the first mission in this city ever and to have 3 Mayors for 3 different cities was above & beyond belief!  Once all certificates, coins, proclamations and appreciations were given out, it was time to eat.

Respectfully Submitted – Fred “Spike” Schau