spc-patrick-keatingThis mission started out with a couple of quirks – the first was his welcome home was planned for that evening at about 7pm.  We then found out that SPC Keating couldn’t get off the base in order to catch the morning flight.  The flight he could catch brought him into SFO at midnight, so the welcome home celebration had to be moved to the next evening.  We were already at the airport complete two other welcome home mission escorts.  Patrick was our last one for the evening.  We waited for his Mom, Kathie at the staging area.  When she arrived at staging, she brought two thermoses of hot coffee, cups and condiments for the riders.  This family has a lot of military background that served in the Army and all four theaters of war.  Medals included are bronze stars and purple hearts earned by Msgt. Jerry Keating, Patrick’s grandfather.  Patrick’s other grandfather, Jack Haller was an Annapolis graduate, retiring as a Lt. Commander.  Patrick also has an Uncle who is a Vietnam Veteran and a cousin who was a Marine who served in Afghanistan.

So, we are here tonight to pick-up this young Ranger and bring him home.  The flight arrived a little early.  Patrick headed down the escalator toward baggage claim & security.  He couldn’t believe there were three bikers standing there holding a “Welcome Home” sign.  We grabbed his bags, which had arrived before him from the flight he missed, and went to the parking lot before heading to Lafayette.  We crossed the bay bridge, which was chillier than chilly, although not as cold as it is back east!


When we arrived at Patrick’s house, Kathie ordered us into their home for tea and hot coffee.  The six of us sat around the dining room table shooting the shit for about an hour.  I did not coin Patrick this night due to the official surprise Welcome Home planned for the next evening.  My mission tomorrow night is bringing home a First Lieutenant to attend the same Welcome Home as Patrick and a whole other ride report.

Respectfully Submitted – Fred “Spike” Schau