Wounded Soldiers Escort to Army/Navy Game.
Sergeant Major Carlton W. Kent, Sergeant Major USMC

DE Rally Point ride report.
Submitted by Deuce.

WWR riders met at the Delaware rest area awaiting the buses. We were joined by Second Brigade and the Viet Nam Vets MC’S. We were getting ready to roll with the one bus to escort when Wayne pointed out that there were three more buses with soldiers in them coming towards us. We hopped on the bus and asked them if they were going to the game, and they said yes, so we told them to fall in and we would escort them as well. Delaware State Police proceeded to shut down 95 so we could enter safely. Things got a little hairy on I-495 due to a very bad accident. I think the Trooper mistook the 95 sign to be the speed limit. With our police escort were able to weave our way through and deliver our package to you guys safely at the Pa rest area.  The Flag line looked awesome when we entered the rest area, and I know our Heroes really appreciated it. I would like to thank everyone for coming out today and supporting our Heroes in the only way we know how. Also thanks go out to the riders that were controlling the traffic to get us there safely. Hold your head high after today knowing that we did something that had meaning to our Heroes.

General James T. Conway, Commandant USMC

PA Rally Point Ride report.
Submitted by Bobcat.

The PA and NJ WWR began to assemble at the PA Welcome Area on I95 before 8:00 on a very cold December morning.  We immediately began to setup traffic control and staging areas in preparation for the bikes to come.  Traffic control was handled by Ducttape, Fefe, Trink, Goldwing30, Damagecontrolman and Paltringer.  They did a great job and the staging activity went very smoothly.  As other bikes and groups arrived they were routed to their staging areas.  By about 0830, we had every one staged ready to join with the DE and MD contingent when they arrived with the buses of our honored wounded warriors.

PA Trooper Pratt, NCIS Dave Snyder, PA Corporal Canterino & PA Trooper Snow

We did have a bit of scare though.  Lengua, our faithful LEO SPOC, came over to me and told me that we were not going to be able to escort the buses because of NCIS restrictions.  We walked back over to the PA State police liaison and he confirmed it.  So then we asked to speak to the NCIS agent in charge.  He came over to speak with us.  Note: He was nothing like the Hollywood version, he was very tall and stocky and quite pleasant.  After a short discussion, we understood that he was talking about a bus of dignitaries from DC that he was escorting, not the wounded soldiers we were escorting.  Another crisis averted.  Thanks Lengua.

USCG Michael Bazis, just days after welcomed home by WWR, joins WWR for the Wounded Warriors Escort

We held a short briefing with the group and discussed the remaining mission activities.  We then broke and headed to the entrance of the Welcome area to setup a flag line to salute the buses as they arrived.  We didn’t have long to wait.  Off in the distance, we saw a line of bikes followed by 4 buses followed by more bikes.  The procession looked great.  We came to attention and saluted them as they entered the area.  We could see many smiling faces and waves from the passengers on the buses as they passed.  That was thank you enough for our efforts.  We then headed back to the bikes to be ready to depart when the buses were ready.

Mission briefing

The PA State Police blocked a lane of traffic to allow us to get the bikes and the buses on to I95 north safely.  The ride up to the Linc was done at very high speeds but we stayed with our charge, the buses of wounded service personnel.  We ran into heavy traffic about a mile out and it took 20 minutes to cover that mile.

WWR steeds at the ready

We finally got to the Linc but they had not yet opened the gates for us to get in.  After another 20 minutes of circling, and we really did circle the 11th street entrance twice, they got the gate opened and the buses entered.  Unfortunately, they would not let us enter due to Secret Service directives.  This was very disappointing but we made the best of it.  We went back down the street and found a place to park that was out of the way.  Once there, we could de-brief a bit and hand out tickets to those who wanted them.

RC Bobcat stating our purpose

Rob Bender, who was the liaison for the mission, came up to me and told me how much he appreciated the honor we had shown these wounded warriors.  He told me that he had heard from the passengers on the buses how touched and proud they were to see a bunch of civilians lined up with flags and saluting them.  It made their day.  And that…is why we do what we do, for them.  If our actions relay the pride and affection we have for them and the respect we have for their sacrifice, then we have done what we set out to do.  We did it today and we can be very proud of ourselves.  We touched their hearts as they touch ours and we didn’t even have the opportunity to meet them.  I am, as always, very proud to be a member of this wonderful organization.  May we always be able to honor them as they protect us until there is no longer the need.

Photos by Lou Torres