Ride Report posted for Liver

We arrived at Spring-Ford High School at 1020 on a beautiful spring-like day honored to send off the 228th Engineer Company of the Pennsylvania National Guard who are being deployed to Iraq, the 4th deployment for the 228th since 2001.

Many of us were on the opposite side of the school and, thinking we were early, were wondering where everyone was. To our great surprise, when we were directed to the rear of the School, the Royersford and Spring City Fire companies were both on hand with a large flag draped between two ladder trucks and, what seemed like, the entire 228th and their families standing outside of the school.

As we formed a flag line that covered both sides of the sidewalk the entry way was a field of red, white and blue held high by Warriors Watch, A Hero’s Welcome and others standing with us. The group was so large that we extended from the end of the sidewalk into the lobby of the building to the auditorium doors. All were on hand to welcome and support the many friends and family of the 228th in attendance as well as the Soldiers themselves as they entered.

At 1055, as the last of the families entered the hall, the members of the Warriors Watch assembled along the back of the auditorium with two rows of flags stretching the entire width of the basketball court. The bleachers were full, speakers at the podium, while the 228th stood in the center of the venue to hear words of encouragement, appreciation and blessing as well as the applause of the attendees.

We remained in place through the 40 minute presentation until we preceded those assembled and again held a flag line for their exit before many of the WWR departed for Bristol. While at Spring-Ford things were very fluid and the WWR dealt with every change as if it were scripted – doing what was needed to give our Heroes the send-off they deserved.

The 228th will have a difficult and dangerous mission clearing routes in Iraq and keeping them safe. The WWR will keep in touch with the 228th Family readiness coordinator and others close to the 228th so that in a little more than year we can welcome them home. In the mean time we’ll keep them close in our hearts and prayers and wish them a safe return home.

Liver, WWR