Ride Report posted by Lutz

It was May 27, 2009,  that Marine wife Jean asked us to help send off her husband’s unit for their deployment to Iraq. Marine Bride Company B, 6th Engineer Support Battalion, US Marine Corps, out of Folsom. We gathered in Folsom on a gray morning and escorted three busloads of Marines from there to Maryland, where we broke off and sent them on their way to Camp Lejeune for the first leg of the journey to Iraq. Jean was the wife of the company commander, Jerry.

Seven months later we gathered again, this time to welcome them home, a much happier ride for all concerned. We rode down to the first rest stop along I-95 in Pa and met the returning busloads of tired-but-happy Marines there, and finished their ride off with a flag-flying, siren-wailing, V-twin roaring escort to Folsom! We pulled in to the armory to the sight of flags and signs and LOTS of people, baloons and fire engines and TV cameras.

But there was a small group of Marines who were not there that day – a select few, including the Company Commander Jerry, had volunteered to go from Iraq to Afghanistan to finish up some work that needed doing there. It was this group, 6 Marines in all, who we were going to greet today.

Unlike the others, these 6 were flying in to Philly and being picked up there by company vans. We met at the Bartram Avenue fire house, and we had those Marine vehicles and the commander’s wife Jean meet us there as well. As a group we then went to the airport for the big welcome.\

An interesting side note here is that Jean, a person who had never been on a motorcycle and had no burning desire to do so, wanted to ride on the lead motorcycle to surprise her husband Jerry. Seeing Jean on the back of a motorcycle was the last thing he would expect!

We got to the airport and went inside to form our flag gauntlet, with Jean remaining outside so that she would not be seen. We greeted our heroes right on time, collected baggage and went out to the waiting convoy of bikes. Only then did Jean come out of hiding, sporting a new “cute little harley-jacket” and pink helmet, supplied by friend Bobcat.

The ride was perfect, and on pulling in to the Armory you would have thought that it was the entire unit coming in again. The company was in formation to greet their CO, and the families, flags and signs were all quite evident again.

Bridge Co. B, we thank God for your safe return. The unit suffered no casualties during that deployment, and to bring them home whole is always a bonus for us.

Thank you for your service, and WELCOME HOME!