On Sunday, December 19, 2010, there was a large crowd gathered at the Great American Pub in Langhorne, Pa for the Mug-n-Hug and coining of my father, U.S. Army Spec E4 Steve Danberry. During his duty,  Steve drove fuel tankers into Vietnam where the convoy would be met and escorted to the location they were needed. He has recently been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and as a result, he is not able to get out much.  Prior to his diagnosis, Steve rode his bikes year- round. Now that he can no longer ride, I knew that seeing all the people, especially the bikers showing up in the cold weather would mean a lot to him.

Many people stepped up to make this mission possible. Fire departments  from both Levittown and Tullytown supplied fire engines and emergency vehicles. Middletown police also had a vehicle present.

We traveled the few miles to Steve’s residence with an unbelievable procession. I counted 30 bikes and about 20 cages, along with the emergency vehicles.

The look on Steve’s face was one I’ve never seen as the bikes roared up with the sound of sirens and flashing of lights.  He stayed outside and made sure to meet everyone. I believe our family was brought much closer on that emotional day. It meant a lot to me to coin my father.  And we all appreciate what the Warriors’ Watch Riders do. Jesse Hill  from the Delaware Valley Vietnam Veterans was also on hand to present Steve with a medal thanking him for his service.

During all the hugs, thank yous, and welcome homes, I was asked about a gentleman sitting on my parents’ porch. He is my sister’s father-in-law. We found out that Camellio (Casey) DeValerio was a U.S. Army Signal Corp WWII Vet that served in France and England between 1943 and 1945. Casey was also coined and thanked that day .

It was a very difficult mission for me personally, considering that it was for my own father, and knowing that he has a very short time left with us. I rode alongside my brother, with my sister and her husband on a bike behind us. The turnout was tremendous and my family can’t thank everyone enough. He hasn’t stopped talking about it and I know we created a great memory for him. Thanks for your service, Dad, and Welcome Home.