Ride Report posted for Lutz: 

The Warriors Watch Riders Vision Statement says, in part;


…As of June 30, 2008, about 1,427,546 men and women are on active duty in the United States Armed Forces, with an additional 1,458,400 in the seven reserve components. THE WARRIORS’ WATCH RIDERS WILL HONOR EVERY ONE OF THEM.

Toward that end, the Warriors’ Watch Riders will:

Demonstrate to the civilian public the lengths to which we will go to treat every American Warrior, from the greenest enlisted recruit to the most seasoned officer, like a “rock star.”

When the Warriors’ Watch Riders welcome a troop, or a bunch of troops, we do so flamboyantly and loudly and joyfully, because such welcomes are joyous occasions, and because we want all the world to see and hear what we are doing, so that might prompt them to think about why it is important.

When we do this often enough, when we repeat these welcomes over and over and over again, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and Delaware and Florida and Georgia and Virginia and Texas and Arkansas and Illinois and Wisconsin and California and…

then gradually the idea takes hold in the public psyche and the idea grows. Others begin to understand the importance of treating our troops like the true celebreties.

What happens then is that these welcomes – the images, the videos, the stories, and the emails saying “You’ll never believe what happened to me today…!!!” and “They reall support us – they really and truly do appreciate us…” spread across the nation and around the world and soon ALL of the troops, all of those heroic young men and women in uniform, know that the nation back home is behind them, prays for them, thinks about them, and above all – supports them and their mission.

These truths are always evident in the faces of the young soldiers who we greet. When youj take the hand of a troop just returned from a hostile environment, when you look – really look – into his eyes at close range, and when you say while looking into his eyes “Welcome Home,” and you say it like you mean it, because you do, he knows beyond doubt that what he just went through was not forgotten by us, that all of his sacrifices were not in vain, that his nation, the nation he fights and risks to protect, does not take him for granted.

That is how important support is. That is how support, simple, honest, sincere support – helps to sustain those troops through hard times.

On Wednesday March 2nd the Warriors’ Watch Riders of SouthEast PA met a plane carrying some of those troops. We greeted them, we looked into their eyes at close range, and we shook the hands of one hundred and sixty tired, troops, troops literally just back from the war zone, shook their hands and slapped their backs and hugged them to us, us their older brothers and sisters, and welcomed them home.

The plane flew into Philadelphia. I was ushered into a building at Atlantic Aviation where the dignitaries were waiting for the same plane – a general, a colonel, a lt. colonel and a SGM from the unit. In introduced myself and briefly explained our mission, and they were delighted. They were actually a little taken aback that we would go to this much “trouble.”

Trouble? I call riding to Philly to pick up, greet and escort 160 troops a “good time.”

The plane had already landed and taxied to our feet as we arrived and lined up the bikes. We formed a two-sided corridor leading away from the steps that had been rolled up to the plane. Customs officials went inside and when they had done their business, our tired troops were finally allowed to de-plane.

I cannot over emphasise the feeling of greeting each of these troops. And the looks on their faces and the comments they made made it a sure thing that what we were doing was good and right and appreciated.

There were four buses waiting for the troops, one 18-wheeler for their gear, a lead van and about 50 motorcycles and cars from the Warriors’ Watch and A hero’s Welcome. I arranged the order of ride with the military detail from the Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group, and we were off. Everything had happened on according to plan and on-schedule.

We proudly escorted these troops from Philly to their destination, Fort Dix, where they were headed for demobilization before finally going home to the state of Maine. The Phladelphia Police traffic division had several cars there for us, and as we approached the Walt Whittman bridge, we were smoothely handed off to the New Jersey State Troopers, whom I had been keeping informed by phone of our progress.

The remainder of the trip to Fort Dix was flawless and we never put our feet down. At the gate the troopers pulled away, to our honks and shouts of thanks, and the lead military van pulled over with us behind. The buses continued on and the soldiers were plastered to the windows waving and shouting farewells.

Our friend MJ Flammer of the USO was waiting there for us, and we got some group shots and the gratitude of all involved.

Another plane-load of troops, safely delivered.  Good Ghod, what a feeling. We love our troops, we honor and respect their service and sacrifice, we support their familes, and we rejoice with the families when they come home.

– lutz

All photos on this report courtesey of Maria Hyland of AHW. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.