Ride Report posted for Matter

Fellow WWR Member and former “Red Legs” Field Artillery Sgt. Smitty strikes up a conversation with a fellow “Red Leg” at an Honor Flight Mission.  It seems they have even more in common.  They both wish to be sure their fellow men and women at arms know they are truly appreciated by those whom they defend.  Thus, a mission is born. 

56 Army Reservists of the 3rd BCTB 75th BCTD, nearly all were E7 and up, were honored in a “Welcome Home Warrior-Citizen Ceremony”.  We were asked to provide flaglines.  Most of the attendees were inside already seated when we formed up outside and then smartly took our places along the walls moments before the ceremony was to start.  The nearly 600 in attendance were surrounded by WWR with flags.

The Calvary was there. IL US Representative Dold, whose Uncle spent 8 years as a Vietnam POW and coined the term, “Hanoi Hilton”, Deb Rickert from Operation Support our Troops, The USO and more!

This ceremony was as much for the families of the soldiers as it was for the soldiers themselves.  One of the speeches was punctuated by HOOAHs from the many soldiers in attendance. A two year old broke loose and sounded his own little HOOAH which sparked impromptu laughter from

It was heartwardming to see that we had outnumbered the official honorees 2 to 1. Our flagline afterward spanned the entire 300 yard distance between the 2 locations for the event.  The warriors, the warriors’ families, dignitaries, and many other service members walked that entire flagline to the second venue and nealy all stopped to shake hands and commence with the always interesting “Dualing Thank You” ritual.

We got them all into the great reception provided by our friends at the USO and mingled for awhile.  It’s not often one gets to see and thank so many career service members at once.  While thanking the Brigader General Hanley, I found out he had served at Ft. Lewis at the same time as my father during the Berlin Air Crisis with the Red Arrow Division. He had spotted by fathers Distinctive Unit Insignia (DUI) on my vest and we swapped Red Arrow Stories.

What an honor it was to be allowed to help welcome home so many True American Heroes at one time.  Well done Warrior-Citizens.. THANK YOU ALL and WELCOME HOME and God Speed to those heading out for their next deployments!

Also see the Video done by the USO of this mission -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eym59AyAPTE