Ride Report posted for RedBeard

T/Sgt Charles Wentzell
Thank you for your Service.

It was a brisk O-DARK THIRTY Rally point for the beginning of this Long over due Honorable event. The first part of the mission was set for the group from the north to meet at LZ168 Parking Lot. As I pulled in and saw the silhouette of some 16 bikes and people I had to laugh to myself thinking , This WWR Family is indeed filled with Hard Core Patriots,. and I am so thankful for each and every one of them.

After a quick ride brief we mounted up and took off down the road to meet at the second Rally point and rest stop about 40 miles away. We pulled into the rest stop which had our southern riders waiting there for us. This was the location we would be surprising our Hero and His family and friends with our escort, so we lined our bikes in a row and awaited the arrival of Mr. Charles Wentzell, our Hero.

With the sun finally rising we were on the look out for a vehicle with our package in it.  About 15 minutes passed before we had the Honor of actually meeting this WWII and Korean War Hero in person. I have to tell you something that struck me so deeply about the pride and honor Mr. Wentzell has within him.  When he left his home, he was expecting over an hour ride before he had to get out of the car, so he removed his Military uniform Jacket and had it folded just so to avoid wrinkling. When we met him at the rest stop, he exited the car and grab his jacket, turned from us and promptly put the jacket on making sure it was sharp to the eye to be in Full Uniform and presentable. He then turned and faced us. I know it is a small little thing for someone to do that however, It shows the Pride and Honor in which this man lives his life and how, this Soldier and Airman, Served his country 60 years ago.

As we introduced ourselves to Mr Wentzell and his family and friends and did the proverbial “MUG and HUG” routine you could tell our Hero was emotionally moved by the fuss we where making over him. We then “Ask” if it was ok for us to escort him to his award ceremony, How could he refuse after seeing the frozen hands, red cheeks and runny noses?

We unfurled our flags and mounted up for the hour plus escort up the NJ Turnpike. As we rode I noticed many cars passing us and waving, beeping their horns and also a few had their windows down taking picture of our motorcade or Honor.

Our third rally point was set by Kim “SGMMOM“ and was the one I had the most concern with. We wanted This Rolling Escort to meet up and join together, it hinged on Kim getting a phone call from our own “NJ PETE” or should we say “HEATED SEAT PETE”  Just Kidding,  and them Kim getting the group together and rolling in time. Pete needed to call with enough time to have Kim rally the 3rd group and bring them to the side of the road we were to meet on. Well,… I should have known. It went out as if we did that sort of thing every day. perfectly orchestrated and right on time. As the original Escorts with out package came down the road, waiting there was another 16 bikes or so with about 5 cages and the Military base police.

We made our way onto the base and pulled up at the center where the ceremony was to be held. We where then briefed by the Military public affairs officer and asked if we would line the Isle inside the theater with our Flag line so our hero and distinguished guests could walk through. As the awards where presented to our hero, one after another after another, it became very clear as to the caliber of man our hero was. He has received the Following: Air Force Distinguished Service Medal; Silver Star; Distinguished Flying Cross; Purple Heart; Air Medal with five clusters; Prisoner of war medal; American defense service medal; WWII Victory Medal; National defense service medal; Korean Service medal; Korean defense service medal; United Nations Service medal; Normandy, North France, Africa, Middle East Campaign Medal with 2 bronze stars; And the Korean Presidential Issued Distinguished Service Medal with Silver Star and a personal letter from the president of Korea. Also he was put in for the Presidential Medal of Honor.

It was a cold dark morning to mount up in leathers, Start the bike and head on what you knew was going to be about a 140 mile ride, But inside knowing that this hero had been living his life for more then 57 years without being properly recognized and Thanked for Service he did that was ABOVE AND BEYOND the call of duty made the cold go away, and the miles seen like a blink of the eye.

You know in Hollywood California they want us to believe that in a long lost forgotten dark place, buried by some secret society deep below the grounds of the City of Philadelphia, and in that place is where the “NATIONAL TREASURE” can be found. I beg to differ. I believe you only need to open your eyes and look for the signs of this National Treasure and you will see it all around you. In the men and woman who wear the VFW and American Legion Hats stating War Veteran, or ball caps or patches that show Vietnam era veteran, or take a closer look at the places where the granite head stones read “Served their country Proudly” you will find our Nations Greatest Treasures there. And I know I speak for many when I say, IT was and is a true Honor to be given the chance to shake the hand and look directly into the eyes of one of these National Treasures T/Sgt Charles Wentzell.

I cant Thank you all enough for making this Mission one of Honor and Respect. You represented the WWR and yourself as a Proud Americans perfectly.

There was one last thing I needed to tell you. Last night, I received a phone call, on the other end of the line was our Hero Mr. Wentzell. He wanted to thank everyone of the WWR who made the escort. (as if he needed to thank us… anyway)  He said he forgot to say that when he had the microphone on stage so he wanted to make sure he called me to pass that on. From my memory, Mr. Wentzell was suffering from sweaty eyes himself as he had that microphone and struggled for words to thank everyone, which of course caused a chain reaction through the crowd. Those damn sweaty eyes will get you every time. And now we know they effect National Treasures, even if you wait 57 years to recognize their service.

Thank You T/Sgt Wentzell, For your Service, Dedication and Sacrifice to our Country.