Ride Report for Ride Captain HowardK

On Friday evening January 20th  Cpl. Anthony (TJ) Procaccio USMC returned to Broomall from a 9 month deployment to Afghanistan. The weather was chilly and snow was on the way, but that could not stop the Procaccio family and friends from turning out en masse at Philadelphia International Airport for this long awaited welcome home.

TJ had attended vocational school for carpentry and attended college for an electrical education but left a good job to join the United States Marines. He, along with his friend Josh Murray, joined the USMC to do something better with their lives and to serve their country. After completing boot camp TJ was stationed in San Diego for a little more than a year. He was then assigned to New River Air Station, NC. TJ’s squad 269 was deployed to Afghanistan in May 2011 and he returned January 15th.

Warriors Watch Riders were invited to celebrate TJ’s return and to recognize his service to our country by his mother Christine. WWR and A Hero’s Welcome rallied at Fire Base 69 at 6:15PM and were met there by his dad and mom Anthony and Christine Procaccio as well as by his sister Amanda and his brother Andrew. TJ’s grandmother along with 4 cars filled by aunts, nieces and many other relatives and friends also arrived for the celebration. After a ride briefing inside Fire Base 69 we were led to PHL Terminal A by a line of WWR motorcycles followed by the family and many more WWR and AHW vehicles.

After a warm and loud greeting by his parents, family, friends and AHW at the terminal gate, TJ arrived at the escalator to see WWR, flags in hand, lining the steps from top to bottom. He exchanged handshakes and smiles with each and every one.

Outside Terminal A, the procession lined up where we were met by Pennsylvania State Police who led our escort from PHL and up the Blue Route to exit 9. At the exit Chief Murray of the Marple Township, Police along with the Broomall Fire Department took over from the State Police and led the way back to Broomall. We turned onto Lewis Road in our usual quiet, low-key manner (well maybe we did make a little noise) and pulled up in front of the Procaccio home where many more friends and neighbors, flags in hand, awaited TJ’s return.

WWR thanked TJ for his service, sacrifice and dedication to our nation and presented him with our Warrior’s Watch Honor coin. He then received a certificate recognizing his service to our country presented by Maria from A Hero’s Welcome.

We then presented a second Warriors Watch Honor coin to TJ’s friend Kevin Murray, a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, who returned from his service to our country six months ago. Maria presented Kevin a certificate from A Hero’s Welcome and thanked him, on behalf of a grateful nation, for his service. After mugging and hugging we departed to allow TJ and his family and friends to enjoy and celebrate his long awaited return.

We extend our sincere thanks to The Pennsylvania State Police, The Marple Township Police, The Broomall Fire Department and to PHL airport security for their assistance in providing TJ and his family a safe welcome home and escort. Warriors Watch Riders would also like to thank Anthony Sr, Christine, Amanda, Andrew and the entire Procaccio family for the honor of participating in this very well deserved welcome home celebration.

Semper Fi

Respectfully submitted by RC HowardK

Pictures courtesy of Jeff Story