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Ride Report for Ride Captain HowardK
Saturday March 10th was a chilly day in Philadelphia but smiles and hugs lit up the arrival gate of Philadelphia International Airport Terminal D. LCPL Joe Koslosky USMC was welcomed home by his father, mother, family and a large contingent from Warrior’s Watch Riders, A Hero’s Welcome and The Second Brigade.
Joe was an accomplished skater in school. He started skating at age 4 and continued until the day he left for boot camp. He was the Captain of his high school ice hockey team (Chichester) and he finished his career in hockey as Captain of the Delaware Ducks. Although he played for as many as 4 teams at a time it did not deter him from his real passion of wanting to become a United States Marine.
Joe comes from a long line of family having served in the United States Armed Forces including his grandfather (US NAVY), his father Joe (US NAVY 1979-1983), his uncle Jack Shepski (US NAVY 1950-1954) and Joe Sr’s father-in law (MARINES). Joey had wanted to be in the service since he was 8 years old. No matter how hard the family tried to talk him into the NAVY, he wanted the MARINES. Joey was pinned using his grandfather’s Eagle Globe and Anchor.
Joey was promoted to PFC at the completion of boot camp. He earned LCPL before the end of one year of service. He is currently a member of the 22nd MEU assigned to the 81S mortar team weapons company. He is the designated driver and part of the T.R.A.P. (Tactical, recovery, aircraft, and personnel) team aboard the USS Bataan which is the flagship of the battle group.
Once greeted at the gate of Terminal D, Joey and his family moved to the escalator which was lined by flag-carrying WWR, AHW and Second Brigade members. He proceeded down the escalator shaking hands with each and every one. When reaching the bottom Joey was also greeted by The Pennsylvania State Police, The Chichester Police, and members of the Boothwyn, Ogden and Reliance Fire Companies who were there to lead the escort home. After retrieving his baggage he was led to the car driven by Joe Sr. for the escorted ride. Pennsylvania State Police and Chichester Police led the column as the car carrying the MARINE followed a number of big-flagged bikes, and was then followed by many WWR and Second Brigade motorcycles as well as many cars. The men from the fire companies piloted their apparatus behind the cars with lights flashing and sirens blaring.
As we approached Upper Cichester we observed families standing at the curb with “Welcome Home Joey” signs carried by the children. We turned onto Colonial Drive and were met by many more family, friends, neighbors and well-wishers gathered in front of the bannered Koslosky home. Joe was presented the Warrior’s Watch honor coin by Vietnam Veteran Pete Flowers. Maria Hyland then read from A Hero’s Welcome certificate thanking Joey for his service and dedication from a grateful nation. Next Pennsylvania State Representative Steve Barrar presented Joe with a flag flown over the Pennsylvania State Capitol in his name and presented him with a certificate honoring his service. We then called forward Joe Koslosky Sr. who was presented a Warrior’s Watch Honor coin by Wil Jansen for his service and sacrifice as a NAVY veteran.
As is our tradition, WWR then lined up for MUG’s with cameras on the left and a smiling HERO and his family and friends on the right. After all pictures were taken to commemorate this important occasion we started our engines and rolled down the street to allow the Koslosky’s to enjoy Joey’s homecoming.
WWR would like to thank The Pennsylvania State Police and The Chichester Police for providing a safe escort from Philadelphia. We would also like to thank PA State Representative Steve Barrar for his participation and recognition of Joe. We would like to recognize the members of The Boothwyn Fire Department and Chief Engineer Bill Gambrill as well as The Ogden Fire Company and Reliance Fire Company for their patriotism, support and participation in this Welcome Home ceremony.
Most of all, WWR would like to thank Joe and Debbie Koslosky and the entire Koslosky family for inviting us to participate in this very well deserved Welcome Home celebration for Joey.
Respectfully submitted by Ride Captain HowardK
Pictures courtesy of Sean Carpenter