Ride Report posted for Fatboy

A short bio of Spc. Francis Markley :

Spc. Markley is a 2007 Graduate of Ridley High school in Delaware county. He entered into the Army right after high school and took his Basic training at Fort Bliss Texas, after completing AIT he was sent on his duty station which was Camp Liberty Iraq. At Camp Liberty he was recipient of 4 medals including War on Terror Service Commendation and the US Army commendation.

It was nice to see the weather break just in time for this welcome home!! The clouds starting breaking while we were all rallying at FB69. The turn out for this mission was great for an early afternoon. Thank you AHW, American Sheepdog and all the WWR family members who made this happen. We had about 20 bikes and at least 4 cages for this escort. **Grease thank you for climbing on the scooter for this one, it was nice to see you riding.

We assembled at FB69 and we were set to KSU at 3:45 however with a phone call from AHW who was in touch with the airport we found out our package was due in 5 minutes earlier than planned. We moved everything up about 10 minutes to adjust for the earlier arrival, which was no problem because we (the WWR) adapt to change. We left FB69 and departed for the Phil. Int. Airport making sure that our soldier’s parents were flanked by bikes as they should be, we wanted to make sure our Hero was the center of attention when we depart the airport.

After a short detour at the airport seems they moved the A terminal to a different location and failed to notify anyone. But as was pointed out Bobcat has the health of all WWR members in mind when we do our mission. Who else but him would plan ahead and have us do our stretching and aerobic workout to be in top shape for the welcome home ? That my brothers and sisters is taking it one step higher.

Once at the correct terminal we assembled at the base of the escalator and up the steps next to the escalators which presents a WOW factor for our Hero when he approach’s. The wait was then on and that is sometimes the hardest part! After a short wait our Hero was in site, he was all smiles flanked by a very happy Mom and Dad. Mom said our Hero was very surprised and had no idea that he was going to be welcomed so warmly at home. When he got to the bottom of the escalators he was greeted by hugs and handshakes from a lot of grateful American’s for his duty to his country. After everything settled a bit our Hero was presented with the WWR challenge coin with a short explanation of what it was all about.

While preparing to leave the terminal it was discovered we had another soldier coming down the escalator, we quickly unfolded our flags and in WWR style welcomed this young PFC home and thanked him for his service as well. I believe this young soldier had something in his eye because as I was presenting him with the extra WWR challenge coin (thanks American Dreamer) his eyes started sweating, and it must have been contagious because mine started doing the same thing.  What an afternoon a 2fr on my first RC mission, it doesn’t get any better than that.

We then escorted our Hero and his family back to their vehicle (which was decorated with very nice signs Thanks Bobcat) for the short escort back to his home. The escort was somewhat tricky at times due to heavy traffic on 95, but it appeared that at times when we approached intersections and lights all traffic stopped for us. I will say that many trucks, buses and cars after realizing what we were doing honked and flashed lights to thank our Hero for his service. Without the help of LEO I felt we all did a very good job staying together as a group with everyone’s safety in mind. 

Turning the final corner to our Hero’s home we were greeted by the Woodlyn FD who had a ladder truck with Old Glory flying high over his home. After arriving safely and more hugs and handshakes from friends and family our Hero was treated to some very special songs from a VERY special group of elementary school children. As said by Kel “where was the TV camera’s when you needed them”. Our Hero got right in the middle and gave a big group hug to all our singers. What a great site to see.

I would like to thank the AHW (Charlie and Maria), American Sheepdog and the Woodlyn FD for all their support on this mission. I would also like to thank the Markley family for allowing us to join them on this very special occasion. And to you Spc. Francis Marlkey thank you for your service to our country, you are a fine young man it was our honor to welcome you home. Welcome Home Soldier.