Ride Report for Ride Captain Calamity 


Sheila Brooks was having a nice day with family – a beautiful, cool, sunny day with baptism of an infant family member then a relaxing evening of drinks with family and friends at the Keswick Tavern in Glenside. All of a sudden the family saw a bunch of bikes led by Police riding up and they came outside to see what was happening – Sheila thought it was really cool when the bike with the Marine Corps flag was turning the corner. As the bikes started being parked and the bikers starting heading across the street, she got one of those feelings and asked “this isn’t for me, is it?” Well, SSgt. Brooks, he__ yes it was! After three tours in Afghanistan, this young woman deserves all the hoopla she can get. She wasn’t alone in deserving honors, so we’ll back track as things started quite some time ago.


Dad is a Viet Nam Veteran (USMC enlisted) and retired Philadelphia Police Officer (38years). He and Mom raised their children with teachings of things like respect, honor, commitment and responsibility. Sheila’s older brother, John, enlisted in the Marines in 1999 and was deployed to Iraq in 06-07. Her younger brother enlisted in the Corps in 2002 and spent 04-05 in Iraq. Knowing women can do things as well as (if not better than) men, Sheila enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2003 and has spent three (3) tours in combat areas of Afghanistan. Instead of being in front of the camera, where this lovely young lady should be, she’s been behind it taking pictures of war. Not to be left out of this history, we need to mention Mom held down the homefront with all the emotional and support necessary so her family could do all they did.


The Brooks family had wanted an airport welcome and escort, but apparently it was really short notice and the holiday weekend so this was plan B. We had such plans of invading the Tavern and making more noise than the usual din, but instead of showing those inside, we went to Plan C and let those in the Keswick area they had heroes in their midst!


Sheila received her coin and we have members who are family friends, so Dad/John, Brother/John and Brother/Bryan (“with a y”) were all coined by men with a connection to them. Josie did a very good job of presenting the certificate as the representative of A Hero’s Welcome, and Dutch2 gave our honorees their beads with explanation.


Thanks to all who came out to join in this great venture – our usuals (including our two members from Texas) and many newbies! We appreciate the 7-11 for allowing us to park on their lot and to the Tavern for not complaining that we blocked their entrance. Thanks to our intrepid Abington police officers for their steadfast assistance and to the Channel 10 cameraman for his attention and caring as well. Everyone who was a part of this mission did a wonderful job and Sheila obviously appreciated all the well-wishes and hugs! Last, but not least, much admiration and appreciation to Mr. and Mrs. Brooks for all their sacrifices and for raising such wonderful young adults.


I picture military photographers as being in the middle of everything, ignoring their own safety and what’s going on around them to concentrate on what’s going on in front of them to chronicle it for posterity. Where Sheila took pictures of the reality of war, some of our folks took some of this fun time. I hope someone can print them out and present the best ones to Sheila so wherever she is, she’ll never forget that she is appreciated and respected for all she does.


Respectfully submitted by Calamity


Photo’s compliments of acirillo