Ride Report for CO-Ride Captains Tugboat & JohnDelivers
What a great day to Welcome Home a Real Live American Hero. It may have been cold, bleak, and overcast. But our bodies were warmed by the thought that we’d soon Honor a deserving serviceman.
WWR had received a request to do an escort home of a recently returned Navy man. Proud Papa, “Redbeard”, was beaming that he and his wife Sandy were about to celebrate the return to New Jersey of their beloved son Wes and his bride Ashley. Wes was recently deployed overseas and had returned to his duty station in GA, but was finally making his way home to Pine Hill.
We made a few phone calls, sent out an email or two, and like magic over one hundred twenty bikes, plus at least a dozen cars/trucks made it out to show Wes some appreciation. We rallied nearby and rolled over to the Texas Roadhouse to pick up our unsuspecting warrior as he exited the eatery. Our modest Hero….you know the type who say “I’m just doing my job”, was a bit taken back by the volume of people present.
With the Pine Hill PD doing a fabulous job of providing safe passage we made our way from the eatery to the family home, about five miles away. As we neared our destination there were families out by the road side to welcome Wes home. Clementon FD had a truck stationed at one intersection with firefighters displaying a large American flag as we turned into the family’s subdivision. As the procession made its way onto the family’s street we could see the Pine Hill FD with “Old Glory” flying high from a ladder truck right in front of the Brewer home. THAT was an awesome sight, indeed.
We blocked up the road with so many bikes and vehicles, but I don’t that anyone minded, after all a bona fide Hero was home. Operation Yellow Ribbon of South jersey took control at this point and they had their work cut out for them. Several presentations were made: a State Senator, town Council member, American Legion representative, VFW representative, Gold Star Mothers, American Legion Riders, Nam Knights, and the Medford Returning Veterans Committee, all pressed coins or certificates into Wes’ palm. Bertucci’s restaurant presented a gift cert., the Waterford Remembrance Committee presented a gift basket. There may have been others I’m missing here, my apologies.
The last two presentations were done by Redbeard and Sandy, Wes’ proud parents. It is also worth mentioning, Redbeard happens to be one of the State Coordinators for Warriors’ Watch in NJ. We have witnessed Redbeard place WWR Honor coins in many palms over the past four plus years, but to see the pride and love written all over his face as he presented his son with the WWR magic coin was an emotional moment, thank goodness for dark sunglasses. Meanwhile, Sandy had the Honor of presenting Ashley with a Military Spousal Certificate as Ashley had kept the home fires burning while Wes was deployed, assuring him that all was okay at home so he could concentrate on doing his job abroad.
When the dust settled Wes offered words of thanks. Unlike his father, Wes is a man of fewer words.
While the well wishers were chatting up Wes a handful of riders pulled Redbeard and Sandy aside for a small presentation, with Redbeard receiving a WWR coin for his years of service in the Navy and Sandy receiving a Military Spousal Certificate for her years of supporting Redbeard and his unending passion for the WWR mission.
We’d like to thank Chief Chris Winters, Pine Hill PD, for the over the top escort his department coordinated and provided and also for his coordinating the various Fire Companies involvement. Thanks also to Gloucester Twp PD, Winslow PD, Clementon FD, and Pine Hill FD. And lastly, thank you to all the riders, from the various clubs who ride with us to the independent riders who all make up the WWR. Without you, there is no us.
Respectfully submitted by RC(s)
Tugboat and JohnDelivers