Ride Report posted by Matter

This was the third of 3 missions this day for N. IL WWR, spread out like a poker run where we collect handshakes and hugs rather than beer and poker hands.  (More about the beer later.)

Nicholas was born in Barrington IL to parents John and Beth.  Beth coordinates Veteran’s Day activities at the Middle School where she works and has invited WWR to attend and speak for the past 5 years or so.  Nick went to Prairie Grove and Prairie Ridge and enlisted after High School (6 year enlistment). He volunteered for all three tours, Bahrain 2011, Kuwait 2012 and returned from Afghanistan, Bagram AFB, three weeks ago. Stationed at Tinker AFB, Expert Marksman, will be training for K9 unit. Has already volunteered for next deployment and will be reenlisting next year.

His parents took Nick and family out to eat and told Nick afterward they need to stop at Walmart to pick something up…  That “something” just happened to be a whole bunch of WWR, police, fire and a REAL BIG Beer Can!!?!  (The Beer Can is owned by the father of a currently deployed soldier who we welcomed home once before and will again.)

So when he arrived, we hooted and hollered THANK YOU and WELCOME HOME Chicago Jim Style.  We hugged him Proud Parent (Deb) Style.

Then, with Woodstock Police, Crystal Lake Police & Fire, McHenry County Sheriff, Cary Fire and Oakwood Hills Police leading the way and keeping us (and beer can in tow) safe, we arrived at Hannah Beardsley Middle School (Not exactly the best place for the Beer Can I guess) where we met Beth’s co-workers and many students.

The students lead us in a loud and proud Pledge of Allegiance (which is done the same way every day in school) where we proceeded to coin and bead our hero.

Still not done, we left the students to bring him to his home which his neighbors and friends had decorated for a Welcome Home Party while he was out to eat.

This is where we also Welcomed home and thanked his Father and Uncle who both also put themselves in harm’s way for each of us..

And lastly, Beth informs us they have one last task before we leave them to their celebration…

Again THANK YOU Senior Airman Nicholas Theiss and WELCOME HOME!  Thank you also Beth and John for allowing US the honor and privilege of acknowledging the service and sacrifice of those who put themselves in harm’s way for US!  And Thank You Beth for ensuring our next generation also knows and appreciates what our service members and first responders do for each and every one of us!