Ride Report posted for Oopsie and Uffda

The Warriors’ Watch Riders were contacted by SGT. Schwarz’s mother concerning a Welcome Home for her son Brad. Brad had been through a difficult time after having received serious injuries while serving in Iraq. Brad had been in the Army for 7 1/2 years, leaving for basic training right after graduating from McHenry East Campus in McHenry, IL. He served 2 tours of duty in Iraq and was now being medically discharged after being wounded and going through several surgeries for Traumatic Brain Injuries and his vertebrae. He also suffered PSS. This was just what she thought he needed “A Party” the kind only the WWR is able to provide. Mom needed say no more and a mission was in the making on Friday.

It was established that Brad would be arriving home late Saturday evening. On Sunday, November 1st, at Half Time Bar and Grill, the family would hold a family Welcome Home pizza party for him and watch the football games. It was decided we would surprise Brad at the “Half Time” at 1:00pm.

The day started out overcast and chilly, not uncommon for November in N. IL. As it got closer to staging for the Welcome Home the sun came out and it warmed up. It was going to be a beautiful day all the way around. As there were several missions in N. IL. we expected a nice group to show up for Brad but nothing like we had. There were an awesome 30 bikes, 4 cagers, McHenry Fire Department and Johnsburg Police Department.

The plan was for Officer Karen to go into “Half Time” to where the family was located. Mom was aware of the plan. When Officer Karen spotted Brad she said “This is the man I’m looking for. Would you please come with me, there are some people who would like to see you.”  Brad was lead outside where he was greeted by the WWR’s in a sea of flags and cheers of “Welcome Home.” Needless to say Brad, by his smile, he was surprised. Actually so was mom, dad, grandma and grandpa. They had no idea that many people would be there, all with flags waving in the breeze cheering for Brad with the song “Welcome Home Faithful Soldier” playing in the background.

After greeting our hero with hugs and handshakes, Brad was presented with the booklet of Welcome Home greetings from across the country. He was then presented a set of Honor Beads and a Challenge Coin, by RC Oopsie. Then Skip, of the Wounded Heroes Foundation, presented Brad with a duffel bag that contained many items for our hero. One of those items being a Leather Army Jacket that took Brad off guard and brought the biggest smile. He had that jacket on like a flash and moms tears flowed with pride for her son. At this time I think everyone had tears. Then he was presented the American Flag to fly at their home. After receiving all those goodies, Brad signed the Warriors’ Watch Riders Banner and repeatedly thanked everyone. The family and group picture speaks for itself whether this was a happy young man and family or not.

Yes, it was a day when everyone had that “warm fuzzy” feeling inside. Brad and his family have become Warrior’s Watch members. They said they want to be a part of this great organization and do the same for other members of our military as we did for them.

We would like to thank the Schwarz family for inviting us to do what we love doing, Welcome Home our hero, and their son, SGT. Brad Schwarz.  We also thank the McHenry Fire Department and Johnsburg Police Department for their continued support.   Last but not least, thank you to all the WWR members who made this mission the success it was. You are greatest group of patriots ever.