Ride Report posted for  Tool Man


Another cool autumn evening, overcast, but no rain at least. The daylight was just beginning to fade as 20 bikes and one cage assembled at our rally point, not far from the restaurant where our hero, Major Richard Banks Young, and family were having dinner. I gave a quick ride briefing, and then off to the restaurant we went. I had arranged for Mrs. Young to text message me when they were ready to leave. No sooner

had I gotten off my bike when I got that message. We assembled our

flag line just outside the front door, and within a few minutes out came the major and family. I knew beforehand that he wouldn’t be in uniform, and only had a general description of the man from his wife, but there’s something about the way a marine carries himself, and of course, there was the smile, when he saw us. We treated the major to our mug-and-hug, and I asked if we might escort him and his family to their home.

Our route took us through several municipalities, from Blackwood Terrace

to Mullica Hill. Depthford PD met us in the restaurant parking lot

and led us out towards Woodbury and onto Rt 45. West Depthford and Mantua PD picked us up along the way and did their part to make the trip as smooth as could be. There was an additional treat as we approached Mullica Hill, and were picked up by Harrison Township PD. The fire department joined in, adding one of their trucks to the procession. I could only imagine the reaction back in our hero’s vehicle. Between the flashing lights, the sirens, horns honking (ours and the opposing traffic), and, of course, that lovely v-twin music, we really were bringing the major home in rock star fashion.

We made our turn on th Rt 322, and the final leg of our ride, and here’s where the story gets good, folks. Now, I’ve seen the Yellow Ribbon Club in action, and the magic they do. I thought I knew what was coming. I expected to see the house decorated with yellow ribbons all around. I expected a fire engine. I expected the big flag hanging from the ladder. As we approached the development and the house came into view, my jaw dropped, and I almost lost it. Parked in front of the house were two fire engines, ladders extended to form an arch, and, of course, the huge flag. And the crowd! This wasn’t the usual family and next door neighbors. If I had to guess, I’d say the entire development and then some had turned out to welcome our warrior home. They had been busy too, and apparently had done some decorating of their own, even before the YRC arrived. There was even a twenty foot yellow ribbon made out of mums. As we turned into the development I thought ” Man, we’re preaching to the choir. These people get it. They really get it”. The street was lined with parked cars, and we ended up parking a bit further away from the house than we might normally have wanted to. By the time I got back to the crowd, the YRC had already introduced major Young, and the proceedings were under way. There were the usual proclamations from the local dignitaries, and in due course, it was our turn. I presented our honor coin to the major, and thanked him for his dedication and service to our country. Next, Cavalier stepped up and

presented Mrs Young with his Spouse’s Honor Certificate. This is

something new, and I think just a beautiful gesture. This evening’s presentation, as the previous evening’s, was received very well.

Chopper then made a presentation on behalf of the American Legion Riders. Finally, Major Young was asked to speak and offered some heartfelt words of appreciation.

To my brothers and sisters of the WWR, another mission well done. Thank you all for making it happen, and for making it go so smoothly. To the citizens of Mullica Hill, awesome! Just plain awesome! You’ve done a great thing with your show of respect and support for one of your own.

To Mrs. Young, thank you for the opportunity to do this for you and your husband. Finally, Thank you, Major Richard Banks Young, for your service to the greatest country in the world.