Ride Report posted for Hippie

John Newport and I began talking about honoring MSGT Rip Masters when General Johnson passed away. All three of these great Marines were founding members of the Marine League Detachment here in Woodstock.


 As John and I were talking about the general, he mentioned Rip to me. I asked him if he thought we could honor Rip for his service to this grateful nation, and my beloved CORPS!! John liked the idea. He then talked to Rips family. They liked the idea, so yesterday we all (WWR, AMERICAN LEAGION, & HIS FELLOW LEAGUE MEMBERS) honored Rip Masters.


 Winger being a member of the Woodstock Marine League was an obvious choice to head up a 4-bike escort from Rips house to the Woodstock Community center. I wanted Wingers fellow escort riders to have a strong connection to the Marine Corps. Those choices were easy too. The other choices were, Top who is also a retired Marine MSGT. Doc, a Navy Corpsman who had been assigned to a Marine Recon unit in Vietnam. Last but not least, Carrie Ann, a very proud Marine Mom.


 While the escort went to Rip’s home, the rest of us staged at the QT on 92 in Woodstock. The motorcycles just seamed to keep coming. I was blown away by the large group we had. I did not get an official count. I do think we had between 25 and 30 motorcycles and 2 cages there.


 During the mission briefing we had a very emotional encounter with an uncle of a fallen hero who had died in A-Stan. I gave him a card, asked him to go to the nation web site and to join us. What an honor it would be to welcome him into our family.


 Upon arriving at the Community Center, we quickly staged the bikes in a double chevron formation so the escort could ride between the bikes. We also set a double column flag line from the parking lot to the front deck of the center. We staged two more flag holders on the doors going into the center.


  The bikes and MSGT Masters rolled through the bike formation while the Marine League and WWR saluted them. His escort then helped MSGT Masters from his car into his wheelchair. His young grandson proudly push his wheelchair down the center of the flag-line into the Community Center. All the time MSGT Masters was heard saying that he had done nothing to deserve the big deal that was being made of him.


 After all the formalities of starting the ceremony, John Newport gave way too much credit to me as being the person responsible for the days event. He then told us some stories about his and Rip’s 40 plus year friendship. He then presented Rip with a plaque honoring his service to the Marine League detachments as both a founding member and their Chaplin. It was also announced that the Marine League was naming their “Scholarship” after their beloved MSGT Masters.


 After that John asked me to come forward so we could do our part of the honoring of this fine man. Beforehand John had asked me to talk a little about what the WWR is and what we do, so that all those who were there would know more about us.


 One of the first things I did after coming to the front of the room was to walk over to the MSGT’s wheelchair tell him welcome home, hug him, then step back and salute him. Then I gave a brief description of what we do and why we do it. Then it was time for our presentation.


 I called Chance to the front. He said some wonderful things to Rip and then presented him with the WWR’s certificate of appreciation for his service to the great nation. After handing him the certificate, Chance stepped back and saluted and stepped to the side.


 Then I called Books to the front. Books thanked him, and as one Marine to another coined MSGT Masters. Then Books stepped back, saluted and stepped to the side.

 I then Simply said that was all we had and asked John Newport “Where is the beer!” As any good Marine would do.


 After that Rip’s son stepped forward and made a short statement of thanks and love from the family for all that was done that day for their loved one.


 John closed things out and all were adjourned.


 I want to personally thank each and every one of you who helped make MSGT Rip Masters day such a great one. It is always an honor to ride with each one of you.