Ride Report for Ride Captain Gpopss

On July 14, 2010 while serving Our Country in the War on Terror in Afghanistan, Army Specialist Adam Keys along with four other Army Airborne Soldiers’ RJ31 Armored Vehicle hit an IED. The attack left Adam critically injured and the other four soldiers’ fatally wounded, including Specialist Jesse Reed, who also grew up in Whitehall Township, Pa. and was Adam’s best friend since the age of 13.

Adam, now a Sergeant, spent the last 21 months recovering and rehabilitating from his injuries in Walter Reed, Brook Army Center, Shock Trauma Maryland and Bethesda Hospitals. During his hospitalization, Adam received countless visitors’ including family, friends, hometown dignitaries, military brass, U.S. Congressman Charlie Dent and The President of The United States.

Adam was also visited by a hometown visitor Mike Burritt. During this visit Mike assured Adam and his mother Julie that when he recovered and was ready he was going to receive the Hero’s Welcome Home he deserved. On Saturday April 21, 2012 Adam was finally ready to come home, and Mike Burritt, State Coordinator for East Central Pa.’s Chapter of Warriors’ Watch Rider’s was true to his word.

ECPA Warriors’ Watch Rider’s spent countless hours promoting this event to Local Media, Local and State Politician’s, Statewide Law Enforcement Agencies and Fire Departments, countless motor cycle clubs and The Community of Whitehall Township. They also teamed up with the Township to put on a reception and party in Adam’s honor at Cementon Park in Whitehall.


On Friday night Adam and his family stayed at Sands Casino in Bethlehem. The Hotel allocated two large sections of its parking lot for our rally location. Luckily, the sections allocate were REALLY BIG, because the participation in this event was incomprehensible.

For about an hour there was a steady stream of motorcycles, cars, antique vehicles, Police Cars and Fire Apparatus’.

We held a ride brief to let everyone know Adam’s story and discuss our plans for showing Adam the Welcome Home he deserved. I’m known to have a big mouth, but not big enough and luckily Danielle came ready with a mega phone, because the crowd was so big they never would have heard a thing.

After the ride brief about thirty bikes went over to the Hotel to pick up Adam and his family to escort them to the Flag Line that we had assembled with the remaining three or four hundred people that came out for Adam.


Adam arrived along with his mother Julie and Sister Courtney and drove through the flag line that went on for several hundred feet. When they came to a stop Adam could not wait to get out of his van to greet everyone. He had a beaming smile that was priceless, and he wanted to meet and thank everyone there.

After about twenty minutes we mounted up for the 14 mile ride to Cementon Park. We were led by Bethlehem PD, Whitehall Township Vehicles along countless other municipalities Fire and Law Enforcement vehicles. Following these vehicles were a couple dozen bikes with 3×5 flags, Adams Van followed by Mike Burritt’s bike which was symbolically placed behind Adam’s van to carry out his promise that he had Adam’s back! Bringing up the rear were another 275 bikes, and countess cages.

The streets of Bethlehem were packed with hundreds of people and the entire town came to a standstill to watch and wave and cheer for the breathtaking spectacle that our escort was.

Pa. State Police reported our motorcade stretched out over a three mile span. The entire route was spattered with small and large groups of people waving American Flags and children holding signs of “Welcome Home Sgt. Adam Keys!”, and FD and LEO personnel saluting. Four times during the escort we road under Fire Ladder arches holding the Red, White and Blue of Our Flag!

We arrived at Cementon Park greeted by a couple hundred people and entered the park where we passed under A Huge American Flag suspended by ladder arches of fire trucks.

A canopy containing a microphone had been set up by Hammer for our presentations to Adam. As soon as Adam took his position under the canopy the Mother of Adam’s best friend Jesse Reed, KIA in the attack, smothered Adam with hugs and kisses and called him “A Miracle”.


Joining us in honoring Adam were Colonel Allen Dodd – Adam’s Battalion Commander, Whitehall Mayor Ed Hozza, Pa. State Rep. Julie Harhart, a representative from State Senator Boscola’s office Robert J. DeSousa from Senator Toomey’s office and Congressman Charlie Dent. Sgt. Keys was also presented with a certificate from Maria Hyland of A Hero’s Welcome, An honor coin from JD of The Combat Vets Association and Our Warriors’ Watch Honor Coin.

A very special presentation was given to Adam by Frank Siller, Chairman of The Tunnels to Tower’s Foundation and The Gary Sinise Foundation. Frank announced to Adam, “When you’re ready and where you decide, we’re going to build a house for you!” promising to build a Smart House, to accommodate Adam who as a result of his injuries is a triple amputee.

Adam’s mom Julie addressed the crowd and shared her appreciation for all the support they had received. Finally, we got to hear from Our Hero. Adam, overcome by emotion, graciously thanked everyone for their support and assured everyone how he had found the strength to recover through their support. Adam was truly touched. His last comments were “ I’m not going to let anyone down, I will never quit, I will never accept defeat”.

Words don’t do justice to what took place yesterday.

Videos of this event can be seen through the following links;

Pictures provided by Mike and Dee Burritt, Richard Jessup, and many others…

Thanks to all that made this welcome home special, way too many too mention!