Ride Report for Ride Captain Rich Kern


We received a message from Heather Ramirez asking if we would do a welcome home from her husband SSgt Robert Ramirez. Robert was returning from Afghanistan from his third tour ‘over there’. We found out that Robert has just re-enlisted and plans on making a career with the Marines. Heather also told us that Robert has been awarded the Bronze Star. What else could we do expect to ask what time and when? Heather asked if we could give him a welcome home at the airport. We suggested that we meet her at the cell phone lot with a flag line and then provide and escort to their home. Heater agreed to this but was nervous about making a big deal out about this. We told her that we will only give Robert our normal ‘Rock Star Treatment’. Once this was all agreed on we put many wheels in motion. We put Heather into contact with Chicago PD who arranged to get Heather inside security so she should meet Robert with her 3 year old and 3 month old boys. Amps then arraigned for our fantastic escort. When Heater and Robert pulled into the cell phone lot they were escorted by one of Chicago’s finest with lights flashing and sirens blaring. We welcomed Robert with shouts of WELCOME HOME and THANK YOU and handshakes and hugs. We loaded up and followed our CPD escort to the tollway and then followed our State Trooper escort to our exit. At our exit we were picked up by Deerfield Police and Fire how took the lead through their town. As we drove by a Deerfield Fire station the first responders there were on the street at attention saluting us. (The wind must have picked up just then because something got in my eyes and made them a little blurry for a while.) As we got close to Roberts home town of Northbrook more folks joined. The Northbrook PD, Fire and emergency now took the lead getting us safely to Robert’s house. When we got close it seemed that the whole neighborhood was there. Robert got out of his car and was greeted by the rest of his family. Robert thought that we were done with him but we told him we were not finished yet. We called all of his friends and neighbors to come closer. We thanked everyone that provided our safe escort and then proceeded to relay thanks to Robert for his service and how much it meant to all of us. Robert was given a copy of his thread, told the meaning of our mission beads, presented with a set of beads, told the meaning of our honor coin and presented a coin. We then asked Robert to sign our banner which he did with a flourish by writing a novel. We took many pictures and then took our leave. This was one successful mission and thanks to all who came and thanks to all who helped.


Rich Kern