Ride Report posted for Redbeard

Spc Manny Larranaga grew up down the street from our house. He has been best friends with my oldest son, Randy, since grade school. I am sure everyone reading this knows what I mean when I say watching him grow up into a young man and Hero has been very special. (Yes Mom and Dad, you did a great job ) When Manny’s Mom Lisa contacted me about a Welcome Home, it was all I could do to say yes, of course, without a doubt, you betcha, Etc. ( yes a little excited ) The day started out looking a little iffy due to the weather but as the time got closer the weather got better and we had full sunshine and perfect temperatures for riding.

We gathered in the parking lot of a local favorite restaurant , Champps, in Marlton.

We quietly pulled into the front pathway of the Main doors for the restaurant and formed a circle with 30 plus chromed out flagged up bikes complete with their very own Cheering section of 3X5 flag waving Patriots. When our Hero came outside, he was met with a roar of cheers, Thank you and Welcome Home that everyone in the town could hear. We did a “Mug and Hug” and took a few minutes for a photo op. As we were getting pictures taken I asked Manny if he would like to ride on a bike in the Escort, His smile gave me the answer I was hoping for. We all mounted up and with the assistance of the NJ State Police, began our escort back to our Heroes Home. As we made our way , Parade style. down the road, we were met with other passerby’s beeping and giving the thumbs up. When we approached the Town line of our heroes home, the Local Fire Department joined in with a Fire Truck and 4 more bikes. The grin on our Heroes face, and all the sirens and horns and Flags flying high, it brings your heart to that place where the PAY OFF for what we do is found. That payoff is indeed priceless.

We turned onto the street and the second part of the “one two punch” was there waiting for our Hero to arrive. The Yellow Ribbon Club performed their Magic again and had their crew and the neighbors out in force. We rode into the middle of the crowd as they collapsed onto our Hero with more cheers and hugs and handshakes.

After a few rounds of applauses and pictures, Manny stood with his family as Mike of the YRC started to give a little speech, and it went something like this;…. ” Manny, Since you’re a close and personal friend of RedBeard and his family, I’m turning it over to him.” …..GEE THANKS MIKE…..

Well through the UMMMS and AHHHHH and WELLLLL ….. Ok ok and then the Sweaty eyes started, I did what every other true Patriot would do.. I said “MANNY, SPEECH” … Sorry Manny but I passed you the Ball the same way Mike passed it to me, Quick, Low and Dirty.

It didn’t take long for Manny to figured out why all these Patriots standing in front of him was wearing Dark Sunglasses, He is a very Thankful and Gracious Hero. We Managed to Press a Magic Coin to his palm while we thanked him again for all he has done.

I have to confess something, When these Welcome Home Escorts, fall into the personal category, They definitely bring out the moisture in your eyes.

There was a gentleman who came out of Champps Restaurant and burst into tears when he saw the flag line and found out what we were doing. He was a Vietnam Veteran and asked to participate with this welcome home, Someone gave him their flag to hold and the tears were constantly rolling down his cheek. After our Hero had made his way outside and everyone was getting ready for the escort, a Magic coin was pressed to this mans hand and he was welcomed home and thanked for his service. There was a Post from the forum that summed up us meeting this Veteran and Hero;

“I offered my hand and said “Welcome Home!” He took my hand and said “I’ve been home a long time.”

“But how many have said Welcome Home,” I asked.

He said, “You’re the first.”

We do this because, It is the right thing to do.


I guess you know now that those dark sunglasses don’t hide what’s in the heart.

Welcome Home Hero, Thank you for your service and dedication.

You better hurry up and come over to play some cards soon. WE all are waiting.

God Bless


Rich “RedBeard” Brewer’