Monday, May 14, 2012

May 12-13 - Ride for the Warrior, then to Columbus, GA

On May 12, it was a perfect day to ride in Operation Helping Hands for Heroes' Ride for the Warrior.  The ride started and ended at HotRodz in Fayetteville, NC.  The ride went to the Harnett County Veterans Memorial in Lillington.  A JROTC group met us there to honor our Fallen Heroes and those who served in all branches of the military.

Sheriff (l) and Big E (r)
We started the day by stopping at the Kipling Cross in Kipling, NC, which is about a mile from our house.  While there "Sheriff" rode by, turned around, and stopped to make sure we were OK.  We rode with him to Lillington, where we linked up with "Big E".  I know Sheriff and Big E through Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association NC 15-1.

Craig Hardy of Operation HHH.  Check it out - He's wearin' one of my shirt designs!

Keith (arms-a-waving) gave the road guard briefing.  Keith led the ride.
My driver and I helped as road guards for the ride.  This ride was very well coordinated with multiple law enforcement organizations.  Normally, if the ride is planned and led by members of Rolling Thunder NC4, we'll put on a road guard vest, but we stop with a road guard to video the ride.  On this ride, we did a little of that, but we also served as road guards to help keep the group safe.

I met another biker dog on Ride for the Warrior.  I think his name is Wolf, but I'm not sure.  He rides in a trailered crate.  We were behind him for part the ride and watching him was like watching a dog riding a surf board.  It was sooooo cool.

While we all ate hot dogs at HotRodz, Donna Horton gave us a green bandana.  On one half was Psalm 91 written in Hebrew, and the other half was the English translation.  If we recall correctly, Donna went to Israel with a group, and the group linked up with a ministry and gave them several bandanas.  I think those bandanas were intended for some troops.  Two of those bandanas were destined for us.

We ended the day by refueling, and while refueling we saw Billy and Sandy Marshall roll by and heard them blast their horns at us and wave.

After we returned home, my driver went to church to meet and listen to Peter Loth, one of the youngest survivors of the WWII Holocaust.  If you ever have a chance to listen to Peter give his testimony, you should.  The topic is Forgiveness.  My driver brought the bandana that Donna give him.  He said that Barry Battlestein introduced Peter, and part of his introduction was reading Psalm 91.  After the presentation, Barry gave my driver a book to read while we are on our cross-country ministry and mission:  "Psalm 91: God's Shield of Protection" by Peggy Joyce Ruth and Angelia Ruth Schun.  The version Barry gave to my driver is the Military Edition and has a picture of two dog tags in the upper right of the cover.  Hmmmmm.  Psalm 91 on the bandana given to us by Donna.  Barry reads Psalm 91 before introducing Peter, and gives my driver a military edition of a book about Psalm 91.  That was a very humbling evening for my driver.  My driver was thinking about cancelling this mission and returning the donations.  We're not doing this mission for us -- it's in memory of those who gave their lives and to support bringing SGT Bergdahl home safely.  We're representing all Americans who want to keep our Heroes' memories alive. Anyway, back to church ... it became clear to my driver that we may be honoring our Fallen Heroes and raising awareness of SGT Bowe Bergdahl, but we have a greater purpose and calling through the ministry we became.  We didn't plan it that way, but it's apparent to us that He did.

We rode past my parents' church (Macedonia Baptist Churgh on Hwy 42 west of Duncan, NC)
We had a late start on May 13.  We needed to reposition some of the weight, and try to reduce the weight in the T-Bag so that we weren't as top heavy.  We took NC24/27 to Charlotte.  Enroute, we stopped to see if there was a path to a sight we see each to time to go to Charlotte.  It's a cross in a field with a mannequin in BDU uniform on his knees holding a US flag on a pole.  There wasn't a way to get to the memorial/tribute, and my driver didn't want me galloping in a tall grassy field at the beginning of flea and tick season, so we took some photos from a distance and rolled on.

We stopped at Morrow Mountain State Park near Albemarle, NC.  We stopped in memory in Lyle Davenport.  It's our understanding that Lyle liked to ride to Morrow Mountain.  In February, we were there with Charlotte HOG and the PGR to release balloons in memory of Lyle.  Lyle was killed last year when returning home from a miltary funeral.  Ms Jane was riding alongside Lyle when it happened, I think their grandson was riding with Ms Jane.  Recently, Ms Jane began taking Chevy (their border collie) for rides. 

When we reached Charlotte, we stopped under an overpass so that my driver could put on rain gear.  I don't need to wear rain gear because the fairing and my driver block the rain.  When we merged onto I-85, we fell in behind a black Harley with PGR flag.  We also noticed a PGR decal on the back of the biker's helmet.  It turns out the biker is Tony Peoria.  After riding behind him for a while, Tony moved in the right lane and we passed him.  My driver set the cruise so he could give Tony a salute and thumbs up.  We then did some leap frogging with fast moving cages -- until we hit a down pour of rain.  I stayed dry until we came up to a 4-mile back-up east of Atlanta.  It was pouring rain and since we weren't moving, my sweatshirt got soaked.  The helmet stickers also got soaked, and we're hoping they don't peel off before the end of the mission.  If they do, there's nothing we can do and we're glad we took photos of my helmet before we started this journey.

You can barely see Tony Peoria ahead of us.
We stopped near Newnan, GA for a snack.  I had a Arby's roast beef classic and my driver had the same.  We then rode our last stretch of the day to Columbus, GA, where we're staying with my driver's mother, brother, niece and my biker dog cousin Bella.

We'll be laying over in Columbus on Monday (May 14), which is OK because the rain is supposed to hang for a while.  Hopefully, the weather will clear for our next leg to Lafayette, LA.

As long as we have cell phone connectivity, we will try to post picture updates on my Facebook page along the way.  We will try to remember to provide a location and also the date time.  For example, if you see a mobile upload that ends with 5-13 1720, that means May 13 at 1720 (5:20PM).  We will be using local time to where we are at.

My driver misses his wife already.  Me?  I'm cool as long as I'm with my driver.

Our posts over the next few days will likely be much shorter, and probably won't have photos.  The photos can be viewed on my Facebook page (see link below my paw-off (sign-off).)  I don't think you need a Facebook account to view the photo albums.

Please pray for the safety of our men and women in uniform (military, as well as law enforcement and fire fighters who put themselves in harm's to protect us).  Also, please pray for my driver.  He had a third interview with an organization having an operation in Chapel Hill. He reeeeeally likes this organization and is praying that God wants him there, too.  The organization teaches people for a career field and they also give back to the community.

God Bless our Fallen Heroes, their Gold Star Families, those serving now, those who served, their Blue Star Families, and our allies.

Keep your tongue in the wind!


Mission Pages on my Website

Link to Photos for this Blog Post

1 comment:

  1. Thanks guys for the mention. Ride safe and hope to see you when you get back.