February 5, 2009 at 12:34 pm #178May 24, 2009 at 12:15 am #1901
SHORT NOTICE – Welcome Home
The Patriot Guard has been requested to participate in a welcome home for a bus load of Texas Army National Guard soldiers who are returning from a year in Iraq. They are flying into Ft Sill, OK, and the Austin area soldiers are being bused down from there to Austin.
Date: Sunday, 24 May 2009
Staging Location: Austin Army Aviation Support Facility, located on the south side of Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA). We will stage in the parking lot in front of the facility. Note this is NOT the USPS facility where we staged for the Sgt Barnett mission this past week. See directions below.
Staging time: 1500 – 1530 hrs. Bus arrival is forecasted between 1530 – 1700 (3:30 pm – 5:00 pm).
Directions: Traveling south on Hwy 183, continue past the signs for Hwy 71 East/ABIA to Burleson Road. Turn left onto Burleson Road, travel east 1.3 miles to General Aviation Drive and turn left (north). The facility entrance is your next left. Proceed past the guard shack to the parking area.
Wx: Low 61 deg, high 81 deg, 50% chance of thunderstorms.
Notes: This is a flag line only, there will be no procession. Please bring drinking water.
Ride Captain: Andy "Andyman" Lough, ALough@Austin.rr.com 512-441-9297 (cell)
Folks, this is short notice and Memorial Day weekend. If you have not been to a mission in awhile this would be a good one to attend. These soldiers have been away from their families and in harms way for a year plus, so let's show them that average Americans appreciate their service and sacrifice.May 24, 2009 at 5:53 pm #1907
Bring your big flags if so equipped, we may try and do a short escort of the bus if conditions permit.May 25, 2009 at 5:01 pm #1908
We only had 5 PGR show up on Sunday, so it was looking at first like we were going to be a little short in providing the sort of welcome home these soldiers deserved.
Then about 20 riders pulled in from Bastrop, part of the "Wolf Pack" riding club. One of their members was a soldier on that bus, and they came out to welcome him home. Those folks joined us in forming a nice flag line, and Steve VR, Terry, and Andy rode out to meet the bus as it turned off Burleson and escorted it into the facility.
And not a drop of rain, either. So I can't help but think we had some help from above in making this a very fun and successful mission.May 25, 2009 at 8:04 pm #1909
I agree with you, Mark. Considering NO ONE at NG was there over the weekend, NONE of our contacts answered phones or returned calls, the gate guard knew NOTHING about the homecoming as little as 1.5 hrs prior (despite being quizzed throughout the day), everything fell together at the last minute and it turned out magnificently.
And as you mentioned, out of the one patch of blue sky came 20+ WolfPack riders and took on the flag line duty.
I think we'll have some new members soon!
It was cool.May 26, 2009 at 1:25 pm #1910
I talked to my friend who is the DSC in North Texas and they escorted this bus from OK across into Texas. He was glad we were there to bring them on home. Me too!May 26, 2009 at 8:55 pm #1914
Thanks to the five that could make it out to the flight facility for this happy event. When I got the message from the wife of my friend and previous crew chief, it was already noon and I was in east texas riding thru the tall pines. She had JUST been notified of the time, location of their arrival.
Mark, thanks for answering the phone and getting this out so quickly on a holiday.
That group of riders were camped next to me during the Smithville rally, and I got to meet some of them. Chucks wife was riding with them too.
I am disappointed that I could not be there, but you guys "got'r done" !!
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