26 February 2006

Patriot Guard Ride for LT Garrison Avery

From our friends Ingrid and Tony. Ingrid is a Soldiers' Angel and Tony returned from his deployment to Iraq last year.

We got up at 5 this morning, to get ready and on the road to meet up with our convoy to head to Nebraska --- The temperature at the bank on the highway said 27 degrees, but with the 40 mile per hour winds, it actually felt like about 10.

With at least another hour to go before the sun formally came up, we met with other riders and hopped on the highway. We crossed the Nebraska line when the sun was finally coming up, and by this time, we had a total of 6 bikes.

We all had the same mission - to get to the church and support Lt Avery's family.

The wind was cutting like razors through the riders' hands and faces -- they were all bundled up plenty, but the wind was inescapable. Eventually, Tony & I took the lead, to offer a windshield for the riders, which they gratefully accepted.

We finally pulled into Lincoln, and met at our rendezvous point. Coming around the corner, I was amazed at the number of motorcycles I was seeing, KNOWING, that there were 2 other staging areas for riders coming from other states. After milling around for a few while the riders went inside the coffee shop we met at to warm up a bit, we had a short briefing, a prayer, and then we saddled up and headed out.

People came out of the coffee shop, some in tears, I guess because not only the number of soldiers currently fighting in the war, but the show of support by the riders -- was pretty overwhelming -- I know there were points when I myself was a little choked up, hearing those rumbling engines, all ahead of me, their flags flying proudly behind them, no matter how cold it was, knowing that ALL of these guys have cars, and yet, they chose to brave 20 degree temperatures and a horrid wind coming out of the north while we were heading north -- you see the commitment and dedication that goes into honoring our fallen.

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