On 6 Dec 2014, Brothers from the Proud Few MC brothers and their guests attended the annual Sgt Mac Wreath Laying at Quantico National Cemetery. The foundation was started by the parents of Sgt Eric McColley, a fine young Marine NCO who was killed along with seven fellow Marines and two Airmen when two Marine CH-53e helicopters collided off the coast of Djibouti, Africa on February 17, 2006. Every year, the foundation buys truckloads of Christmas wreaths, and a growing number of veterans, their families, and supporters come to Quantico to lay them on the headstones in honor of the fallen. This year 10,000 wreaths were placed as the rains came upon us.
On 1 Dec 2012, a detachment of Proud Few MC brothers and their guests attended the annual Sgt Mac Wreath Laying at Quantico National Cemetery. The foundation was started by the parents of Sgt Eric McColley, a fine young Marine NCO who was killed along with seven fellow Marines and two Airmen when two Marine CH-53e helicopters collided off the coast of Djibouti, Africa on February 17, 2006. Every year, the foundation buys truckloads of Christmas wreaths, and a growing number of veterans, their families, and supporters come to Quantico to lay them on the headstones in honor of the fallen.
It was a rather chilly morning as we rallied up at Bro Nasty’s place for the ride over to Quantico. Hangaround Steve got the polar bear award for riding all the way from Ft. Meade in near-zero wind-chill (and no heated gear – that’s the spirit). Bro Press2 was up from Hampton Roads and Bro Mule from NC. They came in the day before – so no award for them. We were thankful and ecstatic to also have our Brother Big Whiskey join us, having flown in from a deployment to Afghanistan only two nights before. In all we had eight patches and several invited guests – a good turnout.
As we lay the wreaths before each stone, we all paused to reflect on the service and sacrifice of so many that had gone before us. The cemetery’s director made considerable mention of those buried in Section 22 – the fallen who have no families. As far as the Proud Few are concerned, we are their families – all of us who continue to serve or support those who do, and who carry on the memories of our honored dead.
After the wreaths had all been placed, we rallied up again under the semi-shade of a lone tree in the middle of the cemetery grounds to reflect on the event. Then-Prospect Gerd, who is an active speaker on veterans affairs and PTSD, spoke a few very eloquent words about what this event means, or should mean, to us all. It was at that time the Proud Few had the high honor of presenting him with his full patch, and renaming him his Marine Corps call-sign, “Thumper.”
After a few celebratory moments, we mounted up again and rolled down the street to the American Legion for an hour or so of camaraderie before parting ways and picking up where we left off on our respective “honey-do” lists.
It was a great day for the Proud Few – to share our fellowship and point our collective efforts toward a solemn, righteous cause. This is what it’s all about – Never Forget!
Proud Few MC
On 20 July 2012, the Proud Few MC mounted up for a momentous run to Jacksonville, NC to celebrate our brother Mule's retirement from the Marine Corps. Mule served for 20 faithful years and had a huge impact as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 and consummate leader of Marines.
The crew made the trip in waves. Hickory went down early in the week for work purposes and enjoyed brother Mule's hospitality. The rest rolled down early Friday morning for the trips from MD and Northern VA. Mule appropriately led the pack to the Beirut Memorial for the short ceremony. The heat was oppressive but at least we had the benefit of shade, as the memorial is located in a grove of tall NC pines right on the edge of Camp Johnson.
From there, we rolled out to Swanyk's, a local watering hole and virtual Marine museum for a two-hour reception. There were three parties going in that relatively small place - the clean-cut citizens and Marines on one side, and the scruffy, sunburnt bikers on the other. Brother Moose led a raid on the other party's food line and earned himself a good old fashioned 1st Sgt ass chewing. Damn bikers.
From Swanyk's we mounted up again and rolled to Mule's barn for the after party. A fantastic time in true Proud Few fashion. Hickory had been doing the rain dance all week hoping for some relief from the heat, which finally paid off after the sun went down. Brother Moose and CO Fish provided live entertainment with a long guitar jam, as Hickory started shuttling brothers and guests back to their hotels in the drunk wagon.
Saturday continued the celebration, with Mule and Hick whipping up a world-class breakfast for the hungover crowd that stuck around. The ladies then went to Sam's club to pick up fixins for dinner. Hick threw a pork shoulder in the crockpot and cooked up his world-famous BBQ sauce, and the party continued into the late evening.
Words cannot describe how proud we are of our brother Mule. His years of dedication and sacrifice inspired many; his efforts and leadership on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan saved the lives of his teams and the Marines they supported. He will undoubtedly do as much and as well in his civilian life. Well done, Brother.
Proud Few MC
On December 4th, 2010 the Proud Few MC assisted the Sgt Mac Foundation
with their annual wreath laying at Quantico National Cemetery (QNC).
This event began when Sgt Mac's parents started to place wreaths on his grave site near Thanksgiving in 2006. With the placement of subsequent wreaths, they would move the existing wreath to a neighboring Marine. The has continued to evolve and this past weekend several thousand wreaths were placed at QNC as well as at Gettysburg, PA and New Bern, NC in honor of the Sgt Mac Foundation.
The Proud Few MC mounted up at the XO's house at 0930 and rolled north on Route 1 to the cemetery. While the weather was a bit cool, 35 degrees, it was sunny and no precipitation was in site. Our arrival at QNC was timely and shortly after dismount, the Marine Color Guard presented the Nations Colors after which the Base Chaplain lead the group in prayer. A quick set of instructions from Sgt Mac's Father and we were on our way.
There were six PODs full of wreaths that were strategically placed throughout the area and we all lined up to take hold of a few to put into place. A glance across the crowd showed several hundred participants, so it didn't take long to get all of the wreaths out to the appropriate spots.
Once our assignment was complete, we rolled out to the Globe and Laurel for a couple cool refreshments. Then we went on our merry ways for the weekend.
This was a very worth while event and we encourage your participation next year.
Ride safe! We hope to see you all out there and if we do, let's have a beer together.
Proud Few MC
November 13th, 2010 was a day to remember. It was the day the Proud Few MC celebrated the Marine Corps birthday (actually on 10 November); and observed Veterans Day (actually on 11 November) with our annual run to visit the gravesite of Lieutenant General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller.
What makes it so memorable is it was a packed day with a lot of good friends along for the ride. We had brothers from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, with Friends of the Few coming from Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina as well.
We rolled out from our respective locations about 0900 Saturday morning and rallied up at Horne’s restaurant in Port royal, VA – a great little place at the intersection of US Rt 301 and Rt 17. It was a beautiful day for riding – clear skies, not too cold, and very little traffic. We rolled South after a couple of head calls (that’s going to the bathroom, for you non-Naval Service folks) and within a short 90 minutes or so were in Saluda, VA, where we linked up with the crews from NC and Southern VA.
We paid our respects to Chesty at Christ Church in Saluda and paused to reflect on the meaning of Veterans Day. We’re all Veterans, of course, and have lost good friends to the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy as Americans, so the importance of this holiday hits very close to home.
We mounted up and rolled up Rt 3 – a scenic route which bought Hickory’s Ol’ Lady some time while she scrambled to get the house ready for guests. By the time we got back to Southern MD, everyone was starved. Luckily, Hickory had cooked up a batch of his almost-world famous pulled pork barbecue the night before and had it waiting. It didn’t last long.
After a couple of hours and well after dark, we mounted up again and rode to Benedict, MD to attend a Toys for Tots drive sponsored by the Derelicts MC. The DMC put on a great party with live entertainment and racked up an awesome collection of toys for underprivileged children. We had a great time there but had to cut out a little early so we could go do our Marine Corps Birthday celebration.
We rolled back to the hotel and made arrangements through Hickory and his neighbor, Will, to get a ride to the American Legion in Waldorf. We figured that would be the capstone event with regard to imbibing, and designated drivers were in order. So Hickory and Will went home and grabbed their Ol’ Ladies’ cages to get everyone down the road to the Legion. The Legion was closed when we got there, but the bartender was present and agreed to open back up just for us. We ended up spending two hours there – a great cake cutting ceremony with the appropriate musical accompaniment (The Marines Hymn, courtesy of the Legion’s sound system) and a LOT of beer. We got back to the hotel at about 0130 and somehow more beer appeared (always seems to happen with this crew), so we had a few more before calling it a night.
Like we said, it was a packed day – and a damn good one, too. Y’all need to come out and ride with us so you don’t miss the next one.
Proud Few MC
Okay we should first note that our Webmaster has been really slow at putting things on the web. If he were being paid we would have fired him a long time ago but since he works for free and is a Brother, we're letting him slide this time.
What a weekend! We had a fantastic time this weekend – how could we not when Chickenhawk was hosting his 13th annual Crawfish Boil. The mudbugs were spicy and the beer was flowing freely. It was a great time with great friends and we congratulate Chickenhawk on his usual success.
Lots of friends and Brothers in the mix this year. Gary came down from PA with PX – even took a shower along the way with that nasty storm that came through Friday night. Friend of the Few Will joined Hickory in the ride over and stayed for the weekend as well. Brother Mule braved a hurt butt to make the 5 ½ hour ride from his place. It was great to have the extended family and brothers from the outposts join us in the revelry.
Mainshaft put everyone up for the night on Saturday and fed the masses on Sunday. Good thing – there were some hurtin’ pups from all the beer and fruit preserves the night before. We still managed to get on the road, but not in time to make the procession at the Pentagon. We opted to visit Arlington National Cemetery instead, to pay our respects to the fallen. Will’s father is buried there, so we paid him a visit before moving on to watch the parade.
It was damn hot by the time we got over to Constitution Ave! The Thunder was Rolling along nicely though and we were able to find some shady spots to keep relatively cool. We had the opportunity to meet up with some of Hickory’s friends from White Trash Networks – http://www.bikernews.org/wtn
- Lakota, Blackwolf and Handlebar Mike. Awesome time visiting with them and finally putting faces to names. The web makes the world a much smaller place and when you get to meet good folks, it makes it all the more enjoyable.
Did we mention it was hot? We thought we’d never get back to the bikes (they were parked at Arlington) and get in the wind. Once we did, we managed to cool off enough to pay a visit to the Marine Corps War Memorial. Impressive! If you have never seen it, you should make it a stop on your next trip to the area. Let Hickory know – he’ll get you there one way or the other.
Although we were having a good time, we always kept a thought in our head for those who could not be with us. The Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen who gave their lives in combat and the veterans who yet live but have sacrificed so much of themselves so that we may have the freedom we enjoyed this weekend were always in our hearts. We thank them and we thank those who currently serve – including our own brother, Blaster – in harm’s way.
That’s all there is to report this time around. As usual, look us up if you are in town – we’d love to have a beer with ya!
Proud Few MC
That’s right. We’re still around and we’re still having fun. The Proud Few MC hosted its third annual St Patrick’s Day Party/Benefit on 13 Mar 2010 and it was a blast – literally, if you were there around 9am (you know who you are). Anyway, we had a great time and, by all appearances, so did our guests.
This year’s benefit was for the Raina LaBonte Custodial Fund. We were deeply saddened in 2009 when Darren LaBonte, a member of our club’s extended family, was killed during combat operations in Afghanistan. Raina is his two year old daughter and it was our honor to hold this function to help her and her mother. We were blessed once again to have dedicated friends and neighbors who came out, despite the inclement weather, to help us in the cause and we were ultimately able to raise more than $1,000 for Raina. Our sincere and heartfelt thanks go out to all who contributed.
Our good friend QBall was there again this year – he managed to take a few shots of the festivities, which you can see here: http://www.vtwinbiker.com/BikerPhotos/StPattyFdaytona10/stpattyfdaytona10.html
QBall also graciously donated a copy of his and Sorez the Scribe’s book, Living the Life, for us to auction off. It is a great work and we appreciate QBall helping us out like that. If you haven’t picked up a copy of it yet, you’re wrong.
We were honored once again to have Snakebite provide the live entertainment. Listening to those guys never gets old – what a great band! We really appreciate them and are elated that they seem to enjoy playing our party as much as we enjoy having them. A great partnership, to be sure.
We’ve noted that we get rained on every year. The first year it was raining cops; the last two have been liquid sunshine. We think St Patty is angry with us for pre-empting his day, so we may do this one the week following SPD next year. Stay tuned.
Proud Few MC
On 24 October 2009, we saddled up once again for what has become an annual run for the Proud Few: the Beirut Memorial Run. It is always humbling to see the names of our Marine brethren on the wall. Now, more than 25 years after the incident, we remember those who fell in the opening volley of the continuing war with those who would destroy our way of life. It was a good visit - made all the better by the number of Brothers and friends present. We were particularly impressed this year with the progress they have made with the Vietnam Memorial, which is just down the walkway from that of Beirut and the 9/11 monument - we highly recommend you pay a visit if you haven’t done so already.
Seems everyone’s work schedules lined up this year, as we had the best membership turnout to date. Brother Mule, having been reassigned to the Jacksonville, NC area this past Summer, provided the base of operations. All told, we had 80 percent of our membership present, and a rather sizeable contingent of “Friends of the Few.”
In case you’re wondering: “Friends of the Few” is not another club - it’s what we call citizens and Independents who ride with us. This year we had Carl, Mike, and their Ol’ Ladies; Will, from Hickory’s neighborhood; PT, a NC local and long-time friend of a couple of Bros; and Coop’s Daughter, Nicole, who drove the support vehicle. Thanks to all who joined us - it was great to have you along.
As with the previous year, we left in two waves - Mainshaft led the first wave out on Friday and linked up with Carl, Mike and PT the Jax area that night. One of our number, who shall again remain unnamed (see the AAR for the Scottish Christmas Walk), conducted a late-night raid on the sleepy little town of Swansboro.
After a relatively short visit with the local cage-mounted constabulary, he conducted a lengthy foot reconnaissance of Beaufort in search of Blackbeard’s treasure…or his motorcycle, whichever came first. Finding no pirate booty (he didn‘t stay with the constabulary long enough for that) he managed to locate his parked scoot sometime after sunup and return to friendly lines before the second landing team made it to town. Just barely, that is.
Fish, our CO, led the second landing team down on Saturday; our ride was considerably less eventful than that of the nameless one from the preceding paragraph. No raids. No search for pirate booty. No bonds posted. Having therefore been thoroughly bored, we rallied at Mule’s house and formed up with the rest of the crew. Amazingly enough, the weather held out for all of us. The rain didn’t really hit until we pulled into Mule’s driveway and came down for an hour or more. Mule got us all fed in the meantime - no small task, considering the numbers - and we rolled out after the showers to pay our respects.
Sunday entailed the usual return trip ritual: breakfast for the masses (again, thanks to Mule), hair of the dog for the overachievers, and a mad dash north in hopes the skies would clear. No rain, but it was decidedly cooler during the morning. Still, the ride up through Kinston and Goldsboro was excellent - the Fall colors were sharp and traffic was light. The first wave made it back by 1400 - the rest were in by 1800 or so. It was a great run, to be sure. All the more reason to do it again next year - and for the foreseeable future.
Proud Few MC
The PROUD FEW MC's St Paddy’s Day Party & Fundraiser for Sgt Eddie Ryan USMC was a grand success this year. Many a Patriot made a showing and helped the Proud Few to support Eddie and have a grand evening celebrating St. Patrick's Day in true Irish tradition. Please see the following link from Q-Ball's web site for pictures:
On 6 December 2008, the Proud Few assembled in Alexandria, VA to attend the annual Scottish Christmas Walk, a parade of local (and not so local) Scottish clans, bands, and enthusiasts.
Because everyone was coming in from different directions, we opted to link up at the Marriot in Alexandria. Fish and Rule had rooms reserved, as this was to be their own annual birthday celebration. You see, Rule and Fish are Father and Son and, as luck would have it, they share the same birthday. So every year they plan an outing such as this – and of course include their club Brothers in the celebration.
So we linked up at the hotel and quite uncharacteristically started our pre-flight checks with a round of beer. Needless to say, as the day progressed, we continued to imbibe to ward off the cold…as you will note from the pictures, some of us needed it more than the others. Kilts on a cold day…brrrrrr! I am happy to report, by the way, that our kilted Brothers were wearing their Scottish ensembles in accordance with highland custom.
After the parade had passed our little section of Old Town, we adjourned to Murphy’s Pub which was, conveniently, just up the block. We managed to get in early, thankfully – they eventually had to turn folks away – and grabbed a table not too far from the bandstand. There were some really talented musicians – and all the pipe bands you could ever want in one location. We must have stayed in Murphy’s for three or four hours before moving on, eventually ending up a Pat Troy’s.
Now, we have to point out that the only reason we went to Pat Troy’s is we thought the owner, (Pat Troy himself) was dead. A couple of our guys had previously had a bad experience with him (we hear that’s not uncommon) and had pretty much sworn the place off. Well, we got some bum scoop from somewhere that the old man had croaked, so we figured we could go have a beer and not be bothered. We were mistaken. Not only was he inhospitable, but his bartenders jammed us for several rounds of shots that had already been paid for by one of our guests. At the end of the night, we paid more than $500 to close out the tab. On a positive note, we were regaled with two pipe renditions of the Marines’ Hymn while at Troy’s: one from a lone piper and the other from a full pipe/drum band. We were truly honored by both and appreciate the fact that patriotic Scots-Americans thought enough of us to play for us.
Pat Troy notwithstanding, we had a great time. Mule, the Sgt of the Guard, got us all back to the hotel safely (thanks, Bro) – no small task, considering our group was at various stages of…holiday cheer. We were able to get the basket case of the night (who shall remain nameless) to his room with minimal incident. Well, ok, there were incidents, but no witnesses other than ourselves…the public will thank us for that. Anyway – we got him secured for the night and finished off the beer in the fridge before turning in.
We got in, we got out, nobody (from our crew) got hurt. A great day to be with Brothers – and no better crew than the Few! Semper Fi to all – hope to see you out there on the road.
Proud Few MC,
“They Came in Peace”
On 23 Oct 1983, a despicable act of cowardice took the lives of 241 U. S. Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers in Beirut, Lebanon. Having been called to duty in response to a request to the United States from the Lebanese government, the Marines, Corpsmen, and attached soldiers of Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines (BLT 1/8) were murdered in their sleep by a suicide bomber driving an explosives-laden truck. This act, to us, was the first shot fired in the current Jihad against the West.
On 25 Oct 2008, the Proud Few MC rode to the Beirut Memorial in Jacksonville, NC, to remember those who lost their lives 25 years ago. 2008 was the first year of our run, but we hope to make it an annual event until the threat from Islamic Terrorism is neutralized.
We left in two waves, as work schedules dictated. Unfortunately for Hickory, Mule, and our guest, Link, that meant a couple of hundred miles of rain. The temperatures were up though, so it wasn’t so bad. The crew who left the day before, Tarr and Mainshaft, hit some rain during the last leg, but was otherwise ok.
We owe thanks the North Carolina Leathernecks for coordinating with the local MCs on our behalf. Also, thanks to a very good friend of the club, we had a great place to stay for the night. A retired Master Gunnery Sergeant gave us run of his house while he was in Washington DC for the Marine Corps Marathon. That was very generous of him and we sincerely appreciate his hospitality.
This was not a fundraising run. This was remembrance; this was about honoring our dead from a war we did not seek; this was rededicating our lives to ensuring the scourge of Terrorism and what it has brought upon our country is never forgotten, and that our children will not suffer the horrors of this war after we are gone. We were honored to be there, 25 years after that horrible tragedy, to let our fallen brothers know we have the torch.
We really didn’t have the time we would have liked to visit friends in the area, but as we mentioned before, we hope to make this an annual run. For those we were able to see, it was great to get reacquainted; for those we missed, we apologize for the quick turnaround and will try to allot more time for visits on the next run.
The local Leathernecks chapter informed us of a larger memorial event that had occurred the weekend prior – we’ll probably try to make that one next year and maybe tack an extra day onto the trip so we can make the rounds.
Proud Few MC
Haven’t written anything in a while, so we figured we’d better throw something out there to keep the website refreshed.
Got a few pics here from the St Patrick’s Day fundraiser. Hickory’s no photographer, but there are a couple of decent ones in there. Some folks just look good enough to overcome the lack of skill on the photographer’s part, I suppose.
On April 12 2008, Hickory, Mule, and Fish – along with Hickory’s eldest boy and Fish’s neighbor – ran in a 5k Race/Fun Run to benefit the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Not sure about Mule and Fish, but Hickory was definitely concentrating on the “Fun Run” side of the event…’nuff said.
The race was held at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, and was sponsored by the Marine Aviation Detachment. Not sure what they ended up collecting at the race itself, but overall the Detachment has raised over $13,000 for the Semper Fi Fund…Outstanding work, Marines!!!
As this is being drafted, we have a detachment rolling to Colonial Beach, VA to support a benefit for EOD technicians who have been wounded in combat. The IED threat in Iraq largely defines the conflict against terrorist/insurgent elements which, we fear, will be fought by our own kids before it is won. As such, this was a benefit we had all wanted to attend. Unfortunately, work precluded many of us from doing so – just the way things play out from time to time. At any rate, hopefully our Brothers will get a pic or two we can paste up here on the site.
Although it’s a little late, we should mention another event this weekend (17 May 2008). The VFW post in Indian Head, MD is in danger of having to shut its doors. A couple of the local MCs are putting something together to assist the post – starting at noon on Sunday, 18 May. This post is very good about hosting events for the local clubs – they’ve been good to the MC community, and we need to try to give something back. If anyone feels compelled to assist, contact us through the link at the bottom of the page and we will put you in contact with the right folks.
We’re gearing up for Rolling Thunder and Memorial Day next weekend. We hope everyone will take some time to remember those to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for preserving the freedoms we enjoy today. Do not let their memory fade.
It’s gonna be a busy Summer. Ride safe and give us a yell if you’re in the area.
PROUD FEW MC
The Proud Few MC hosted a St. Patrick’s Day party/fundraiser on 15 March 2008 – and the turnout was phenomenal! This was the first event we have hosted as a club and although we had not specifically planned it to be so, it turned out to be the season opener for several some of the local clubs as well as a good number of independent riders. There were several area clubs in attendance, some of which were so esteemed as to have a police escort right to the parking lot... Snakebite took the stage at 8:00 PM and was incredibly good. There was plenty of food and lots of beer – everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
In recent months, we had discussed what charity the PFMC would be supporting on a regular basis. We had settled upon the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, which provides financial assistance to wounded Marines, Sailors, or other service members who served with Marine units at the time of their injury (for information visit http://www.semperfifund.org
As it turned out, we decided to shift our focus closer to home this time and raise money to assist Wendy Cooper (yes, our Brother Coop’s OL) with their expenses as she continues to recuperate from her accident last September. Thanks to the generosity of those that donated, we were able to raise over $2400 for them, which will go far in making ends meet until Wendy can return to her professional livelihood.
It was a great effort by all involved. We want to extend our sincere thanks for all who came out to support us. We also want to thank those businesses and individuals who made donations of their time or offered discounted prices for goods and services to assist our cause.
We’ll post pictures as soon as we can.
PROUD FEW MC
On 10 Nov 2007, a detachment of the Proud Few rolled out from MD to visit Mainshaft in Stafford Co., VA for a Marine Corps Birthday celebration. It had been looking like it was going to be a nasty ride, as it had been raining the night before, and the sky was threatening more of the same all day. Mule and Blaster showed up at Hickory’s place around 1500 – thankfully, the skies had clear somewhat and the rain appeared to have left the area.
The plan was to roll south on Rt 301 and come up through Frednecksburg – we figured I-95 would be jacked up, with it being the Marine Corps Birthday and the first anniversary of the Marine Corps Museum. It as apparently a good call, as we made it in to Mainshaft’s without incident. There was a bit of a chill in the air, though. We figured the following day would be a run to remember.
We pulled into Mainshaft’s garage where he and a neighbor – Earl – had been waiting. Earl’s a retired Marine as well and, though not a Patch Holder, has been to a couple of functions with us and is always a welcome addition. Anyway, Mainshaft and Earl quickly produced some beers to warm us up after our ride. We stood around and commiserated for a while, watching someone get the whip cracked by his Ol’ Lady because he hadn’t started the grill yet. We won’t say who it was.
Once he got the grill started, Mainshaft took us on a tour of his shed, which was just out of yelling distance to his house. Good construction – would make a great clubhouse. When we got back to the top of the hill, someone’s OL had already started grilling. Observing the Code of Modern Chivalry, we cracked another beer.
After dinner, we reconvened in the garage. At an appropriate time, we held a cake-cutting ceremony to celebrate the 232nd Anniversary of our Corps, complete with a reading of the Commandants’ messages and presentation of the cake to the oldest (Earl) and youngest (Mule) Marines present. At some point, our Brother Rover called and we shared a telephonic toast to the Corps. We also called Bro Coop and checked on Wendy’s progress (she’s at home and doing great – thank God).
We rolled out early the next day en route to visit Chesty Puller’s grave in Saluda, VA. We were supposed to meet up with another Marine Corps club, The Corps, in Spotsylvania but we were running late and by the time we got there, they had already left. We made our way down Rt.17 – the sun was bright, but it was about 35 degrees out. By the time we got to Port Royal, we figured a cup of coffee would be in order. We ended up staying for breakfast at Horne’s (great diner, by the way) and continued our journey south. The sky was clear and the leaves were just right – fantastic ride.
We made it to Chesty’s resting place – and managed to link up with The Corps after all. Saluda is a great little town. This being our first time there, we had to ask directions to the chapel and grave site. The locals were eager to help a Traveler and pointed us in the right direction. We spent a while at the site, reflecting on the stories of Chesty Puller that each Marine knows so well; and perhaps on our own contributions to the history and legacy of our Corps, for all they are worth. It was fitting that we were still shivering from the ride as we stood there at Chesty’s stone – and we dared not complain in front of he who led the 1st MarDiv at the frozen Chosin Reservoir a little more than half a century ago.
Our original plan was to roll into Haymarket, VA for a Fisher House benefit – hosted by the Desert Knights MC – as we headed back north. We opted out of that due to the long day in the saddle and the inevitable drop in temps after the sun went down. We would each have had another couple of hours ride to get home after Haymarket, and the potential for hypothermia would have increased (especially if we had partaken of any alcohol) – so we decided returning to base would be the wise choice this time around. We rolled back in to the Charles Co. Clubhouse (Hickory’s) that evening and had ourselves a celebratory beer.
Outstanding run. May have to do that one again next year.
It is with great pleasure we announce that two Brothers were patched in on 29 September 2007. Brothers “Mule” and “PX” were issued their Proud Few Colors at a function hosted by Mule at his house, with family and friends present.
Mule had invited us over for beer and the occasional bite to eat in celebration of his birthday. If we didn’t know better, we would think he was trying to set the stage for us to take a vote…but we had already balloted and both he and PX were easily voted in several weeks prior – we just needed to get everyone (or as many as we could) in one place at the same time.
It was a great party. Several friends and colleagues from work showed up – as well as Mule’s folks, who flew in from down south. We also had a guest from one of the local MCs – Strength & Honor – who served in the Marine Corps with Mule and Hickory. None of them were expecting a patch-in, but hey, gives ‘em something to talk about later, I suppose. Tonto, our trusty Close Air Support, made sure we all had a dose of his anti-bacterial, mason-jarred medicinal water. Some of us who spent some time in nasty places like Iraq and Afghanistan required an extra dose, just to make sure the microbes were dead.
Quite uncharacteristically, we took advantage of the opportunity to screw with Mule – he had offered to take care of any patch sewing we needed a couple of weeks prior, so we all hit him up about hemming trousers, sewing Girl Scout patches, and the like – and finally asked him if he would mind sewing his and PXs patches on if he got a chance (they were done in minutes, oddly enough).
We almost had to postpone PX’s patch-in due to an encounter with the local constabulary. He eventually made it to the party with no cuff marks, but we did contemplate changing his road name to Lockdown.
The most pleasant surprise of the evening was when Coop showed up. With Wendy still in the hospital, we figured he would be (rightfully) preoccupied. Still, we were overjoyed to see him walk through the door, as he was in need of a break from the hours and days in the hospital with her. We still pray for her full recovery every day, and will be with them both every step of the way while she recovers.
During the Patch In, Hickory read a letter received that very day from Sgt. Eddie Ryan, the Marine for whom the Poker Run had been the previous weekend in New Jersey (see below). The letter was in two parts: the first by his Mother; the second written by Sgt. Ryan himself, using his left hand, thanking the Proud Few MC for supporting him and giving him the motivation to recover.
There really were no other words than Sgt Ryan’s letter to better underscore the purpose for which we all wear the patch of the Proud Few MC, and for that reason we will end this AAR here with a heartfelt congratulations to our two new Brothers. May you both ride safe and wear the Colors proudly.
On 22 Sep 2007 a detachment of the Proud Few MC rolled north on I-95 to participate in a poker run to benefit Sgt Eddie Ryan. Sgt Ryan was severely wounded in Al Khaim, Iraq in 2005, suffering two gunshot wounds to the head. He has since begun his recovery and has improved beyond all expectations. Sadly, the Veterans Administration has seen fit to reduce his benefits, and his family is paying from their own pockets to supplement his physical and occupational therapy.
It was an honor for the Proud Few MC to take part in this event. We were met with hospitality that would rival that of a Southern town, and were treated as VIPs during the event – a privilege we will not soon forget.
Tarr, Hickory, and Prospect Mule, with Naval Gunfire Support by Norm, the Token Sailor, rolled out in the wee hours of Saturday morning. The first thing we noticed was the rain…yup, it was raining outside, despite the “80 degrees and sunny” forecast we had just seen the day before. Surely, we figured, it would burn off by mid-morning, as the forecast was still for partly cloudy skies and no rain…wrong! As we rolled north toward Mule’s place, it misted on us intermittently, with the ever-present road spray. Mule had coffee ready (good Prospect, that one) so we warmed up a bit before rolling out.
The weather cooperated with us most of the way…except for the last 30 miles on the NJ Turnpike, when we got pelted with a sizeable rainsquall. You know, I had wondered why those chicks were smiling at us about five miles back…they musta had the weather report going about the time they passed us. Anyway, we got nailed just about all the way in to the start point.
By the time we got there it was late in the run. We paid up our entry fees (with a couple of extra for our Brothers who couldn’t make it) and tried in vain to dry out before proceeding. While we waited, the Thunder MC, Central Chapter rolled in. Seizing an opportunity, we asked if we could follow them (they being locals and therefore familiar with the terrain) on the ride to the end point (it was too late to do the whole run by the time we got there). They graciously agreed and we followed them through the boroughs to the VFW at Carteret, NJ.
What a ride that turned out to be. While making a left turn, Thunder put out a road guard and some jackass in a cage, talking on a cell phone, decided to go around him and get in the middle of the stack. At some point, the realization that he had screwed up seemed to dawn on him, as he desperately tried to dial 911 with handful of patched bikers swarming around him like hornets.
A couple of miles later, as we got near our destination, they let the cager go with a wave and a wish for a safe and happy journey.
The event itself was pretty impressive, even though the numbers were down from the weather (RUBs). It was, nonetheless, well organized and had a great spread by a local barbecue place. A couple of vendors were present, but it was not overdone. Entertainment was provided and everyone seemed to be having an enjoyable time, although anxious for the guest of honor to arrive.
As we were waiting we were greeted by Jeri Kopin, the event’s main organizer. We had met Jeri on the return trip from Laconia, right there on the NJ Turnpike, and she had informed us at that time that this event was scheduled. Jeri gave us the royal treatment, sitting us in the VIP area of the event and making sure we were on the program as presenters.
Eddie arrived and the main event started – renditions of the Star Spangled Banner (to include a piper – way cool), music written for and about Eddie, color guard, and several presentations made. This Marine’s tenacity is absolutely impressive. It’s not surprising that the community has rallied behind him, given the circumstances of his sacrifice and his unexpectedly successful recovery. When our turn came, the three of us gathered on the stage and presented Eddie with Proud Few soft colors and declared him an Honorary Member of the club.
We rolled out that evening and turned in relatively early – except for a short spell in the hotel bar with Jeri and her family. A great end to a great day, to be sure. We jumped up in the morning and rolled south…much dryer than the day before. We were honored to have been able to participate in the run – we’ll be back next year, for sure.
The Proud Few participated in two Veteran-related rides in the months of July and August 2007. The first was the “Fallen Heroes Memorial Poker Run;” the second was the “Charlotte Hall Veterans’ Home Poker Run.” Both are great causes which merit the attention of all who value the sacrifices made by those in uniform.
The Fallen Heroes Memorial Poker Run was a run organized by Mrs. Debbie Higgins whose son, Lance Corporal James Higgins, was killed in action in Iraq during the Summer of 2006. LCpl Higgins’ last wish, as expressed to his Mother, was that Veterans of our country’s recent conflicts would not have to wait 50+ years for a memorial to be erected to remember their sacrifices.
The run started in Frederick, MD, extended up into Southern Pennsylvania, and ended at Hagerstown. Great run! Great weather! Blaster and Hickory represented the Proud Few MC, with an additional rider from Hickory’s neighborhood riding support. We had the opportunity to meet members of other clubs – always a pleasure – and to share in an honorable, common goal with them and the hundreds of independents who participated in the run.
The Charlotte Hall Veterans Home Poker Run is an annual event sponsored by the U.S. Military Veterans Motorcycle Club, Southern MD Chapter (http://www.usmvmcsmd.org/
). What a great cause this club has adopted – well organized, too! Coop and Hickory were in attendance at this one, with Close Air Support by an Air Force Reserve Officer who came out to ride with us. Coop’s wife, Wendy rode her scoot as well. We had a great time and, except for a wrong turn that delayed us for a couple of minutes – not to mention a pothole that nearly swallowed two of our scoots – it was a highly enjoyable run.
We’re looking forward to supporting both of these events again next year.