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