“Ma’am do American’s still support our effort, do they still care?” I have been asked this question several times over the last 12 months by troops serving in OIF/OEF. My answer is always yes and I’m sorry our media feels more incline to show those that do not, but trust me we are still here.
The Norwich American Legion Riders from post 189 held their second annual LHCP benefit. As I traveled through the beautiful hills of Chenago County with the red barns, white silos and homes with large front porches I thought about last years motorcycle rally and the dedication and conviction these individuals had shown our troops. It has been exactly a year since their last benefit; would the residents of Chenago County be less supportive of our troops, as the main stream media has been reporting of our American population? I can report that a lack of support is not happening in Chenago County, in fact it more than doubled, hooah!
I want to tell you that my words will never express the outpouring of support I viewed through the side mirror of a motorcycle this past weekend. When you look in a mirror you usually see what you have left behind, passed by or what is getting ready to pass you but in Norwich , NY it was different. The route is 80 miles though winding, curving, wooded, beautiful back country mountain roads.
I could not help but notice the farmer’s fields that had not yet been planted and watch the birds swimming in the large pools of water, either from a recent rain or from all the snow that had just melted. I noticed that you would not lose site of one silo before seeing another. But as we got into the route I saw them, they were all lined up like military troops themselves. One leading the pack, then one on the right, one on the left about 15 yards behind, then another on the right, about the same 15 yards, another to the left. Then myself and in the side mirror I saw those that continued behind me. Some might think they were just all following the leader but it is so much more.
Look in the side mirror and you see the lights from each bike and you realize that each one is a beacon of pride, faith and each light represents another American that came out to say I have your back. That beacon of light that says can you see us, we are here and we will not forget that you are there, defending freedom. Have faith in us that we will be here for you now and when you return; we will have faith in you.
As we would crest a hill I would lose site of those at my back but the sound of their bikes let me know they were ok and one by one the lights would emerge over the crest to say I’m still here. We may have been individual’s each with our own type of motorcycle and not able to verbally speak, but we traveled through the 80 miles as one, our engines our voices, united for our military troops.
Thank you Paul, Bill and all the American Legion Riders from Norwich!!