Thursday, May 31, 2007

Memorial Day Ride – Part 2

PGR Mission – Captain Herbert C. Crosby of Donalsonville, Ga


NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense

December 19, 2006
Media Contact: (703) 697-5131/697-5132
Public/Industry(703) 428-0711

Soldiers Missing In Action From Vietnam War are Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of three U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

They are Capt. Herbert C. Crosby, of Donalsonville, Ga.; Sgt. 1st Class Wayne C. Allen, of Tewksbury, Mass.; and Sgt. 1st Class Francis G. Graziosi, of Rochester, N.Y.; all U.S. Army. Burial dates and locations are being set by their families.

Representatives from the Army met with the next-of-kin of these men to explain the recovery and identification process, and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.

On Jan. 10, 1970, these men were returning to their base at Chu Lai, South Vietnam aboard a UH-1C Huey helicopter. Due to bad weather, their helicopter went down over Quang Nam Province. A search was initiated for the crew, but no sign of the helicopter or crew was spotted.

In 1989, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) gave to U.S. specialists 25 boxes containing the remains of the U.S. servicemen related to this incident. Later that year, additional remains and Crosby's identification tag were obtained from a Vietnamese refugee.

Between 1993 and 1999, joint U.S./S.R.V. teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), conducted three investigations in Ho Chi Minh City and two investigations in Quang Nam-Da Nang Province (formerly Quang Nam Province).A Vietnamese informant in Ho Chi Minh City told the team he knew where the remains of as many as nine American servicemen were buried.He agreed to lead the team to the burial site.In 1994, the team excavated the site and recovered a metal box and several bags containing human remains, including those of these three soldiers.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at or call
(703) 699-1169.

A Patriot Guard Mission.

This mission was an opportunity for me to meet a fellow blogger and PGR member from Georgia, Mama Kat. Once we got to DC, I was going on this mission no matter what. We had just arrived in the DC area and it being nearly 2200 hours, I really didn’t expect the other Indiana folks to attend. A quick call to the RC (Ride Captain) and I knew the Georgia PGR were meeting at the Iwo Jima Memorial at 0630. KSU (kick stands up) at 0700.

Our hotel to the memorial was about 50 miles. Having no idea how or where to go and allowing for DC traffic, I elected to leave the hotel at 0500. I informed the Indiana crew of my intentions and with unanimous enthusiasm they all agreed that they were going too, ‘it was the least they could do for this hero, for Captain Crosby’.

DC traffic and signs, what signs?

I had asked several people at a restaurant earlier and spoke with John (a local who was hosting us for a BBQ dinner Saturday night) about directions to the memorial. Basically, everyone said I-66 east into the city and ‘follow the signs.’ Riiight!!
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Traffic was a breeze at 0500, nothing more that I-465 around Indy during race week. We passed the beltway exits and were headed for downtown, it was about 0550. As we rounded a bend at 60+ MPH we passed (yes, PASSED) the Iwo Jima Memorial. Great!! I missed the exit and there sure as hell weren’t any signs. Off at the next exit and… there is no on ramp west bound. Lovely, just lovely. BTW, did I mention that I am leading 4 other bikes? So, I fiddle with my GPS for a second trying to get the right scale and off we go, turn here, down through some neighborhood, left up a steep hill, a couple twists and turns and we came to a stop sign…the memorial was about 200 yards forward and to the right. Still no signs. Right looks like it goes off into the neighborhood again and straight looks like a drive way into a park, straight it is.


Straight was an on ramp back onto I-66!! We get off at the next exit head back east, get off at the correct exit this time and go off into the neighborhood a little and there in the back is the entrance to the Iwo Jima Memorial. Cool!! And it’s only 0615.

We parked and began introductions to some of the other riders that were there, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, New York and Ohio. We wondered around taking pictures and marveling at the memorial. Having seen “Flag of Our Fathers” a few months ago gave this visit a rather special meaning to me. BTW – did you know the Iwo Jima Memorial is about 4 times human scale? It’s HUGE!!!

The Georgia riders arrived and more intros. Kat, her husband Bear, the RC and their State Captain. Many others were introduced, but I am so terrible with names, I won’t even try listing them all.

Georgia Congressman Phil Gingry was there and presented their State Captain with a flag that had flown over the Capital building and certificate of authenticity. A second flag and certificate was presented to ‘supply sergeant’ Parker Thompson. (someone’s 10-12 year old son). It was a flood of emotions for everyone.

The Congressman rode over to and through ANC (Arlington National Cemetery) with us. The guards let us in a little before the official opening, so it was just us 50-60 bikes wondering through the hallowed grounds of ANC. With 10-15 full size American flags flying, I'm suer we were a sight to see. We made our way over to the Chapel and stood our flag line. I heard a Georgia Senator was there and a few other names were whispered in the line, quite the impressive who’s who list of politicians.

The Honor Guard, Caisson and 20+ piece band were the definition of ‘squared away’, ‘spit shined’ and ‘polished’. Everything they did was in unison and perfectly timed. When we left the Chapel we rode at a walking pace behind the Honor Guard and family to the burial site. There Captain Crosby received a 21 gun salute. A woman I believe to be his mother and other family members places roses on his casket. Many other Vietnam Vets that had ridden in also placed honor mementos and pins on his casket.

Twice, once at the Chapel and once at the grave site 3 large choppers (not Huey’s) flew over.

Take a look at this slide show, pictures are worth a thousand words. These pictures speak volumes.

Next – ANC and Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital

Edit - 06/04/07 - Added a link.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Memorial Day Ride - Part 1

Eastward, Hooo!!!

Wow!! So much has happened. Guess I’ll start at the beginning.

We met up at a McD’s on Indy southeast side about 9 am Wednesday morning. Google tells me it is 595 miles, Indy to DC. The more scenic route we took was closer to 700. South central and southeastern Ohio are beautiful country. We stopped at little rode side rest area for lunch and made Marietta Ohio about 7 pm.

A quick ciphering and you’ll notice that was 10 hours on the road… That’s 350 miles (about half way) in 10 hours… That’s an average of 35 miles per hour. OMG!!! Women’s tiny bladders and smokers be damned!!! We stopped about every 60 miles (less than an hour riding) to smoke, stretch our butts and pee.

We stopped in a little town called Mt Storm in Virginia for lunch Thursday. For about the billionth time, I was told ‘riding through these mountains on such a bald tire was crazy’, yet again my response was ‘there is tread on the sides and that is where you need it most when riding through the mountain turns and switch-backs’.

This discussion was going on at just about every stop and I was actually beginning to worry. One of the things I was honored to have been requested to do Sunday was escort Gold and/or Blue Star Mothers (mothers that have lost a child or have a child in service to our country) in the Rolling Thunder parade. I knew there was going to be an inspection and had not even thought about my tires. I had proof of insurance, registration, license endorsement, extra helmet, back rest and windshield… but never thought about looking at my tires.

Afraid I would get rejected for the bald tire, I decided I would try to get to a Harley store and get one. The next town, Winchester was about 75 miles away. A quick call to the service department and they said they had a tire but that I needed to be there by 5 to make their closing time. The manager also said that we were 2 to 2.5 hours away. Windy roads, small towns and all that. It was agreed that I would lead to set the pace since I had the ‘bald as a baby’s butt tire’. And oh yeah, while we were eating, it had started to rain… hard, AND it was 3:15 pm by the time we suited up and left.

Heh, I took off, dodging rain drops and pot holes. After about 10 minuets I looked in my mirrors and didn’t see any one… I was out running them all. I slowed and Hoss caught up and told me the others were headed to the hotel and we would go on to the HD store. We made it there by 4:30. (2.5 hours my a$$, heh!!)

We got to our Virginia hotel about 8 Thursday evening. The HD store was about 100 miles from the hotel.

Next - PGR Mission

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I'm Baaack!!!

Left Indy Wednesday at 9 am. Back Tuesday at 7 pm.
1,700+ miles on a motorcycle.
90+ pictures.

I need to get some sleep in my own bed and a shower… a long hot shower.

Very sorry to keep you all waiting, but I will post pictures and some stories tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Big Day - A Big Trip

Well, this isn't the post I wanted to do, but it will have to do.

Today, me and 5 friends from the PGR are leaving for Washington DC. Memorial Day has a very special meaning for me these days and riding to DC to view the Vietnam War Memorial on Memorial Day weekend will make it extra special.

While there we are going to visit the men and women at Walter Reed, honor a Vietnam vet (MIA) that is being buried at Arlington. (his remains were found and identified last year) Tour some of the other memorials and of course the Ride to The Wall.

I have a camera, I hope to post pics when I get back. Everyone take care and I'll blog to you next week.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Here is a couple shots out of my 25th floor hotel room looking down on Times Square.

A Church and The Empire State Building from the 12th floor/roof of a building on 5th Ave. We had a party/open house here. Also, check the cool lighting...

Some of the pictures that are on display at the WTC subway stop

And finaly a couple pics at the WTC rebuilding project.

All of these picture belong to this post.

Of course click any image for a larger view.

Points to Ponder

Can you cry under water?
How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?
Why do you have to "put your two cents in".. but it's only a "penny for your thoughts"? Where's that extra penny going to?
Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?
Why does a round pizza come in a square box?
What disease did cured ham actually have?
How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up like every two hours?
If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?
Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?
Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?
Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you naked anyway.
Why is "bra" singular and "panties" plural?
Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?
If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?
Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane ?
If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?
Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!
If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?
If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?
If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?
Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?
Why did you just try singing the two songs above?
Why do they call it an asteroid when it's outside the hemisphere, but call it a hemorrhoid when it's in your butt?
Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?
Do you ever wonder why you come by here read this crap

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Quick Update

I wish I had more time to post.

Wow, my last post was May 3rd. Let’s see, what have I done since then…

I’ve been to NYC again. Went to the WTC site again. The subway stop at the WTC has art by the children of the victims hanging on the walls. It was very moving. Up at street level, it’s not so much a hole any more as it is a level area where construction is on going. There was more art (photographs) from the days and months after 9/11. I have some pictures, I’ll get them posted hopefully with this post…

I'm doing a lot of planning. Heading to DC on the bike this Memorial day/week. More on that later.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I'm a What???

Stole this from Mrs. JG.
Something is better than nothing, right?
Working on a 'real' post, hope to have it up tomorrow.

You Are a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

You are a traditional person with very simple tastes.
In your opinion, the best things in life are free, easy, and fun.
You totally go with the flow. And you enjoy every minute of it!

Your best friend: The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Your mortal enemy: The Ham Sandwich

I think this one basically missed... I like grilled cheese ok, especially with tomato soup... As far as PB&J - YUCK!! Can't stand the stuff. Traditional... maybe. The rest is right on.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Thursday, May 03, 2007

California - Today and Then

Do you know what happened back in 1850, 157 years ago?
California became a state.

The State had no electricity.
The State had no money.
Almost everyone spoke Spanish.
There were gunfights in the streets.

So basically, it was just like California is today, except the women had real breasts and the men didn't hold hands.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Last Weekend

Like I said last post the new job is keeping me hopping… But here is a short post of what I did this weekend. There is more, hopefully tomorrow.

Saturday didn’t start too early. Left the house at about 9am. Rode to Westfield and waited on some friends, together we rode north to Kokomo.

(It has been 3 days and I’m still getting a lump in my throut)

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died April 8 in Baghdad, Iraq, when their unit came in contact with enemy forces using an improvised explosive device and small arms fire. They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.

Killed were:

Staff Sgt. Harrison Brown, 31, of Prichard, Ala.

Pfc. David N. Simmons, 20, of Kokomo, Ind.

You need to see this

A mothers eyes
A sister cries
A BOY dies
A flag lies
A man cries

My eyes and ears ring with their sorrow…
He was 20… What were you doing when you were 20? I’ll bet you had not written a will ‘just in case’.
There is nothing so final as a flag draped coffin.
I sill cry, I am crying now.