47 years ago, frequently flying over Laos with a parachute on my back and getting shot at,” he said. “I never had any type of welcome home or thank you ceremony.”
He went on that it was a different era in 1969 as the draft was alive and Vietnam was an unpopular war. “Regrettably, those of us who served in Vietnam received virtually no support from the public nor did the public ever express any appreciation for our military service, not even for those who were killed and wounded. Now, 47 years later, we will have our first ceremony honoring our service.”
He described it as a bitter remembrance and added, “I am just glad that my fellow vets are finally going to at least have some public ceremony recognizing their service while they are still alive.”
And that is the mission of Voices 4 the Fallen, an organization started by two motorcyclists in McAdoo in 2013. Their goal is to raise awareness and support for veterans, both who are living and those who have sacrificed their lives for their country. Voices 4 the Fallen members participate in warrior rides throughout the years, as well as holiday parades and memorial bike runs. They also organize motorcycle escorts to honor veterans, similar to the one held July 30, and charity events to support the troops.
After the ride from Mountaintop to Berwick, formal ceremonies were held at the Berwick VFW Post 821, followed by a lunch. During the observance, an honor guard presentation was held, speakers were heard, and patriotic music was played. A special appearance was also made by Tim Chambers, “The Saluting Marine,” a veteran popular for his charity work and traveling to patriotic events to salute and show respect to those in uniform.
Also at the Berwick ceremony, each participating veteran received a welcome home certificate and a challenge coin. In addition, each veteran had his name, rank, military branch, and years of service announced.
In addition to being hosted by Voices 4 the Fallen and the Berwick VFW, the welcome home ride was also sponsored by Nescopeck VFW Post 8227. The event was first held last year on a much smaller scale, to welcome home Vietnam Veteran Edward Zozosky. After seeing how great an impact that gesture had, the ride was expanded to honor all Korean and Vietnam War veterans.