July 31, 2010


Filed under: Rallies — Rich Davis @ 7:50 pm

Lots of smiles and tears today as we bid “Fair winds and following seas” to Marine parents Mary and Mark Wilson. They are moving to Arizona. They will be deeply missed by all the sheepdogs, especially by the Military Moms, they are a very closeknit group.

The best part of every rally is at noon, when we all gather together and sing the Star Spangled Banner in honor of all our troops. Mark and Mary held the flag for us and Mary moved behind her husband to hide the tears.

John, a high school senior, presented Mary with a bouquet of flowers and received one of Mary’s famous hugs. Then John’s mom and dad sang a song of farewell to Mary.

Mark has been a role model military father, quiet strength is his trademark. We’ll all miss the dignified way he carried himself, whether standing on the corner with us or riding his motorcycle with the Warriors Watch Riders. He always has a strong shoulder for his wife to lean on as their son leads Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mike and his two kids always brighten our rallies with their patriotic outfits and happy faces.

Dogs and Vietnam Veterans like Bob are popular too.

One of the highlights was when a wedding party came over to our corner, turns out the groom was a Marine! He had 2 tours in Iraq. We thanked him for his service and wish him and his bride a long life of love, happiness, and success. Semper Fi!

We all signed a poster for Mary and Mark, containing a collage of pictures from rallies past.

We always say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and then a prayer for our troops protection and success.

Mary, Mark, Edward, James, and 1st Lt Grant – we will miss you a lot.

God blessed us when we met and became friends.

You are great ambassadors of the Marine Corps, someone we can all look up to. You will always be in our hearts and with us in spirit.

July 30, 2010


Filed under: Heroes — Rich Davis @ 12:26 pm

This is the statue located on Ft Dix. Its called “The Ultimate Weapon” – an Army Infantryman running towards the enemy.

One of the benefits of being retired military is being able to visit military bases. I spent a few days hanging out with our troops last week.

One morning at breakfast, a soldier was next to me in uniform. I asked him where he was from, he said, “Texas”, I said, “I was stationed in Texas for a little while, I loved it.” He smiled and said, “It’s the best country in the world”. I asked him how long he had been in the Army and he said “14 years” and I asked if he was “coming or going” (to or from Iraq/Afghanistan) – he told me he recently returned from Afghanistan and had just arrived at Ft Dix to begin a 3-year tour, training soldiers. I said, “That’s great, you deserve some stateside duty.”

Then he said something that surprised me, he said, “I’d rather be in Afghanistan.” and I said, “Why would you say that? Why would you prefer to be there instead of here?” And he said, “The Kids” and I thought he meant the Afghan children, I said, “Are the Taliban killing the Afghan children?” and he said, “No, I meant ‘the kids’, our young guys.”
His answer gave me a chill. This soldier is 32 years old (he looked very young to me) and he wants to be in Afghanistan so he can lead and guide and watch the backs of our young soldiers, his kids. It just gets to me.

I say all the time, “If you’ve ever been on any kind of sports team, you know what having a teammate is like, you know what team-spirit is. They have your back, you can count on them.” Well, take that feeling of comaraderie and mulitply it by a thousand. That’s the kind of support you get from a fellow soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine. There is no stronger bond. These teammates will give their lives for you. And this 32-year old Army sergeant, proud of his home state of Texas, proved that all over again.

I took pictures of our troops in the gym and at the club. One of them was a Navy officer, a reservist. I asked him what his job was, he said, “I’m a doctor, a surgeon, I’m going to Afghanistan soon.” I said, “Thank you for taking care of our troops.” And he said he would also be able to provide medical services to Afghan troops and do some humanitarian operations on Afghan civilians and children too. It gives you a lump in your throat to know how good and decent our troops are, and how much they care about being good ambassadors of the US.

I could see them training, marching in pairs, through worn paths around fields and woods, carrying large heavy packs on their backs in the middle of these hot days, getting ready to go into harm’s way, where the temperature will be well over 100 degrees every day.


July 25, 2010


Filed under: Rallies — Rich Davis @ 12:45 pm

One-hundred degree heat does not deter patriotic Americans from standing up for our troops, our heroes. We had another large turnout, many newcomers, and even some troops!

Mary and Mark held the flag for us as we sang the National Anthem. Their son Grant is a young US Marine Officer, currently on his 2nd combat tour in Afghanistan.

One of our highlights was Fred, a US Marine and current member of the PA National Guard, the Stryker Brigade, was walking by and took a moment to say “Thanks, we love this kind of support”. Fred poses with 20-year Marine Ray (L) and Jim, a Marine Vietnam Veteran says, “Semper Fi”.

Frank, our WWII Vet, has been coming out to the corner every Saturday for 2 years, he comes in his scooter never misses a rally. Frank will be in our prayers this week. He is going to Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia for surgery on his recently discovered cancer. Frank says, “I will be back! And soon!” His proud daughter, Mary Ann, took a lot of pictures and video of her hero father. Frank served with a tank unit during the Battle of the Bulge.

A lot of kids took time out from their summers to show how much they appreciate our troops, our flag, and our country.

Another highlight was Don, a WWII vet who stopped by to say hello. He’s 90 years young, still has a spark in his eye and great sense of humor. He was an Army Infantryman and fought in the Pacific. Thanks to heroes like Don and Frank, we were able to achieve victory and win WWII. They are always the first ones to say, “The real heroes never came home.” Don told us he had a lawn mower accident when he was six-years old. He cut off half his index finger (see in picture). He didn’t think the Army would want him but he was told, “You can use your other finger!” And Don said, “I did it and I was a pretty good shot too.”

One of our many other newcomers was Charley (below L), he’s an Army veteran – Airborne “All the way!” He was very impressed with our rally, “You guys do an amazing job here.” he said.

We have a lot of military moms, dads and family members, vets past and present, regular patriotic citizens and families, and many Vietnam Vets like Jim (Marines), James (Army Ranger), Bud (Air Force), Richard (Army) and many others who come on a regular basis.

Mary and Mark (below) will be leaving us soon. They’ll be moving to Texas or Phoenix, Arizona. Next Saturday will be their last rally with us here in West Chester, PA. Try to come next week and say “See you later” to these popular Marine parents.

Thanks again to all who defied the sun and heat. Our rallies are like a big country fair, lots of smiles, fun, and patriotism. We enjoy our summers because our troops, past and present, give up theirs.

Thank You Troops! May God bless you and your families, protect you, and guide you to victory.

July 17, 2010


Filed under: Rallies — Rich Davis @ 4:22 pm

Huge turnout of patriots came to West Chester to show public support for our troops and country. Our wall of red, white, and blue looked magnificent.

Special welcome to a bunch of newcomers. Lou, Ann Marie, Gene, Len, Robert, and a guy from Ft Monmouth, Deborah, Debbie, Jeff, and especially Betsy – proud mother of a Marine, her son is in Bahrain right now. Betsy held the flag for us as we sang the National Anthem and said the Lord’s Prayer for our troops and country.

We had a very heavy heart as we remembered Sgt Louis Fastuca, an Army Airborne Special Forces hero who was killed in Afghanistan on July 5, 2010. Our hearts and prayers are with the family of Louis Fastuca, we will never forget or waste his sacrifice. He paid the ultimate price, its a tremendous loss for his loved ones. Freedom is not Free.

Len, a friend of Louis Fastuca’s father and member of the same church (Saints Peter and Paul) told us a story of his toast with Louis when he was home on leave, not too long ago. Len ran into Louis at “Appetizers” in Exton. Louis told Len that he wanted to have a toast to his Sargeant Major. Louis said, “The Sargeant Major died in my arms after being shot several times.” Ironically he said, “He’s the reason I’m alive today, he taught me how to be a combat soldier.” Then they drank a shot of Jamison’s together. Just a few days later Louis was back in Afghanistan and died from an IED on July 5th. Len said he went back to Appetizers and had a shot of Jamison in honor of Louis.

Special thanks to the three Blue Star Moms who came today – Maureen, Nini, and Betsy – all have sons in harm’s way. The Military Moms are the best and we are always happy when they can join us. They love our rallies because they know they are surrounded by patriotic Americans who understand and appreciate what they go through every day.

Our soldiers step into a battle zone, we step out of our comfort zone. As our troops fight the fight for freedom, they are not alone. May God bless them and their families, protect them, and guide us all to victory over evil.

July 5, 2010


Filed under: Rallies — Rich Davis @ 10:53 am

Congratulations to the Independence Hall Tea Party Association for organizing an outstanding Tea Party yesterday.

It was a great Tea Party, fun and educational, saw many friends and made new ones.

July 4, 2010


Filed under: Rallies — Rich Davis @ 10:44 am

Happy 4th of July. We take time to remember that we have over 200,000 troops in harm’s way. They give up their summers and holidays so that we can enjoy ours. A huge turnout of regular Americans came to show our military and their families how much we appreciate their sacrifices.

We were joined yesterday by Gold Star Mom Helene Eissler, her son Freddy was a Midshipman at the US Naval Academy when he passed in Nov 2008. Standing next to Helene are 5 Blue Star Moms. Evie (son Jon is an Army Medic, Afghanistan Combat Vet), Nina (son Brian is in the Army, currently in Iraq), Mary Lou (son Matt is in the National Guard, Iraq Combat Vet), JoAnne (son Greg is a Marine Officer, Afghanistan Combat Vet) and Mary (son Grant is a Marine Officer, Iraq Combat Vet and currently in Afghanistan). We have a lot of military family members who stand with us every weekend.

Thanks to everyone for taking time to show public support and thanks to all our troops and their families. We stand behind those who stand up for us. May God bless them, protect them, and guide them to victory.

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