May 29, 2011

“WE REMEMBER” – SPECIAL MEMORIAL DAY RALLY HONORS OUR TROOPS BY REMEMBERING THE FALLEN – 5/28/11

Filed under: Rallies — Rich Davis @ 9:33 am

It was our biggest Memorial Day rally ever. Huge turnout, many families. We held signs remembering friends and loved ones who gave their all to protect and defend us and our way of life.

The highlight was a visit from Billy Mowers, active duty Army. He’s home on leave for a couple days from Iraq where he’s been flying his Apache Helicopter everyday, providing close-air support for all the supply and fuel trucks coming and going from his camp. We were honored and thrilled to be able to shake his hand, thank him, and give him all the support he can use as he returns to Iraq to finish his final 6 months in Iraq.

Billy is a Warrant Officer (CW2) and he surprised us with a special gift and certificate. He gave us a US Flag that had flown in his helicopter in Iraq . The certificate read:

Certificate of Appreciation

Presented to:

American Sheepdogs

On April 1st, 2011, this American Flag was flown for 6 hours in combat over Iraq inside AH-64D Attack Helicopter tail number 85062 by CW2 William Mowers and CW2 Brendon McNamara. It is given in appreciation for your support of the troops and your patriotism.

Signed by CW2 William Mowers and CW2 Brendon McNamara

This gesture means so much to us, that these soldiers, busy saving the world, would take the time and effort to prepare a certificate with a flag for us. Its a priceless gift and we are honored and grateful to receive it. Thank you Billy and Brendon, you are the best. We will cherish it always.

We stand for one-hour every Saturday with our signs and flags forming a human wall of red, white, and blue along the sidewalks of this historic corner in West Chester. At the end we gather together to sing the National Anthem and say the Lord’s Prayer for our troops and their families. This week we were honored to have Billy Mowers come to the front and hold the flag for us.

This young patriot led us in singing “Grand Ole Flag”, it was terrific!

It was an outstanding day, many newcomers and friends we haven’t seen in a while. Several passerbys pointed to our signs with the names we were remembering and said, “I knew him, he was my neighbor” or “I went to school with him”.

We were thrilled to have Billy with us. You can see the pride and joy in his parents faces (Bill and Kay) and his neices Sidney and Sam. They all came to dinner at Limoncellos the night before, that’s Billy’s wife Katy. We will keep Billy and all his buddies in our thoughts and pray for his protection and success as he continues to represent and defend the United States of America and protect our families and our freedoms.

May 27, 2011

SPECIAL MEMORIAL DAY RALLY – “WHO WILL YOU REMEMBER” – SATURDAY MAY 28, 2011

Filed under: Heroes — Rich Davis @ 11:25 pm

Who will you remember?

Most of us know someone who died while serving our country. Tomorrow, Sat May 28, we will have a special Memorial Day Rally in West Chester. From 11AM till noon. Bring a sign with the name of your friend or loved one. Lets remember those who gave their lives so we might enjoy ours. I am making signs to remember these heroes.

1) Sgt Louis Fastuca, US Army - killed last July in Afghanistan by an IED, he was 24 years old. He lived in West Chester. Most of us went to his funeral, we remember the motorcycle escort, the hundreds of people lining the route from the church to the cemetery, hands on hearts or holding flags. We learned what a great young man he was, gifted classical pianist, who wrote a song in high school and played it at the funeral of the mother of his best friend who had died of cancer. Shy as a boy, Lou Fastuca overcame his shyness by playing ice hockey and boxing. He joined the Army because he believed the jihadists must be stopped. He became a special forces soldier. He was very loving and affectionate to his 2 younger brothers. His Mom and Dad are strong, devout Catholics, leaning on faith and the shoulder of God.

2) 1st Lt Travis Manion, USMC - killed in Iraq by a sniper in April 2007, it was his 2nd combat tour in Iraq, he was 27 years old. Travis is special to me because I went to junior high school with his mother Janet. Travis was an outstanding Marine officer. He literally put the weight of “training the Iraqi soldiers” on his broad shoulders. He constantly put himself in danger to set the example and help the Iraqi learn to overcome their fears. The Iraqi soldiers that he trained are, to this day, the all-stars, the best fighters. The jihadists in Iraq set out to stop Travis and in spite of many close calls, they finally did. The Iraqi Army was so saddened, they named their base after him. Travis was the first American to ever have an Iraqi Army Base named after him. He received the Silver Star and the Bronze Star, the nation’s 2nd and 3rd highest medals. In addition, Travis was from Doylestown, and went to the US Naval Academy, while there he was on the wrestling team and was ranked 20th in the country. He was also a football player in high school. Travis’ trademark statement was, “If not me, then who.” Visit the Travis Manion Foundation .

3) Midshipman Freddy Eisler, USNA - died in Nov 2008 while attending the US Naval Academy, he was 19 years old. Freddy may not have died on a battlefield, but to me he is every bit a hero and warrior. All his life, as early as 5 years old, he wanted to attend the Academy. His father had been an Annapolis graduate and Navy jet pilot for 24 years. Freddy wasn’t gifted with high SATs or grades, but he was an overachiever because of his big heart. He was an Eagle Scout, could speak 2 languages, was an expert scuba diver and sailor, and was a football player at Bishop Shanahan High School. He was the oldest of 5 children, the other four are all girls who idolized him. Freddy applied for Annapolis but his grades weren’t good enough, they said he had to go to the Naval Prep school and if he did well, he could attend the Academy. Freddy was accepted by several other colleges, but decided to go to the Prep school to fulfill his lifelong dream. He had a great year at the prep and was admitted to the Naval Academy in 2008. Sadly, just 2 months after becoming a midshipman, Freddy contracted spinal menigitis and was given 6 hours to live. He fought it with all his might and lasted 6 days. During that time, his fellow “Class of 2012″ midshipmen bonded together, lining the halls of the hospital by the hundreds, praying and singing the Naval Hymn, pulling for him to pull through. All who went to Freddy’s funeral service in West Chester were awed by the sight of 7 busloads of his classmates, all midshipmen dressed in uniform, coming here to honor their fallen brother.

4) Lcpl Alan R. Schultz, USMC - killed in Vietnam in August 1967, he had just turned 20. Al Schultz was my hero. He was the boyfriend of my older sister. When he would visit us, he would spend a lot of time with me, throwing a football or having a baseball catch. They say you don’t remember someone for what they gave you or where they took you, you remember them for how they made you feel. Well, Al Schultz made me feel like a million bucks. He saw how skinny I was and brought his weights to my basement and taught me how to lift them properly, showing me exactly what exercises to do. I loved him, he was short, but muscular, wore glasses. When he left for Vietnam in Oct 1966, he said, “Keep my weights for me till I come back.” Sadly, 10 months into his one-year tour, he was killed by a mortar fragment to the head, in an ambush in Quang Tri. I will never forget him, I cried the rest of that summer. I will never forget his military funeral in Levittown, PA. Sunny day, very hot. The flag covered casket, the Marines carrying his casket so slowly, the precision. The sunshine made their uniforms look illuminated. The 21-gun salute, shuttered through the silence and the sobs. His mother’s pained face, his father’s tremendous strength. His older brother was active duty Air Force, wearing his blue uniform. Al Schultz was a US hero. He didn’t have to go to Vietnam, he had a hearing problem, but he insisted he go, he loved his country. I never understood why protestors said Vietnam vets like Al Schultz were baby killers, committing crimes and atrocities. I knew what a good decent man he was. To this day, whenever I see a US Marine, I see Alan R. Schultz of Levittown, PA. Our Vietnam Veterans were just as much heroes and patriots and liberators as any soldiers from any previous war in America’s history.

5) Capt. Jeffrey P. Toczylowski, US Army, KIA Iraq Nov 2005. Was 30 years old, from Upper Moreland, PA. He was Army Special Forces.
He wrote this letter:
Dear friends and family,
If you are getting this email, it means that I have passed away. No, it’s not a sick Toz joke, but a letter I wanted to write in case this happened. Please don’t be sad for me. It was an honor to serve my country, and I wouldn’t change a thing. It was just my time.
Don’t ever think that you are defending me by slamming the Global War on Terrorism or the US goals in that war. As far as I am concerned, we can send guys like me to go after them or we can wait for them to come back to us again. I died doing something I believed in and have no regrets except that I couldn’t do more.
This will probably be the longest email most of you have ever received from me. More that one of you complained on multiple occasions about my brief emails. I have requested to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery and would like you to attend, but I understand if you can’t make it.

There are many more, like Medal Of Honor recipient, Lt Michael Murphy, USN, Navy Seal, KIA in Afghanistan June 2005.

And Cpl Michael Crescenz, Medal Of Honor recipient, US Army, KIA in Vietnam. Was 19 years old, from Philadelphia. His younger brother Joe attends our rallies every Saturday.

We will honor our troops by remembering the fallen. At noon we will sing the National Anthem and say a prayer for our troops, asking God to bless and have mercy on all the families and friends of the fallen.

May 21, 2011

HAPPY ARMED FORCES DAY! WEST CHESTER PRO-TROOP RALLY – 5/21/11

Filed under: Rallies — Rich Davis @ 6:19 pm

A beautiful sunny day greeted us as we gathered together to show public pride and support for our troops on Armed Forces Day in West Chester, PA.

The highlight of the day was a visit by Corporal Lucy Christensen. Her mother Cindy has been coming to our rallies for a while now. Lucy is 22-years old and a proud Marine currently serving in North Carolina. Its always great when we can meet our troops and thank them in person. She is married to Evan, another Marine, and she brought their beautiful 7-month old baby (Alexis) to the rally. She is home for a few days leave, arrived early this morning, and told her mom she wanted to come to our rally. Lucy, it was great to meet you. Thanks so much for your service (and your husband’s too). FYI, Lucy’s 20-year old sister Allison, is also in the Marines, currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan.

Our rallies are like a parade without the marching bands, patriotism fills the air. Lots of red, white, and blue. We had several military family members including Ron (son Greg is a Marine Officer, currently in Afghanistan) and Bill (son Billy is an Army helicopter pilot, currently in Iraq). Bill brought his adorable granddaughter Sam along to support her Uncle Billy. We also had Joy and Doug, proud parents of an Army Iraq Vet and Scott, an young Army veteran who served in Iraq. Other veterans like Howard, Bob, and Jim were also on hand. Its always great to have people like Audrey, Jeff, and JoAnne. We always have an Israeli flag to show our support for our ally Israel as she defends herself against the same Islamic Jihadists as we do.

Special thanks to Nick for bringing the “Our Heroes” flag for Armed Forces Day. Nick purchased the banner at Brandywine Flags in Downingtown and made the stand out of PVC pipe. It’s a nice touch to our show of public support for our Armed Forces.

At the end of the rally, Jim, a Marine Vietnam Veteran, held the flag for us as we sang the National Anthem and said a prayer for our troops.

Thanks to everyone who came today, we looked spectacular. Our troops step into a battle zone and we step out of our comfort zones. United We Stand, Together We Win. Happy Armed Forces Day and see you next Saturday!

May 16, 2011

LOCAL SOLDIER RETURNS HOME FROM AFGHANISTAN. BRIAN PIASECKI RECEIVES “HERO’S WELCOME” FROM NEIGHBORS, FAMILY, AND FRIENDS – 5/15/11

Filed under: Heroes — Rich Davis @ 1:28 pm

Over 100 neighbors, family, and friends gave Sgt Brian Piasecki a surprise “Hero’s Welcome” at his parents home in Media.

Neighbors came out in droves to greet and hug their local hero.

Brian received a motorcycle escort to his parents home by patriotic bikers known as the Warriors Watch Riders. The Welcome Home was organized by WWR and “A Hero’s Welcome” who arranged for police and firetrucks to help with the escort and pagentry.

Brian poses with his wife and daughter and receives a “Certificate of Appreciation” from Danny (A Vietnam Veteran) of “A Hero’s Welcome” while his mother and father look on with great pride and relief to have their son home. This was Brian’s second combat tour. He spent 15 months in Iraq, followed by 13 months in the States, and then 12 months in Afghanistan. He is a proud member of the Army Airborne, one of our nation’s finest fighting units.

Many sheepdogs were part of the escort and were happy to shake his hand and meet his family and friends, including Evie whose son is an Army Combat Medic, myself, and Ernie, a Vietnam Veteran. His Army son recently graduated from SERE school.

It was a great day, Sgt Piasecki has wonderful neighbors. Thanks to everyone who gave this brave American freedom fighter a day he and his family will never forget.

May 15, 2011

WEST CHESTER PRO-TROOP RALLY – 5/14/11

Filed under: Rallies — Rich Davis @ 11:07 am

Another fun rally in support of our troops, its like the 4th of July every Saturday. The highlight was a bunch of West Chester University students who joined us for a little while.

They were having breakfast at the Market St Grille and they saw us. They started waving and cheering and I invited them to join us. “Do you have any more signs?” they said. I always have extra signs. They were a lot of fun, waving the US Flag and cheering as the people drove by and gave them honks.

A military mom, named Sue walked by and joined us for a little while. She loved the rally. Her son Bobby is a Cadet at West Point, he graduated from Hendersen High School. She is so proud of her son. The WCU students gave her a warm welcome. We love our military family members. They also serve.

Another highlight was when a couple Army guys stopped at the red light and gave us a big smile and thumbs up. “We really appreciate your support.” they said. We are always thrilled and honored when our service members say hello.

The best part is always the end, when we gather to sing the National Anthem and say a prayer for our troops protection and success. Scott held the flag for us, his dad served 20 years in the US Marine Corps.

Thanks to everyone who came out and made it happen. Our troops sacrifice their tomorrows so that we can enjoy our todays. May God bless them and their families, bless them, protect them, and guide them to victory.

May 7, 2011

WEST CHESTER PRO-TROOP RALLY – SPECIAL THANKS NAVY SEALS FOR BRINGING JUSTICE TO AL QUEDA LEADER – 5/7/11

Filed under: Rallies — Rich Davis @ 2:56 pm

(will add captions and more pics later) Great Rally – lots of highlights, including several of our troops saying hello.

Thanks to all who came out to show public support for our troops and all they do for us.

May 6, 2011

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER BREAKFAST IN CHESTER COUNTY – 5/5/11

Filed under: Patriots — Rich Davis @ 11:05 am

I attended the annual Chester County Prayer Breakfast at the Desmond Conference Center in Malvern, PA. It was outstanding, about 400 people attended.

Scriptures were read for specific subjects, then each table took a few minutes to reflect on them and say prayers aloud.

The subjects were:
Elected Officials
Military
First Responders
Familes
Churches
Businesses
Education
The Media

The keynote speaker was Mr Ed Herr, the President of Herr Foods. He was terrific, very spiritual man. He gave everyone a booklet called “Chips of Wisdom”. Its a pocket size book, 94-pages, full of wisdom and passages from the Book of Proverbs. I highly recommend this annual breakfast and would encourage people to go next year.

My favorite quote from Mr Herr’s speech was, “Anxious hearts are very heavy, but a word of encouragement does wonders.” — Proverbs 12:25

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