Thursday, May 22, 2008

Unsung Heroes
A Memorial Day Tribute to Veterans
Including my Dad, a Veteran of WWII

I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, but until I began motorcycling, I had never heard of Rolling Thunder. Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is a non-profit organization. Many of their members ride motorcycles but you don’t have to ride a motorcycle to be a member. Their mission statement reads:

The major function of Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is to publicize POW-MIA issues: To educate the public that many American prisoners of war were left behind after all previous wars and to help correct the past and to protect future veterans from being left behind should they become prisoners of war-missing in action.
We are also committed to helping American veterans from all wars.

My introduction to Rolling Thunder came as a direct result of my association with the New England Riders, and meeting Pat McGhie. Last June, I discovered that Pat worked right across the street from where I work. This led us to lifting our hand in a friendly wave anytime we spot each other. On many occasions, as I took my 3:30 stroll around the block, I would see Pat leaving the lot next door. At first I though he had bankers hours. I couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Pat volunteers his time each week to the veterans of this state. When I see him leaving the lot at 3:30, it’s because he’s on to phase two of his day. In addition to his work with veterans and for veterans’ issues here in NH, Pat is also a member of Rolling Thunder and continues his work here as the webmaster for the local chapter and as the NE States Director.

On May 10th, Pat took time out of his busy schedule to participate in an event in honor of two soldiers missing in action in Iraq, Byron Fouty of Michigan and Alex Jimenez of Lawrence MA. Pat works tirelessly to make sure that our POW and MIA military personnel are never forgotten. To this end, Pat is off to Washington DC with his wife Lynn and member friends, Doc and Quinn to participate in the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally in Washington DC. The rally is held each year to keep the public aware our POW/MIA. You can be sure that Pat will be working at this event and not just another body in the crowd.

To Pat and all the other unsung heroes in our midst, I salute you this Memorial Day. I encourage you all to take a few moments to read some of the content at the links I’ve provided. This weekend, take time out to remember those closest to you, and if you are as blessed as I to have a veteran to hug this weekend, be sure to do so. For those who don’t I will have a moment of silence to remember their sacrifice.

Still Unaccounted For
WWI 3,350
WWII 78,753
Korea 8,170
Vietnam 1, 980
Persian Gulf 41

1 comment:

Bob said...

Thanks so much for writing about Pat and our lost veterans. This is especially fitting during the Memorial Day weekend.
Deb Mowatt