Posted by: didyouseethis | April 20, 2008

Cleveland Rally For The Troops 2008 AAR


We didn’t get our wish of sunny skies for the rally. It was cloudy and a light rain fell for a part of the time but it didn’t stop the proceedings. The crowd was less than last year…probably because of the weather. Considering the conditions our troops endure…a little rain was nothing. I’m posting photos right now…possibly…maybe…hopefully…very soon…we’ll have video.

We missed the arrival of the bikes this year…so no pics of that. The rally began with the presentation of the flag by the 3/25 Marine Reserve Unit from Brookpark, Ohio, the Wadsworth VFW Post 1089 and the American Legion Post 170. Jim Mantel of WGAR radio was the MC and Monica Robbins of WKYC television sang the National Anthem. Beautifully, I might add.

This lady was honoring SSG Keith “Matt” Maupin

and her nephew who is deploying soon

Rev. Rich Bartley, Blue Knights Chaplin gave the Invocation

John “KIKS” Kikol the rally organizer

Dan McCarthy WWII veteran

Tommy Farkus WWII survivor of Iwo Jima

MSG Austin Asher, 60 year old Clevelander who wants to go back to Iraq and take care of his Soldiers

Bob “Tater” Smith from the Patriot Guard Riders

John Prazynski the father of Lance Cpl. Taylor Prazynski KIA 5/9/05

Gene O’Quinn spoke next, he is president of Honor Flights of Cleveland. They fly WWII veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the WWII Memorial. He spoke from in front of the speakers platform and I could not get a picture from where I was standing. Also, Julius Pondy, a WWII vet spoke of the Honor Flight he was able to make in April of last year. I spoke to a WWII vet at the Memorial Day parade last year who had made one of these flights. It means so much to these vets to see the memorial, and as was pointed out, they are leaving us at a rapidly increasing pace.

On the right is Eric Ridgley of the Marine/Leatherneck-Ghost Riders Foundation. On the left, I believe, is Tim DeWolf of the same organization. It was formed to support veterans of all the military who have been diagnosed with PTSD.

Pam Montgomery, the wife of Lance Cpl. Brian Montgomery KIA 8/1/05. I hope we can get the video uploaded…I wish everyone could hear this young woman speak with passion and love…for her husband and her country. We often say the families of the military serve too…they do…and this woman…is a patriot and a hero.

Next was the reading of the names of Ohio’s Fallen Heroes. Followed by the playing of Taps and the Cleveland Firefighters Memorial Pipes and Drums playing “Amazing Grace”. (Besides their “serious” website they also have a MySpace page.)

DH and I walked through Tower City (who provided free parking to folks attending the rally) feeling pride, and respect and sorrow. Two hours of our time…even in the rain…is so little to do for the people who have done/do so much to make our lives what they are. God Bless Them All.

And…a special thanks to my friend, Maria Hollcroft (Proud Army M.O.M of DerekHollcroft) for sending me the program and list of speakers for the rally so I could correctly identify people.

Edit:  Video here.

Love, Mom



  1. […] Update:  Rally AAR here. […]

  2. I envy you getting to attend that. What is it with you and me…? I’m always envying you for something. 🙂 Hope you do get video.

    P.S. I LOVED the line in a previous post of “a day filled with exclamation points”. What a perfect description of a good day.

  3. I was at the rally, as a matter of fact that is me and my girlfriend in the first pic on the left, we rode, a little rain ment very little to us considering what our men and women are going through every day. So we stood and we listened and we sang our National Anthem. We were moved and choked up, looking around and seeing tears in the eyes of men and women who normally would not cry. Freedom has its price and we all pay for it. So here is to our troops, my hat is off to you all, and THANK YOU FOR MY FREEDOM.

  4. Thank you so much – this was a great post.
    Thanks to all those who made this possible. It was awe inspiring and heartening to see that our troops are supported.

  5. […] Reverend Richard Bartley, Chaplain to the Blue Knights has graciously given me permission to post his invocation from the Troop Rally. […]

  6. Just wanted to say Thank you all for Supporting our soldiers, Here and Abroad. My son was holding the POW/MIA FLAG at the Rally. We were so honored to see him doing that. When his grandfather was a POW in Veitnam. Thank you again for Supporting our Soldiers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: