Saturday, February 21, 2009

The PGR Attends The 64th Iwo Jima Survivor's Reunion 2-21-09

Saturday, 2-21-09, the 64th Annual Iwo Jima Survivor's Reunion was held in Wichita Falls Texas. Marines, Sailor's & Soldier's from that deadly battle and their families were in attendance. The PGR was invited to attend again this year and PGR members from all over North Texas and Southern Oklahoma area arrived to attend this Reunion. I must apologize now for my photo skills. I can take better pictures on a motorcycle, one handed, at 80 mph than I can standing still. This will become evident as you view this post. However, others are going to email me their pictures of the reunion and I will do posts featuring their pics..That being said, scroll down and join us at the 64th Reunion of the Iwo Jima Survivors and REMEMBER: IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE PICTURE BIGGER, JUST CLICK ON THE PICTURE....

We met at McDonald's at 15th & Holiday at 0830 hrs and went KSU at 0915 hrs. Here is Russ watching as Gary & Joe unfurl the flags.

There were numerous riders at McDonald's when we arrived. Here are just a small amount of the bikes

Ted arrives on his Harley with the flags flying..

Another of Ted as he waits to park

Danny was inside also. Danny is a fellow Blue Knights TX XX member. He had to work today, so he couldn't attend..

Russ drinking a hot cup of coffee, as Joe (bandana) sneaks a glance. Joe is a former co-worker with Russ & me

Sherri & Joe waiting for the ride briefing

Kevin looks on as I get a pic of Gary & Jeanann

Doug & Bud warming up with the coffee. It was 34 degrees when I went by and picked up Russ 30 minutes earlier. I did not get the C.M.A.'s riders name at the table next to them.

Ted & Inez. I usually get a lot of pics of Ted & Inez. Their daughter Vickie & her husband, Tim, live in Ft. Collins Colorado and are frequent viewers of this blog. They also have a Harley and ride all over Colorado. Vickie has a great blog that you can view by clicking this link:

Russ's coffee must have knocked him for a ground loop. Check out his eyes..Either that or he's still lit up from whatever he had to drink last night.

Left to right: Unknown PGR member in red shirt, Doug, Mark, Bud (with his back to the camera)

Bobby from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. He does a lot of the photo taking for the PGR North Texas Area. For more on the PGR and how you can join, see this link:

Some of the riders in McDonald's

Kenny (Blue/red ball cap) sits with Ted while we wait for briefing

More PGR members inside McDonald's

We had briefing and the guys take a moment while Doug gave the pre-departure prayer

We get ready to head out to the Hotel

Riders getting ready to depart the parking lot of McDonald's for the hotel

After a short ride of maybe 5 minutes, we get to the Holiday Inn at 5th & Broad

The bikes at the Holiday Inn parking lot. That is Herb and Dawn at the gray Harley. They drove up from Lipain Texas

more bikes & riders arrive

Bikes at the Holiday Inn

Riders heading inside to get the flags

We head toward the door by the auditorium

The folks behind me as we head in to get the flags

Russ, flag in hand, gets in position

Steve & Treva

Barbara talks to other PGR members and the Scoutmaster from the Scout Troop that assisted in the flag line

Artie & McGruff make a grand entrance..

The flag line going to the halls of the Holiday inn

The flag line on one of the halls

Look who I found.. Here is Ted in his position in one of the halls

The flag line from the main hallway into the atrium

Ted in the flag line at the Holiday Inn

Here are Richard & Ray in the flag line

Here are Curtis Jr & Curtis (Drifter). Drifter is a PGR Road Captain up in the Lawton Oklahoma Area.

The Boy Scouts man the flag line by the entrance to the Auditorium. This was a great history story for them..

The room was full. Artie is sitting next to Bill, a former Marine & retired Texas Ranger

The survivors & their families. The PGR line the walls with the flags.

The re-enactment of the raising of the American Flag on the summit of Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima.

The survivors get ready for group pictures.

The survivors of the battle for Iwo Jima, 2-19-45

PGR members to our right

This is Commander (USN retired) Moody who filled in when the guest speaker, Hershel W. Williams, a CMOH winner on Iwo Jima, had to cancel due to illness. Commander Moody did an EXCELLENT job. For the story on Hershel Williams & how the Medal of Honor citation reads, go to this link, then down to WWII to the w's. He is there and what Hershel did was amazing. . (don't let the ARMY in the address fool you. It covers all branches of service)

One of the survivor's family members kept looking at us and smiling. I told if she smiled for a picture I would include her on this post. She smiled and here is Hope. Her mother was given a North Texas Bikers II card and okayed the picture of Hope and the post. I hope HOPE'S survivor passes on the history to her so she can keep the memory alive long after these men & women have passed on. My Uncle Don was a "DUCK" driver for the troops during the invasion of Normandy. He had a chest full of medals and would not talk about it. And one thing I will always remember, my Uncle would not ever again go into a large body of water, including swimming pools. What those guys had to go thru...

This is Taz, a Sr. Road Captain with the PGR , a National Director with the PGR and the "Help on The Homefront" Fundraising Administrator. He drove up from Waxahachie Texas in the 34 degree weather to attend today. It's motivated and dedicated guys like Taz, that help keep the PGR what it is and who we should strive to emulate.

This is Bud. I worked with him for my 28 years and he just retired. He told me he is at a loss at what to do. I told him he's off to a good start and to ride!ride!ride! That's what I do and it refreshes the soul...Getting another bike after retiring was the smartest thing I ever did. Bud, email me your email address & phone number and I will put you on the ride notification list. We'll keep you in the wind and make you forget all about the retirement blues...

Me, Ted & Mike as we leave the Holiday Inn and head to Jalapeno Tree for a PGR Meet & Greet. Mike is one of our North Texas PGR Road Captains. All PGR Road Captains wear the maroon ballcaps. Regular members, if they own one, wear blue

This is Kevin. He and his wife Deborah are regulars on this blog and we ride together on many rides. I asked him where Deborah was this morning and he said: "Still In Bed". But he went and got her and she came to the Meet & Greet.

Ted as he wanders off to his Harley. He was meeting someone somewhere for breakfast. He told me who & where but having C.R.S, I forgot...I know Kenny was going with him...

David came up from Ft. Worth and brought THE BELL with him. If you are ever in the North Texas area and he is at an event, stop and check him out. Impressive doesn't even come close when trying to describe David and THE BELL. Gives me goose bumps...The tone of THE BELL
is something else.

Kevin and he heads to the bike to go pick up Deborah

The bikes at the Holiday Inn

Bikes at Holiday Inn

They had flags on the light poles in the parking lot for the survivors of Iwo Jima

We get ready to head out to the Restaurant

Here is Bud on his bike. He & I were the first to arrive at the Japaleno Tree Restaurant

Here are Kirby & Jody. Jody has sent me many Outstanding pictures in the past of our rides & events and let's me do a post on them. Jody said she will send me a set of the ones today, which is great because between her and Russ, I should have some great posts with pics from the ceremony inside..Also, Jody heads up PROJECTJODY. Read about it here: If you wish to help out by donating for the Veterans at the Medical Center, contact Jody at this email address and she can tell you where, how, when and anything else you need to know to help out in this very worthwhile cause:

Katie arrives and looks dressed properly for the cool temps.

Larry arrives wearing this great looking, and warm face mask

Arriving with Larry, is Ricky, on this great looking bike.

And now they arrive in groups...Japalena Tree is fixin' to make some money...

At our table are Herb & Dawn. They drove up from Lipain Texas...They own that gray Harley shown earlier at the Holiday Inn.

Our table at the Jalapeno Tree

Steve & Treva's table

Barbara takes a pic of me taking a pic of her. Barbara is Mike's wife and she is also a PGR Road Captain for the North Texas Area. She also helps Jody out with the ProjectJody Project. I THINK SHE DOES. I'M PRETTY SURE SHE DOES. If I am wrong, I will be notified and I will amend this text..I have been known to be wrong once or twice before during my 57+ years on the Third Rock from the sun

The head table. The Road Captain at the table (maroon cap) is a fellow former Air Traffic Controller in the USAF and a retired FAA controller.

This is Drifter and his wife, Delorna. She says most people just call her Dee. Drifter is a PGR Road Captain from the Lawton Oklahoma Area

Dee & Drifter. He knows more about me than I do...We are going to swap event listings and as we are only 50 miles apart, we are gonna start going on rides together. It's past time that our groups rode together and like we always say: there is no time like the present time to start. Plus, we do 90% of our rides in Drifter's back yard, so it only makes sense..

This is Curtis Jr, Drifter's son. Next to Curtis Jr is Chuck.

This is Chuck, Jana & James. They are with Drifter's group

Sitting at the far end of Drifter's table is Omar, a combat vet from Iraq. We apprecite your service Omar and welcome home...

Next to Omar sits Doug, who apparently is caught itching his nose. Doug is not a happy man. He had an operation a couple weeks ago and they told him he would be off his Harley for 2 weeks. Monday, he went to get cleared and they told him he was healing nicely but no motorcycle for 6 more weeks. How do I know he was not happy..He called me when he got home from the doctor and trust me when I say, unhappy is not even close how he was feeling when I talked him..

11:30 a.m. arrives and the Jalapeno Tree opens the buffett up for the PGR. The folks were ready to eat and knock out those hunger pangs

Doug talking to Drifter and Dee. Far right is Dawn

The guy dressed up in the Paul Revere getup is David, owner of THE BELL. He always dresses up. Thery say at the last event down in Ft. Worth, he was Benjamin Franklin...At the funerals we (PGR) attend, he is all business and in a suit. He adds a very powerful service to the funeral service.

As I left the Jalapeno Tree Restaurant to head home to get started on this post, I took some parting pictures of the bikes out front of the restaurant.

The main body of bikes at the restaurant. A lot of folks drove their cars also, so there were more, than who were on these, inside.

The front of the Jalapeno Tree Restaurant. Click this link for more on the Jalapeno tree:

This great looking Harley parked next to me

A view down the line of bikes to my left. This will conclude this post. Russ is in town for only 2 days and had lots to do with the family before heading back out to the East coast, so he didn't make it to the restaurant. I salute the survivors from Iwo Jima and thank them for all they did for this country which allowed us to be here today. I thank them for inviting us again this year. I look forward to next year.
Scroll way down for more rides, events & posts and don't forget to click on the "older posts" link at the bottom of EACH page for more rides and posts. Check out North Texas Bikers (1) at for rides, events & posts from January 08-November 08. Until next post, ya'll be careful out there, ride safe, keep the rubber on the road & pray for our Troops & Rodney................JOHN

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