Name: Tommy “Ogre” Holdtich
The culmination of a months long wait. I would finally take part in the RFTW. True, I would only be riding for one day but I would be on “the mission.”
Monday, my “navigator” and I mounted up on Veronica to ride down to Meridian to meet the run. Our personal run to the run was just a means to get to the destination, AG Pavilion Meridian MS. Tuesday we would retrace our route, only on Tuesday we would be riding with our family.
After meeting with our new family Monday evening, listening to stories of the road and catching up on the happenings we headed to our hotel, we invited some of our new family who were camping to partake of a nice hot shower. Our new brothers were grateful.
Tuesday morning found us rising early to meet at the AG pavilion. After a rousing welcome to ourselves and the FNGs we prepared to head out. We met with our Platoon (4) and mounted up.
I have never ridden with this large a group, yet I felt instantly at ease. I began to immerse myself in the mission. I began to travel, in my mind and heart.
Daddy would have loved this, he would have wanted to do this. That thought kept repeating in my mind as the miles flew underneath me. Then just as we hit Tuscaloosa County it hit me. He WAS riding, he was riding with me, in me and through me. He may have passed away in 1985, but he was there. I saw people on overpasses, they were not waving at me, they were waving at him, for him. A veteran of 3 wars, and 3 branches of military and he was receiving his Welcome Home.
I thoroughly enjoyed my travel, I only regret that next year I will not be a FNG. However…
Next May, Sunday May 22, 2011, me and Daddy will mount up on Veronica. We will ride out to Monroe LA to meet our family. Monday, May 23, 2011 we will ride again, and this time I, his brothers, sisters, and
other children will take him to see his Wall.
Thank you all for letting me remember my father, my hero. Thank you daddy, for your service and for your love and finally I can truly say Welcome Home Daddy.