Patriotic Pony Delivery #6 – Sacramento
September 21st, 2016. On this day we delivered two Patriotic Ponies honoring Army SSG David Nowaczyk and Navy PO3 Dolye Bollinger, Jr. This presentation was unlike any so far. This time, we were part of an honors ceremony, were the base was saying thanks to all who gave of themselves in a variety of ways! This was the largest gathering to date, full of enlisted, retirees’, civilians and even Generals! It was quite intimidating! But, we were surrounded by the Patriot Guard Riders who leant support in many ways, even filming our speech. lol
It was a majestic spectacle, with a flag line and military band! One of my favorite parts were when a challenge was issued to see who could sing their battle hymn loudest. If memory serves me correctly, the Air Force won! But, it was amazing to listen to each group sing with such pride!
We listened in ah of the countless deeds of charity and kindness. Our hearts swelled with pride at the amount of love and hope being shared here! And then….it was our turn to talk. We had grown accustom to the intimate groups of 15 to 30, but this was our largest group to date. Goosebumps consumed us as we sent our heartfelt thanks to the men and women before us, and spoke of the thousands that we were the spokesmen for. To look into the group of enlisted and say, “Thank You” directly to them was indescribable! As we read the stories of the young men being honored, not a sound could be heard. Tears filled our eyes as we finished and saw the crowd come to its feet! Overwhelmed by the moment, I followed the Old Hippie towards our seats and watched as he shook hands by all he passed, only to realize I had left my cane at the podium. Just as I started to falter and turned to look back for my cane, one General after another grabbed hold of me, giving me a sturdy hand to lean on, a hug and a thanks as they passed me on to the next. Four Generals hugged and passed me on until I reached my seat. It was like receiving a hug from every platoon under their command!
It was a magical day!