Being Memorial Day Weekend, we wanted to share our adventure from last Sunday with you. We had the great honor in watching a bike rally that was both moving and impressive. We didn’t know about it until the last minute, but we are so glad we made the time to come and experience it.
First let me tell you a couple of stories.
Our first story is about a young man from Spotsylvania County. He was born on June 28, 1982 and graduated from Spotsylvania High School in 2000. After struggling to find his direction, it found him on September 11, 2001. Following his true calling, he enlisted in the Marine Corps to fight for our freedoms.
He graduated from Boot Camp he would travel to Okinawa, Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He embraced his position in the Marines and would live as an example to others. While at home on leave, he would encourage other struggling teenagers to work hard and stay in school. After serving in Iraq, he was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor after saving lives while he was there. This young man was a quiet and kindhearted young man. He was boastful when he would help others.
After his tour of duty in Iraq ended in April 2006, he was determined to return because in his words, “the job was not finished.” He knew while other men with less to no experience would be coming, his knowledge and experience could make a difference in the fight. He would lobby for a second tour and would transfer battalions and even extend his service in order to return to Iraq. He would return in September 2006. When he was later given the opportunity to return home, he would again volunteer for another extension because his men didn’t have that choice.
His eagerness to help his fellow Marines and his compassion, caring and willingness to put the safety and well-being of others above his own exemplified who he was. His firm handshake, warm smile and hearty laughter and hug gave a genuine sense of protection. His one fear above others was that someone would get hurt when he had the ability to save them.
Update to First Post!
We were honored to be contacted by Josh Frazier’s parents and friends after we posted this. We were informed that Josh was laid to rest just a few miles from Belle Grove Plantation. We were also informed that Josh was a descendant of James Madison through his father’s family. We wish would could have met this wonderful young man. Soon we will be hosting his family here at the plantation to thank them for their son’s service to our wonderful country!
Sergeant Joshua James Frazier died on February 6, 2007 while serving in Iraq.
Our second story is about a young man from King George. He was born on October 7, 1984 and graduated from King George High School in 2002. While in high school he was a star wrestler, cross-country runner and track athlete. This young man served his community as a volunteer firefighter.
While in college at Virginia Tech, he joined the National Guard. He would answer the call of duty to serve in Iraq in December 2003. Just one year later, while serving in Mosul, he and another service member were killed during a suicide bombing.
During his memorial service, he was remembered as someone who “chose to go to a place he didn’t have to go, to do a job he didn’t have to do for people who didn’t know him.” His Awards and Decorations included the Army Service Ribbon, The National Defense Medal, 1/25 SBCT Certificate of Achievement and the Army Achievement Medal. He was posthumously promoted to Sergeant and awarded the Army Commendation Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
Overflow crowds jammed into the school’s cafeteria and gymnasium to pay tribute to this 20 year old. Maj. Gen. Claude Williams, the Virginia Guard’s adjutant general, knelt between this young man’s flag-draped coffin and his family, and presented a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal and the Virginia Legion of Merit.
His fellow firefighters also honored him as they stood and saluted as his father received his helmet. A series of symbolic rings tolled on a silver fireman’s bell, signifying Sergeant Nicholas C. Mason’s death and that his job was complete.
Sergeant Nicholas C. Mason died on December 21, 2004 while serving in Iraq.
In 2007, The Some Gave All Foundation was established in memory of Army Sgt. Nicholas Conan Mason of King George and Marine Sgt. Joshua James Frazier of Spotsylvania. The foundation honors these men and all others who have been wounded or killed in service to their country. Each year this foundation sponsors a Bike Rally from Spotsylvania High School to King George High School.
This year, we were on the road side watching as the bikes came in. It really is a sight to see! There had to have been over 500 motorcycles of every shape and size! One thing that was so moving was to see the King George Volunteer Fire Station, which is on the bike route, with their engines lights going and their ladder extended with an American Flag flying.
The people along the road way stood as cheered as each bike passed. It was really an honor that we later found out that we were standing right beside Nick Mason’s grandmother!
The end of the ride stops in the parking lot which is filled with food and booths. The bomb squad was there as was the Army National Guard with their Orange County Chopper bike! And of course the Marine Corp arrived in style in one of their tanks.
Music and stunt bikes and lots and lots of motorcycles!
It really was a great day remembering those that Gave It All!
We would like to remember other American Heroes who Gave Their All…
1LT Benjamin John Hall was killed July 31, 2007 while leading his platoon in combat against Taliban forces in the Chowkay Valley, Afghanistan.
Captain Shane T. Adcock was killed on October 11, 2006 when a hand thrown explosive device hit the Humvee in Iraq.
Corporal Aaron Gautier on was killed just south of Baghdad on May 17, 2007 while searching for soldiers who went missing after their convoy was attacked days before.
Cpl Brett L Lundstromwas killed on Jan. 7, 2006 by enemy small-arms fire while conducting combat operations near Fallujah, Iraq.
Cpl. Christopher L. Weaver was killed on January 26, 2005 as a result of hostile action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
Lance Corporal Powers was killed by enemy action in the province of Al Anbar, Iraq August 17, 2004.
Lance Corporal Kyle W. Brown was killed in combat on January 07, 2006 in in Iraq.
Sergeant David Alan Ruhren was killed on December 21, 2004 in Mosul, Iraq when his base dining facility was attacked.
Sergeant Dustin Perrott died June 21 after the explosion near Miri, Afghanistan.
SSG Joshua P. Mattero 29 of Chula Vista, CA. was killed in action on July 24, 2007 in Baqouba.