“First of all, I don’t ride a motorcycle with the group – I’m more of a Patriot Pack groupie; however, Muratec America has been a sponsor of The Ride for many years with one of their first stops being in North Texas. This year, the Muratec management team will host the Patriot Pack for dinner when they come to visit Plano, Texas. I’ll also be flying up to meet the Patriot Pack in Washington, DC which happens to be my hometown so I act as tour guide for the riders.
As it relates to the ride itself, there are two significant memories that I have from their trip to Washington DC:
Two years ago, I took all the Patriot Pack riders to the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, VA. It was a beautiful sunny day in Washington and the Pack was able to park their motorcycles very close to the memorial itself. There were also another 75 to 100 other motorcyclists from Rolling Thunder visiting Iwo Jima Memorial at the time which provided a wonderful back drop having all the motorcycles and motorcyclists in their leathers. It was a very moving visit to the Iwo Jima Memorial as we took pictures with the group in their leathers in front of the Marines hoisting up the American flag during the battle of Iwo Jima. This scene of cousre inevitably became a wonderful picture and a great group photo event.
The second memory was visiting Arlington cemetery where my father, Joseph D’Emidio, a 28 year Naval Officer and Korean/Vietnam War Veteran was laid to rest. He passed away due to complications from agent orange exposure in his two tours as a Navy commanding officer of Construction Battalion 74 CB “SeaBee” in Vietnam. I took the Pack to visit his grave site in Arlington cemetery. To see the Patriot Pack around my father’s grave was a profound experience for me and the motorcycle riders. They were riding to bring attention to The Jillian Fund and the fallen heroes of our military. To honor my father was an emotional experience, not only for me but for my friends of the Pack as well.”