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A Hero Comes Home

By John Trask

Spc. Gene Crawford a Vietnam Veteran Comes HomeOn the early morning of Friday November 23, 2012 members of Rolling Thunder® Florida Chapter 8 began an adventure that would have a profound effect on those members. The Escort Ride of the remains of Spc. Gene Crawford a Vietnam Veteran whose remains were discovered in a pauper’s field in a Miami Cemetery. The members of Rolling Thunder FL 8 were not prepared for the gratitude that the members of the family were about to bestow on them.

As we participated in the Memorial Service on Friday evening in Miami, we did not realize what Saturday would bring. Early morning on Saturday November 24, Rolling Thunder® FL-8 left the Miami area with the remains of Gene Crawford onboard one of the motorcycles and began our return trip to Daytona Beach. “The Ride Home” soon became a very large tribute to Gene Crawford as Patriot Guard members joined us at SR50 Titusville. The small escort soon became a 30 motorcycle escort complete with many US Flags.

We arrived at Daytona International Speedway at about 1pm where the remains were escorted through a Flag Line of many motorcycles, Rolling Thunder and Patriot Guard members. The remains were brought to an area where the family was seated and then placed on a stand. A Memorial Service was conducted at the Daytona International Speedway and then the remains were taken to Daytona Memorial Gardens for a formal Military Burial. The members of Rolling Thunder® Florida Chapter 8 were honored to have been part of this Escort Ride and we now have another meaning of MIA in your own country.

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