The departure date was very welcomed after a few mechanical delays with the ’72 Chevy set us back. After getting everything fixed up and tested I set to leave on the 30th of July. Some work-related tasks needed to be completed as well as work on the truck. So eventually I left with my dog Mack on the 2nd of August in the rain. We ate supper with the Fallen 5 as I do every year. I take this time to really feel the emotion of the event 3 years ago.
The entire trip is focused on the Fallen 5. I constantly ask myself if I am doing enough, in the right way, and to the right people. I do know that I perform to my absolute best in this honorable mission. I am the keeper of the Fallen 5 Drive flag from the Amnicola shooting site. My duty is to fly it from the Goldgen Gate Bridge for them. So in reality, I just need to get that flag there on that bridge – everything else is part of the story. People love stories. I tell the story of the Fallen 5 everywhere I go.
I begin the drive each year by starting the Fallen 5 Drive from the memorial site off Lee Hwy in Chattanooga. I then take the path of the shooter to the Naval Station and Marine Reserve Center. On this part of the drive it has the most meaning, to take up a new mission for good and carry their honor. It is my way of fighting the pain of loss and the fear of hateful acts. We must show love and unity, not hate and division. The Blazer of Glory carries this message.
After dipping my tires in the Tennessee River and putting water on the American flag I set out for the 5,000 mile mission! I departed sometime around 5:00 pm. I always drive in Chattanooga for a bit for encouragement then set out for the 5,000 mile challenge ahead!
At about 1:00 pm I settled into the Blazer of Glory for the night with Mack my dog. I intent on sleeping in the truck for the entire trip as an added level of excitement! Stay tuned for more!
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