A letter from: John Reese

The DIABLO VALLEY FLAG BRIGADE organizes a community based event immediately for those who are proudly serving our nation in uniform upon their return home from any portion of their tour of duty. A proper and dignified “WELCOME HOME” is something every soldier – sailor – marine – airman – coastguardsman – reserve & military personnel serving “deserves” from their community. It is a day in their life. they will never forget! They will tell “their story over and over” upon returning to their unit. Our Country has learned a great lesson from the “VietNam War” – a time when those serving were NOT welcomed home. The lesson from 40 years ago is that you must separate the “war” from the “warrior” – those who are doing their job!

The difference between you going to work at your job every day – and these proud young American’s going to do their job,,, as a “veteran!” Remembering – that a veteran is someone who at some point has written a check to Uncle Sam that reads: Payable in full – up to the amount of my life, if necessary – to defend our way of life.

The Diablo Valley Flag Brigade does more than play a key role in organizing each “Welcome Home” with the family. Bryan Welden and the other volunteers in the Diablo Flag Brigade make each event a very special recognition for each individual serving our country and their family by tailoring the program to their branch of service and helping the family smoothly set-up for this special return home events. I personally see the Diablo Flag Brigade, a small organization. but the glue that draws – pulls and holds – all of our East Bay participating community organizations together for each individual Welcome Home event. In some communities…the City – Town and County “elected officials” also are strong supporters and actively participate in welcoming home all military living in their City. Personally, I would like to see every City to take “a moment of time” to recognize and pay tribute to those who serve from their local community.

The Diablo Valley Flag Brigade receives participation and support from many organizations – “Warriors Watch Riders” – CA – American Legion Riders and Patriot Guard Riders. Providing escort for each from the airport to their home for the event.

Each community handles their Welcome Home programs differently. Fortunately, in the East Bay – of Alameda and Contra Costa County we have a .very strong. support system led by the “Diablo Valley Flag Brigade” and strongly supported by other community groups and organizations: such as the Blue Star Moms along with the various local Veteran Service Organizations – (VFW – American Legion – Marine Corps League – DAV – AMVETS – VietNam Veterans – etc) and our local City Military Family Support Groups in our area . Pleasanton & Livermore, in addition to a new effort in East County. We have also gained the support of the various Cities to present “proclamations” if possible and elected officials to prepare letters of recognition. Bryan works hard to also arranged with the local police and fire departments to join in the events – although each community and city is different, Sometimes it just a matter of the parents contacting their Mayor and some of local organizations, such as the ones I mentioned above.