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Lisajan
June 28, 2010, 1:23pm Report to Moderator

Senior Member
Posts: 1,725





"There is Good and Bad in Everything"
SSG Paul "swany" Swanson


Riding in memory of Sgt Jennifer Hartman and JonD, two very special people that I missed the great honor to know...
Riding in honor for my dear friend, Joe "Papa Joe" Blasingame 06/18/2010

and Al "Bluesman" Philo  July 24th 2010...
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Lisajan
June 28, 2010, 1:29pm Report to Moderator

Senior Member
Posts: 1,725
I just wanted to let you guys know how much it meant to have you with us on Saturday. Not only your physical presence, but the spiritual presence of those who could not be with us helped to make a horrible day a little easier to bear. Please pass this along to everyone who was there as I can not remember all their names. Wonder if that has something to do with the amount of alcohol I consumed! Papa Joe would have been so proud .
Bobby, your rendition of Danny Boy was beautiful and touched my heart deeply. Snap, thanks for spending a little one on one time with me and Mark in the garage, it was insightful and Carrieann, Jordan and I are both excited about our adventure in July! Thanks again for everything your organization did for Papa Joe and the family.
I look forward to seeing all of you again!

Cheryl Blasingame


"There is Good and Bad in Everything"
SSG Paul "swany" Swanson


Riding in memory of Sgt Jennifer Hartman and JonD, two very special people that I missed the great honor to know...
Riding in honor for my dear friend, Joe "Papa Joe" Blasingame 06/18/2010

and Al "Bluesman" Philo  July 24th 2010...
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Lisajan
June 28, 2010, 7:55pm Report to Moderator

Senior Member
Posts: 1,725
Hello to each and every one of you!



               Thank you all very much for everything you have done for Joe Blasingame and his family. Many of you have been a part of this entire episode since the day he went to the emergency room back in March. You have comforted him and his family, driven him to the hospital, encouraged us all, cried, prayed, and escorted him on that last ride. A man has never had better friends.



               The service Saturday was magnificent. It is difficult to describe what an emotional experience it is to roll out behind that long line of flag-flying bikes and feel the respect and reverence that a group of friends can have for a lost comrade. It was glorious.



               Thank you for the time you took from your daily lives. Many of you worked and planned for weeks. Some of you drove half-way across America just to be there. All of you gave of your time, energy, and spirit. Thank you.



               God bless you. Ride safe.



                              

                              Ed Underwood

                              Covington, GA


"There is Good and Bad in Everything"
SSG Paul "swany" Swanson


Riding in memory of Sgt Jennifer Hartman and JonD, two very special people that I missed the great honor to know...
Riding in honor for my dear friend, Joe "Papa Joe" Blasingame 06/18/2010

and Al "Bluesman" Philo  July 24th 2010...
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BC
June 28, 2010, 9:35pm Report to Moderator

WWR Coordinator
SC North Carolina
Posts: 423
Location: Franklin
Finally collected my thoughts from both the escort and service.

Pappa Joe was like the man in the parable that was given a tallant of silver by his master.  Pappa Joe's tallant was Love - and he increased this tallant to overflowing - from his family to his community and beyond.  

We, too must take up his tallant - and increase it in our lives; to go day by day and ask ourselves - "What can I do to multiply the Love entrusted in me?"

Thank you Pappa Joe !

BC
NC State Coordinator


Bruce "BC" Koehler, USAF (retired)
WWR, NC State Coordinator
“Honor, Integrity, and Service”
828-371-6153
NCWarriorsWatch@uppermerion.net
http://www.warriorswatch.org
   Fall of Cambodia
   Fall of Saigon
   USS Mayaguez Recovery
   Fall of Laos
   Fauklands Support
   Russian Invasion of Afghanistan
   Desert Shield/Storm

Big Brother in Arms
A Heros Welcome
VFW Mayaguez Memorial Post 11575, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association 15-2
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Rambone
June 30, 2010, 4:07am Report to Moderator

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES KAT, RIP
Gazeebo Team
I ride for the mission
Posts: 5,322
Location: RIDE TILL I ROT !
.





An American Soldier is someone who, at some point in their life, wrote out a check, payable"to the United States of America" for the sum total of up to and including my life." We as citizens of those same United States owe them no less than unconditional support.


"Love is the feelin you get when you like something as much as your motorcycle."
~Sonny Barger

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bluesmanNEPA
June 30, 2010, 7:38am Report to Moderator

WWR Coordinator
Pa, NorthEast Region
Posts: 2,391
Location: in a shack, on a rock, in NEPA
My deepest gratitude to friends in Georgia for their warm hospitality, and also for the show of love and respect for Papa Joe. The escorts and the Memorial Service were absolutely beautiful...a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man.


"...'til the last fallen hero rests in peace...."
             Charlie Daniels

in memory...William "Stretch" Smaltz 11/28/39 - 4/18/08
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Bobby
June 30, 2010, 8:45am Report to Moderator

Mission Complete
Senior Member
Posts: 695
Location: Marietta GA
Al, many thanks to you, Calamity and Rambone for making this journey from PA to join us in honoring Papa Joe and supporting his family at this very sad time.  Glad to hear you guys made it home safe and sound.


Bobby Byrne
Marietta GA

Proud parents of
Sgt. Justin A. Schultz, USMC
OIF 08/06 - 05/07

Riding in honor of my dad,
Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Byrne, USN
WWII Vet

"The will of God will never take you
where the Grace of God will not protect you."
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Calamity
June 30, 2010, 9:05am Report to Moderator

Board Moderator
National Level Moderator
Posts: 7,797
Location: Oreland, PA
As all three of us have said in our public and private messages - we wouldn't be anywhere else and were fortunate in many ways to be able to join you in honoring Joe's life.  Hugs to you all!


In Memory of Daddy, Uncle Roy, Uncle Earl, Uncle Stan, Stretch, Al, Joe, Jake, Steve, Eddie & Kat
In honor of Capt. Walter Sigafoos and ADJ3 Paul Moser - still missing

"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are at peace."  Author unknown
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Lisajan
June 30, 2010, 9:42am Report to Moderator

Senior Member
Posts: 1,725
Papa Joe’s Final Ride

On March 13th Joe “Papa Joe” Blasingame was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Though shocked and saddened his Family and friends, of course, stepped up to help Papa Joe and Carol with whatever they needed to help them get through this journey.  Our Philly friends, Rambone and Calamity, came down for a surprise visit to lift PJ’s spirits. We all tried to play a role to help make things easier on Carol and Joe: Carrie Ann and I were caregivers, which is the name Carol gave those of us who took Joe to his radiation treatments; Bobby helped with getting Papa Joes bike sold, Snap fixed thing around the house with Papa Joe’s assistance.  Even though Joe was too weak to physically help, he sure had no problem yelling from the couch to tell Snap to do this or that while fixing the under counter lights. You see Joe was a certified electrician...Who knew? We all made them some kind of food, legendary chicken pot pie by Sue Sue, a killer roast by Carrie Ann, and I made my famous meatballs…All of which Joe loved. You see Carol does not cook, Joe was the cook of the family…who knew?

I think those of us who made that Emory trip with Joe would say it gave us an opportunity to have some quality time with Joe… He told us his feelings, his frustrations, how special the time was to him to let his family and we his extended family how much he loved us, and we were lucky enough to do the same… He was still thinking and talking about ways to support the troops… Papa Joe had a lot of different ideas because Joe loved taking care of the troops any way he could… He was awarded the Georgia Commendation Medal for his support of Bravo Company 1/121st… First SGT Swanson made the request for Papa Joe’s award through the Governor’s office; it is the 3rd highest award to be given to a soldier and is rarely awarded to a civilian.

During Papa Joe’s illness, he still tried to keep his life somewhat normal.  He had nice visits with his family and also with us, his Notorious Westsiders. He made sure to try and give Carol some down time, as she was his main caregiver and he worried about her so.  He even came to Snappy’s bar for KRODs going away party, part two, and also for a Cinco de Mayo party… We could see our friend fading a bit from his illness, but he was bound and determined to still have some good times, which he did. He gave us all a blue bandanna to put on our bike to remember him by, which we have on Snap’s and always will…

Snap and I last saw Papa Joe the weekend before Memorial Day. He was not well and fretting somewhat. I tried to talk him into thinking about his trip with his family instead of worrying about things he has no control over…The steroids he was taking kept his mind running on overdrive. When we left that day I was not sure if I would see my friend again. He did go to the lake with his family, but had to leave early and go to the emergency room… Joe had a staph infection, which was causing swelling to his brain.  At this time, we were unable to see him, he was in pain, and it was the time his family needed to be with him… Then after a week or so in the hospital the decision was made to have Joe go to hospice,
the tumor had grown, and it was time to make him comfortable until God was able to take him…
Bobby, CA, Snap and I were able to see him one last time at hospice… He woke up a bit and we talked a little then he dosed off… He woke again and realized we were there and we got that big Papa Joe grin, a grin I will never forget.

On June 18 at 12:05 am Joe “Papa Joe” Blasingame passed away peacefully with all of his family present… Joe made sure he would pass on the 18th because there was no way he would pass away on the 17th, his beloved Lily’s birthday, it was her 3rd.

While at the hospice our last visit with Joe, Christopher, Joe’s son, asked us to help him with Joe’s final ride. Of course we agreed. We were requested by the family to receive Joe’s ashes from the crematory and also provide escort for his Memorial service.

On June 25th, several of Joe’s closest friends started his final ride. Joe’s friends came from Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. We headed to the crematory to receive Joe’s ashes.  Once we did, we stayed a few minutes in their chapel where each of us had our own moment then we had a circle prayer for Joe…We  then continued on to Covington, with Papa Joe’s ashes on my lap, in the 95 degree weather on our bikes down I 20.  We met Papa Joe’s children and some of his closest friends and co workers in Covington had lunch and then unfurled our flags and escorted Christopher and Heather back to Joe and Carol’s house. Bobby took Joes ashes from me and handed them to Christopher, Papa Joe’s son, he then brought Joe home to Carol.

On June 26th, we went to the armory to set up a memorial table filled with our memories of Joe…Carrie Ann worked tirelessly on pictures, a DVD and condolence book to be part of that memorial table…They all turned out beautifully because all were made from CA’s heart. Calamity brought some WWR things and our table represented our Papa Joe to a tee.

We then left for the high school the sun was shining, it was going to be another scorcher, but we had an important job to do…We staged at the high school and Bobby and Snap briefed everyone. We then recited the pledge of allegiance, Biker Steve did the prayer, and then we all got together for the “Make it Big” Papa Joe hand shake. A small group of us who went to PA for the memorial ride, then headed to Joe’s house to get the family and Joe’s ashes to escort them to Bravo Company’s armory, where Joes’ Memorial service would be held.  I once again had the honor to carry Joe’s ashes and with respect wore white gloves, and with those white gloves I held Papa Joe close to my heart.  We then headed back to the high school where we would pick up the rest of the bikes and ride to the armory escorted by the local LEO.  We had about a 40 min ride to the armory when we pulled in the bag pipers were playing amazing grace. The fire dept was in place with a truck and lights going.  The bikes all pulled in and all riders stood by their bikes reverently as they waited for Joe’s son to come and take Joe’s ashes from me and bring them into the armory. Christopher, also with white gloves, took the ashes of his dear father into the armory and we then all followed…

The armory was a bit warm, but so was the service it was a very moving and a very personal service, as many of Joe’s family and friends spoke about their memories of our dear friend… 1stSGT Swanson’s presentation of a flag to Carol was very moving, and Ed’s scaled down eulogy was amusing… Bobby spoke about our Jennifer Hartman Memorial flag ride, all great memories. Bobby made me chuckle talking about Joe’s escapades.  After the service, we had a Grey Goose toast with some soldiers and family to Papa Joe.


The mission was flawless and Papa Joe would have loved it… He would be so proud to know that over 200 people and 40 bikes came to be with his family to honor and celebrate his life…
Make It Big!  We did for you PJ!
We love you Papa Joe… always…
Thank you everyone for helping make Papa Joe’s mission one that his family and friends will never forget…


"There is Good and Bad in Everything"
SSG Paul "swany" Swanson


Riding in memory of Sgt Jennifer Hartman and JonD, two very special people that I missed the great honor to know...
Riding in honor for my dear friend, Joe "Papa Joe" Blasingame 06/18/2010

and Al "Bluesman" Philo  July 24th 2010...
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Lisajan
June 30, 2010, 9:44am Report to Moderator

Senior Member
Posts: 1,725





"There is Good and Bad in Everything"
SSG Paul "swany" Swanson


Riding in memory of Sgt Jennifer Hartman and JonD, two very special people that I missed the great honor to know...
Riding in honor for my dear friend, Joe "Papa Joe" Blasingame 06/18/2010

and Al "Bluesman" Philo  July 24th 2010...
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Bobby
June 30, 2010, 11:02am Report to Moderator

Mission Complete
Senior Member
Posts: 695
Location: Marietta GA
I still can't get over how beautiful that picture is (great job CA), and how fortunate it was that one single solitary rose had fallen from the floral arrangement so that it could be placed on Joe's remains.  Gee, you think Papa Joe had anything to do with that??  


Bobby Byrne
Marietta GA

Proud parents of
Sgt. Justin A. Schultz, USMC
OIF 08/06 - 05/07

Riding in honor of my dad,
Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Byrne, USN
WWII Vet

"The will of God will never take you
where the Grace of God will not protect you."
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Calamity
June 30, 2010, 11:08am Report to Moderator

Board Moderator
National Level Moderator
Posts: 7,797
Location: Oreland, PA
As the symbol of that flower, one last time he was saying he loved y'all and that love was returned with the rose being placed with him.


In Memory of Daddy, Uncle Roy, Uncle Earl, Uncle Stan, Stretch, Al, Joe, Jake, Steve, Eddie & Kat
In honor of Capt. Walter Sigafoos and ADJ3 Paul Moser - still missing

"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are at peace."  Author unknown
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Carrie Ann
June 30, 2010, 11:17am Report to Moderator

First Sergeant
Posts: 149
I didn't think I could cry anymore.  What kind words everyone has to say.  Just goes to show how VERY SPECIAL he was.  That picture is one of MY FAVORITES too.  I am getting ready to start the download of pictures I took in a bit.  

Lisa Jan - Beautiful ride report honey!  You make us all PROUD with your thoughts and words on paper.  

Continue watching over us Papa Joe    We love and miss you so very much . . . . and will always keep you alive in our hearts and celebrations throughout.  God Bless and Keep You Sweet Man!
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Tank
June 30, 2010, 8:01pm Report to Moderator

Supporting our troops, vets and families.
Senior Member
Posts: 597
Location: Canton, Georgia
Ride in Peace, Papa Joe.


Tank

Woodstock, GA

Proud Navy Dad and riding in memory of my Dad Major Robert D. Sterling WWII combat vet, United States Army
avatar: USS IWO JIMA

Never forget September 11, 2001.

For those who serve, past and present. Thank you.
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Moonshine
July 1, 2010, 7:45am Report to Moderator

Senior Member
Posts: 2,018
Location: Kingston Georgia
I am so sorry I am just now posting, we moved Sunday and have no internet at home.
Thank you all who worked so hard to make this such a special day. Thank you BC, Al, Calamity and Rambone for coming. Very sad but special day.

Love you PaPa Joe!


Riding in Honor of
Clyde Holsclaw-USS Hornet WWII


Riding in memory of
Army Sgt. Howard Kelly "H.K." Edwards...My Pop and Hero
121st Infantry

PaPa Joe Blasingame-MAKE IT BIG!

Al "Bluesman" Philo

SSgt Norman Hampton Currin
101st Airborne Ranger

"Cherish your freedom and guard it with honor and respect,
for it carries the blood of those that gave it to you"
                  Author Unknown

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