In today’s paper there was an article on WWR as selected for
the “Do Gooders” in the area. Here is the link to the article.
However, the title in the Intelligencer is not the same as
The title in the print copy is
“Treating Soldiers Like Rock Stars”
At Thanksgiving, we invited readers to tell us about some of the great local nonprofit organizations doing good deeds here in Bucks and Montgomery counties.The newspaper’s staff wanted to lend a hand to these groups this holiday season by telling you about these Do Gooders and their missions of help.
About 80 nominations were received from readers offering heartfelt testimony on behalf of these organizations.
We’ve selected 10 to tell you about in a series of stories, which will be published through Jan. 2; some honorable mention organizations will be recognized in the paper toward the end of the series.
We hope you are inspired, as we were, in learning about the mission of these local charities.
Army Corporal Shawn Lotecki of Croydon, who has been deployed in a Afghanistan for the past year, receives a motorcycle escort by veterans group Warrior’s Watch from the airport to his family’s levittown where he was greeted by a friends and family. Here Warriors’ Watch riders arrive at the Lotecki family home.
We are a culture that idolizes musicians, actors and athletes.
But what about the men and women who risk everything to allow us the freedom and luxury to become enamored with things like sports, music and movies?
According to the founder of a unique military support group, those who serve in the armed forces are the real celebrities.
“We envision the day when every soldier in the service will be treated like the rock star that they are,” said Wayne Lutz, who founded the Pennsylvania-based Warriors’ Watch network in 2008.
Warriors’ Watch is trying to make that happen.
According to the group’s website, warriorswatch.org, its mission is “to honor active troops and veterans of all military branches from all eras, as well as police, firefighters and first responders.” Most of the time, this is done through motorcycle escorts for returning troops or those about to be deployed.
The site offers the chance to join an existing chapter or start a new one. It also features extensive photo galleries of past bike escorts and events.
But it’s what you can’t find on the website that truly sets this group apart: There is no “Donate” button.
While links take you to other related charities that accept monetary contributions, the organizers of Warriors’ Watch would rather see people donate their time and effort to bring awareness to the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women.
“We made a conscious decision to stay away from money entirely,” Lutz said. “If someone asks to donate, we politely turn them down and point them toward one of the many other terrific groups that would accept.”
According to Langhorne resident Jeff Huggins, the group’s Southeastern Pennsylvania coordinator, this policy was established to avoid any distractions that could take away focus from the mission.
While it’s been less than four years since that first chapter began in Glenside, Montgomery County, the group has ballooned from a mere 25 members to more than 4,000 volunteers. There are chapters in 38 states, South Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany and Canada.
While the group expands, it is careful to not box itself in to any set description.
“We are not a veterans group; we are not a motorcycle club,” the group’s website states. “Those of us who do ride use our motorcycles to draw public attention to our cause — and our cause is our troops.”
“It’s riding with a purpose, instead of just taking a cruise,” Huggins said. “Sometimes, it’s hard as we attended the funerals of fallen troops or police officers or firefighters. If you can go on one of those rides without shedding a tear, there’s something wrong with you.”
Although the bikes generate a lot of noise, turn a lot of heads and have led to a certain amount of media focus on the group, Lutz said it’s all good as long as it eventually helps the troops and their families.
“We are not in it for the recognition, but we do appreciate being noticed,” he added. “My philosophy has been that the more publicity we get, the more people will emulate us or join in.”
The inclusion of cops, firefighters and other first responders as “Warriors” was a no-brainer, according to Lutz.
“They are on the front lines here at home and many of them pay the ultimate price, just like our military troops,” he added.
Christian Menno: 215-269-5081;