Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey and The Warriors Watch Riders surprised the Voorhees native with a rock star welcome home to thank him for his service.
The sound of motorcycles and police cars filled the air as they pulled into the Golden Nugget Tavern parking lot Tuesday night. The noise didn’t settle down until U.S. Army Specialist Adam Knight emerged from the front door of the bar and restaurant.
“We try to fatten you with some care packages when you’re gone, and with the Warriors Watch, Operation Yellow Ribbon and all these patriotic people here, we’re here to welcome you like the rock star you are,” Dave Silver proclaimed. “Welcome home!”
Silver is a member of Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey, who along with The Warriors Watch Riders gave Knight a “Mug N Hug” style welcome home. Both organizations met at Dunkin Donuts on Cross Keys Road and made their way down New Freedom Road to Golden Nugget Tavern with the American flag and local emergency personnel to surprise Knight while he was out with friends.
“It’s ‘Mug N Hug’ because mug is a handshake and we give him a hug,” Silver said. “We show up as loud as we can, pull him out and give him a handshake and hug.”
“This is amazing, all my friends, Dave Silver especially and the riders, it’s amazing,” said the 23-year-old Knight, who was still in shock. “It’s such a great feeling coming home to this knowing you have the support of home, friends and family.”
Knight, who grew up in Voorhees and is a graduate of Eastern Regional High School, recently returned home from a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan. He is based out of Fort Carson, Colorado, and is in South Jersey spending time with friends before he heads to Florida to see his family. He goes back to Colorado to report for active duty on Jan. 2. Honors he has received include the Army Good Conduct Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.
Director of the Camden County Office of Veterans Affairs Rev. Floyd White was on hand and presented Knight with the Camden County Military Service Award and a military service medal for his honorable service.
“Thank you for your commitment to excellence and for your commitment to the United States of America,” Floyd said. “God Bless you.”
Knight also received a proclamation from Congressman Donald Norcross.
Members from Operation Yellow Ribbon, who sent Knight care packages while he was deployed overseas, thanked him for his service, sacrifices and commitment.
“You decided to take on the world in the form of military service for the U.S. army; that’s an unimaginably huge thing that I can’t even wrap myself around,” Terry McGinnis of Operation Yellow Ribbon said to Knight.
“We don’t use the word hero loosely around here, but you are the definition of a true hero,” Silver said. “You are a protector, you’re a provider of our freedoms. We only get to be here because of people like you who served our country.”