WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) --- Andrew Pollard rode his motorcycle here from Boston this week, carrying thank you letters from a high school at home, written to Lt. Josh Booth, a U.S. Marine who was killed in Iraq at age 23 in 2006.
Pollard attended that high school with Booth, graduating in 2001. He's taking those letters of thanks from current students there to Booth's father, whom he plans to meet this Memorial Day weekend at Josh's grave in Bedford, Virginia.
"I'm doing it because I wanted to thank him in person for his service. I never got the chance to thank him. He was a friend of mine in high school, and I thought that would be the right thing to do, ride down there in honor of him," Pollard told 9News Now.
"He had a love of his country. His father was a marine from what I understand.
"He was just a really patriotic person. He loved the ideal of what an American is, and what an American stands for and he really felt strongly that freedom isn't free which, of course, I agree with.
"And because of that, instead of just sitting there and not doing anything about it, he wanted to defend it," Pollard said of his old friend.
"I thought it would be good for the younger kids to, instead of thinking about Memorial Day as being able to sleep in and hang out, it might be an opportune time for them to think about a little bit more than that, why they have the day off.
"So, I talked to our alumni director over there and said 'Hey, if they want to write a thank you note to Josh, I would be happy to hand deliver it,' and we had 15-plus thankyou notes within an hour, so I went and picked them up and brought them down here."
He's inviting other motorcycle riders to join him on the nearly-500 mile roundtrip to Josh's grave that leave from the 12 hundred block of 22nd Street, NW at 10am Saturday morning.