RIDGE, Md. – My two boys are home safe.  I can’t thank everyone enough for coming along side my family in our time of need. I say everyone because that was my perspective. I have never been involved in an event where so many people and agencies came together in such a short time to accomplish a common good.  As much as I would like to thank everyone by name that isn’t even possible because of the magnitude of the event and number of people involved.  From all the prayers of individuals some I know, most I don’t, thank you.  God’s Word says, “the prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective”. 

Thanks to our neighbors and friends and volunteer search teams who walked the shorelines, the woods, the parks and the roads. Thanks to those who prepared and brought us and the volunteers food, water, ice, alcohol wipes and other supplies donated from Ridge Dollar General, Panera Bread, Papa Johns, Boomerangs, Mission BBQ, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Ridge VFD Auxiliary. Thanks to those who took their own commercial boats, personal boats, kayaks, and vehicles out to search for our boys. Thank you to the drone teams and the K-9 teams for their efforts, and the news agencies on social media who got the word out so quickly. Thank you to our church family who ministered to us continually throughout. This community and beyond came to our aid. 

Assets from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Ridge Fire Department as well as other St Mary’s Second District and Seventh District Fire Departments, Naval District Washington Fire Department (St. Inigoes), St Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department, Calvert County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue, Charles County Dive Rescue, Smith’s Point Rescue and the Virginia Marine Police, the Northumberland and Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Department in Virginia, US Navy SAR team, US Coast Guard, US Navy Test Pilot School, Southern Maryland Paddlers kayak club and the Civil Air Patrol.  All working together to find our boys. All the while both of them were completely unaware of what they had put into motion, but are now recognizing the gravity of the situation.

But, if all we take away from this is that we spent a lot of money, effort, and time on the shenanigans of two mischievous kids, we are missing the bigger picture. Our nation is becoming a divided nation, a nation of hatred, a nation getting further and further away from God, and it is filtering down to even our community. For at least two days last week in this very little part of our world the actions of two boys brought this community together in unity and love.  This is only my perspective, but this I know, my two sons are back, and my faith in God has been strengthened through your actions.  Thank you, and may God bless you all.     

Stephen Clark
Ridge, MD