Sunday, September 20, 2020

Veteran’s Club Bike Rally

Frankfort, KY, USA (September 20, 2020) — Motorcycles rode through the streets of Frankfort Saturday afternoon to raise awareness of suicide among veterans during National Suicide Prevention Month.

Approximately 100 people riding more than 60 motorcycles joined the Veteran’s Club’s event. The bikers met in Shelbyville at 10:30 a.m. to ride together to Frankfort.

“It gets veterans out. It gets them connected with other people. We believe connection is the key to overcoming suicide, not just for veterans but for everyone,” said the organization’s president Jeremy Harrell. “We want to make sure they understand they’re not alone. We’re here. We’re ready to battle in the trenches with them. We want them to get better. We want them to enjoy life.”

An average of 20 veterans die by suicide every day in the United States, according to the U.S. Department for Veteran Affairs. “We’re not okay with that number. In fact, one is too many,” Harrell said.

Several groups participated in the event including the Veteran's Club, the Exodus Saints Motorcycle Ministry and the Founding Sons Motorcycle Club.

Posted by Veteran's Club on Saturday, September 19, 2020

Exodus Saints Motorcycle Ministry president Michael Williams said he wants people to remember they’re not alone when they hear about Saturday’s motorcycle rally.

“I hope it gives them hope. Let’s them see that people care and they’re understanding and want to be nurturing and accept them, to help them work through the issue. To let them know that someone still cares even if it’s a stranger that cares for them. That there’s always something to fight for and that others will stand with you to fight,” Williams said.

The event also served as a fundraiser for the Veteran’s Club. Riders paid $20 when they turned in their waiver and had the opportunity to buy merchandise to benefit the organization.

Monday, September 14, 2020

13th Annual Sergeant Janargonish Ride

Jessup, Pennsylvania, USA (September 14, 2020) - In Lackawanna County, an annual motorcycle ride in memory of a soldier killed during an ambush in Afghanistan went on although it was a little different because of the pandemic.

Jan was killed on August 27, 2007 during an ambush in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan at the age of 26. Jan served in the Pennsylvania National Guard for 10 years, this being his third deployment.

Jan was an amazing person who loved his son Jakub, his family, friends, and fiancé Talia. Jan loved to go riding with his son, country music, and classic cars. Jan is loved and missed dearly by his family, friends and the countless others he touched over his lifetime.

"It's great to be able to still have a way to honor Jan even though the world looks a little bit different," said Talia Walsh, organizer. "We know the event can't be the same as it always is but we are glad that everyone who is here is supporting us and being able to support a cause, is supporting our veterans in need locally."

Shirts were sold at the start of the ride and participating restaurants donated a percentage of food sold to organizers.

Money raised will go to military and veteran support organizations.


Friday, May 22, 2020

Rolling To Remember Kicks Off

Washington, D.C., USA (May 22, 2020) BHV — “They laid down their lives to ensure the survival of American freedom,” President Donald Trump said as he joined the veterans group AMVETS on Friday morning to kick off their“Rolling to Remember” motorcycle ride that was formerly known as “Rolling Thunder.”

“Thank you for keeping this noble tradition alive and for preserving the memory of those missing but never forgotten. My administration will spare no effort or resource to support the men and the women who defend our nation,” Trump told the group of bikers.

More than a dozen members of veterans service organization AMVETS were honored at the event with President Trump and Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, with Trump praising their service and touting his support among bikers.

In a video of the event, bikers with Rolling Thunder, an advocacy group that aims to raise awareness of prisoners of war, can be seen rumbling through the White House grounds, performing laps of the South Lawn to the tune of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses.

The organization asked its participants to ride their motorcycles 22 miles in their own communities for the Memorial Day Weekend rally this Sunday at noon EST.

The Memorial Day Weekend rally has been planned since September, even though the 32-year old tradition ended for the original organizers, and is now hosted by AMVETS.

The massive “Rolling To Remember” rally, which attracts hundreds of thousands of riders to Washington each Memorial Day weekend, was canceled this year amid the coronavirus pandemic and will instead be virtual.

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Sunday, March 1, 2020

Patriot Guard Rider Killed

Cove County, Kansas, USA (March 1, 2020) BHV — Two drivers were killed on I-70 in Kansas Saturday evening in separate crashes that were both linked to the funeral procession for veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor Donald Stratton.

The first crash involved a member of the Patriot Guard who lost control of his motorcycle and was hit by a car, according to Kansas Highway Patrol.

Scene of accident along I-70

"The riderwas traveling eastbound on I-70 and for an unknown reason lost control and laid the motorcycle over," Kansas Highway Patrol said in their crash log regarding the collision. "Vehicle two was traveling eastbound behind the motorcycle and struck the driver."

There were initially reports that the rider was hit by a second vehicle, but a spokesperson with KHP tells 11 News the third vehicle was only hit by accident debris.

The rider was identified as 65-year-old Lennie Riedel of Kansas.

The second crash happened just 10 minutes later when an 81-year-old driver, who was not part of the procession, tried to go around the traffic diversion on the interstate that had been set up to keep vehicles away from the original motorcycle crash. He ha been identified as Carl Silvrants of Virginia.

Station KWCH says the driver ran into a parked fire truck and was killed at the scene. The firefighter was not injured.

The crashes happened in Gove County about 90 miles from the Colorado/Kansas state line.

Colorado State Patrol also confirmed at least one crash related to the procession. A spokesperson for CSP said a crash involving two motorcycle riders happened shortly before 2 p.m. on I-25 in Castle Pines. One of the riders was seriously hurt but is expected to recover.

State Patrol did not have further details on how the crash happened but said the riders' part of the procession had "dispersed" around the time of the crash.


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Thursday, November 7, 2019

American Legion Riders Chapter Rides Sober

Oneonta, New York, USA (November 7, 2019) — Chris Chase, son and grandson of veterans, just wants to make sure that all veterans can enjoy the ride safely.

“We were concerned that many of our motorcycle runs involved a lot of alcohol,” said Chase, assistant director of Oneonta Post 259’s American Legion Riders. “We’d stop at a Legion, people would have a few beers. And then we’d stop at the next one and they’d do the same. We don’t have anything against alcohol, just against drinking and driving.”

So last fall, Chase unveiled the “Dry Run” concept, where the Legion’s annual rides would all be alcohol-free. “The first time we did it was the 2018 Foliage Run,” he said. “And we got some flack. But Ken Gracey at the Red Knights 44 Motorcycle Club (a firefighter and EMS motorcycle club) told me to stick to my guns.”

Charlotte and Chris Chase pioneered the alochol-free “Dry Run” at the Oneonta chapter of the American Legion. (Ian Austin/

The Legion Riders, a branch of the American Legion, uses motorcycle rides to raise funds for local and national charities. “We’re motorcycle enthusiasts, and like to say we love our community, vets and pets,” said Chase.

Though not a veteran himself, Chase is eligible for the Legion Riders as the son of Alvin Chase Jr., a Vietnam-era veteran, and grandson of Alvin Chase Sr., a World War II veteran.

And though a few riders grumbled, Chase was surprised at how many came out in support of the Dry Run.

“We saw a lot of riders who hadn’t come with us before because they were concerned with the alcohol use, now they’ve started riding with us,” he said. “The Red and Blue Knights, older riders and responsible folks – we gained people who love the idea!”

In addition to new riders, Chase said they’ve also seen an increase in sponsorship for their rides, and have started working with the Oneonta Police Department to escort the veterans taking the Leatherstocking Honor Flight out of the Albany International Airport.

“It’s usually our coldest ride, but when you see those veterans being honored during the ceremony, it doesn’t matter how cold it is, it warms you right up.”

Chase had patches made, and since then, all of their six annual rides have been dry. “It forces us to get creative,” said his wife Charlotte. “But the fun part is finding places that don’t serve alcohol.”

They’ve stopped for ice cream and at scenic spots, as well as the motorcycle safety track. “That was awesome,” he said. “We got to get out there and go really fast.”

They still stop to see their fellow veterans at other Legions along the route, but pledge to abstain from buying alcohol at the bar.

In addition to promoting safety, Chase also wanted to raise awareness of drug and alcohol abuse among veterans, as well as the drinking culture among bikers.

“We’re working with LEAF Inc. to write educational materials about dry runs,” he said. “We want to change that perception about bikers.”

“I am so happy with what Chris is doing,” said Julie Dostal, LEAF executive director. “With veterans, motorcycle deaths account for 38 percent of deaths by motor vehicle accidents. With this data, it’s very clear that the Oneonta Legion Riders are taking the safest stance possible to keep our veterans with us longer.

“They’re a treasure, and they deserve to be treated as such.”

LEAF was the beneficiary of this year’s Fall Foliage Fun. “We were honored,” said Dostal. “And I hope that the Dry Runs will catch on across the state and go national.”

The patch isn’t just for American Legion Riders. “Any motorcycle club can use it,” Chase said. “We’re putting together a website that will have the logo and promotional materials that they can use to promote their own Dry Runs.”

He’s shipped patches as far away as California, and when the Dry Run website goes live, motorcycle clubs will be able to chose which charity gets the proceeds from the sale of the patches.

“We want to keep growing it because we know it will make a difference,” he said. “Statically, we’ve already saved a life.”

SOURCE: Otsego County Daily Newspaper

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