American Legion motorcycle ride raises awareness of veterans’ issues

Oak Creek was the final stop on Thursday’s American Legion Legacy Ride, raising awareness of veterans’ issues.

Hundreds of runners gathered, some from as far away as Alabama. The American Legion said it was one of the largest – and longest – organized motorcycle rides in the United States.

“The camaraderie is unreal,” said Paul Dillard, national commander of the American Legion.

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After a 1,200 mile journey, the veterans covered terrain close to their hearts. The ride crossed seven states to raise awareness of issues such as suicide.

“If we could each save a life from suicide, we would be the only one,” said Trooper Jim Fleming, a US Navy veteran from Texas.

American Legion Legacy Ride arrives at Oak Creek

The American Legion said too many veterans are struggling on their own. The ride also raised funds for the children of deceased and disabled veterans who served after 9/11.

“Sorrow for the purpose of the race is for the men and women who have been killed in war, and their children must live on,” said Medal of Honor recipient Gary Wetzel.

“We all take the same oath to defend this nation and to fight for the word we use freedom and freedom is not free. There is a price being paid right now because you and I are here today. “

American Legion Legacy Ride arrives at Oak Creek

Fleming said the ride was a punch in the right direction. It was one of 16 American Legion Legacy Rides. Just like the engine of his bicycle, the people he meets never let him down.

“Well, I’m an emotional person,” Fleming said. “My heart is starting to race and everything, especially going through towns and villages.”

Oak Creek was the last stop on the trip as the American Legion National Convention is being held in Milwaukee this weekend with some events beginning Thursday.

About Frances R. Smith

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