Thursday, July 25, 2019
Location: Veteran's Charity Ride
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We take wounded and amputee veterans on Indian Motorcycles and Champion sidecars to the Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota. Since 2015 we’ve taken over 65 veterans from all over the USA and from every branch of the military.
We spend over a week riding America’s most beautiful roads, getting to know each other and helping each other with Motorcycle Therapy. The shared experiences of serving brings them together, veteran to veteran to help each other heal. We also show the Veterans just how much their service means to America, by stopping in towns along the way to meet the people of our grateful nation to celebrate these brave men and women.
Once in Sturgis, we spend the week of the rally, riding the Black Hills, attending events and giving the Veterans the unique “Sturgis Experience”.
STARTED BY VETERANS FOR VETERANS
The ride and program was conceived by Army Airborne Paratrooper, Indian Dave, while riding solo to the Sturgis Bike Rally in 2014.
Along the way he met a fellow Paratrooper, from his same unit and they quickly became friends. They talked about fellow veterans that were returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and how so many are having a difficult time adjusting to civilian life after their war experiences.
Thousands have been severely wounded, some with amputations, many with psychological injuries like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & other physical injuries that you cannot see like Traumatic Brain Injury.
On the ride back home Dave couldn’t stop thinking about his fellow veterans and wanted to do something special for them and make a difference in their lives. Then it hit him…let’s use motorcycles to help our veterans. (Dave was born into the family’s motorcycle business, he grew up on motorcycles, it’s in his blood, he knows the impact and value of Motorcycle Therapy.)
Dave then contacted his business partner Robert Manciero, an Emmy Award winning producer and director and told him his ideas.
They came up with the concept of a ride which would include the therapeutic effects of riding a motorcycle aka, Motorcycle Therapy and create an adventure of a lifetime for wounded veterans. At the same time they would film the ride so the message could be shared with as many veterans as possible.
They needed bikes and support, so they contacted Indian Motorcycles, which seemed natural since Dave had fallen in love with his new Indian Chieftain. Dave and Robert told them about the plans and the program. Indian said yes right from the start.
Realizing they would need sidecars to accommodate amputee veterans in a safe comfortable manner they reached out to Craig Arrojo, President of Champion Sidecars, explaining the program and their needs, he also said yes right from the start.
Thus Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis® was born!