It’s an unfortunate fact a number of our brave military service members and veterans lose their lives for our country. Recently, a bike club called the American Legion Riders honored those brave and women with a benefit bike run.
The American Legion Riders Post #17 held their 12th annual Honor Run in DuBois, Pennsylvania. The ride pays tribute to four young men native to the area who died. The four were killed in Iraq, Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism. The Legion Riders honor SFC Michael Tully, 2nd Lt. Christopher Loudon, Sgt. Scott Smith, and Sgt. Brandon Reed.
In previous years, the Legion Riders raised roughly $12,000 per year in donations. Additionally, they hosted breakfast and bake sales, as well as the motorcycle run. Legion Rider President Dayton Dixon reports the organization earned $200,000 total in the past 12 years.
Money raised supports Operation Comfort Warriors and The Pennsylvania American Legion Housing for Homeless Veterans programs. “These donations contributed to the support, aid, assistance and advancement of our veterans’ mental, physical and personal needs,” said Nixon.
Nixon reports the American Legion runs these programs and every cent goes to assist military heroes. “This is special to me,” said Nixon. “Between the four that we’re dedicating this to and all of the warriors that we’ve lost. But as for the local ones here. They’re special. It has changed my life as to what they have done. I enjoy it.”
Randy Loudon, Christopher Loudon’s father, participated in the ride himself. Furthermore, Michael Tully’s mother, Marilyn Tully, attended the ride to see them off Saturday morning.
Tully says she is thankful to the Legion Riders for what they do. Noting their contributions to veteran and military charities, Tully stated the effort “keeps their memory alive,” referring to the four fallen soldiers.
Vermont Veteran Goes on ‘Long Journey’ to Raise Money for Veteran Suicide Prevention on 9/11 Anniversary
In a similar effort to help fellow soldiers, a Vermont veteran decided to go on a “long journey.” His walk aimed to raise awareness, as well as funds, for veteran suicide prevention.
Chase Stanley, a United States Army veteran, spoke with the Brattleboro Reformer about what prompted this decision. “With all the things going on, it was a good time to remember the sacrifices some people in our country have had to make.”
Overall, Stanley’s walk saw him traveling 22 miles from Newfane to Brattleboro in Vermont on September 11th. the number 22 holds a special significance, being the average number of veterans who commit suicide each day. Stanley has had those thoughts before and reflects on it.
“It’s hard not to get down on yourself every now and then. Thankfully, there are resources out there. The hardest part is coming forward and saying, ‘I need some help.'” Giving proceeds to the National Alliance to End Veteran Suicide, Stanley raised nearly $6,500.