During a Milwaukee Hometown Rally this weekend, one military vet got a special gift in the form of a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Sheboygan resident Aaron Kream joined the U.S. Army in 2012. He suffered a traumatic brain injury along with PTSD and was medically retired from service.
“I’m going to ride about 3,000 miles,” said Kream. “It’s wind therapy (and) it’s a time to sit back and reflect on just life.”
Vet Group Happy to Help Kream
Hogs for Heroes president Kevin Thompson was happy to help Kream after his years of service, calling him a fighter. Thompson believes the motorcycle will help the military vet “stay on that good path and help with his healing.”
The group picked Kream after hearing his story. After past treatments, the vet said he, and other vets, see motorcycle riding as an “alternative therapy.”
According to the Hogs for Heroes website, Kream had re-enlisted three times before heading to Afghanistan in 2018. While there, he committed a fourth time to an eight-month role. After returning home in 2019, military officials diagnosed him with PTSD, major depression, and a traumatic brain injury when he settled into another base.
After therapy, medications, and counseling, Kream was medically retired on April 18.
Vet Charity Has Helped Six This Year
The Wisconsin-based veteran charity is a nonprofit organization. With Kream, the group has helped 22 other vets. This year, the group has helped six vets.
According to the charity’s website, four Wisconsin family members came together to start the group. The four are not veterans. They have worked to show thanks to “those who protected our freedoms, and continue to do so.”
It was Kevin Thompson’s idea in 2014 to pick motorcycles as the way to help vets. The group’s website said Thompson “read an article on the therapeutic benefits of motorcycle ownership amongst Veterans with PTSD, particularly when faced with different challenges upon returning to civilian life.” Things went downhill from there.
“To be picked by a group of people that read my story and think that I deserve it, I mean, it means a lot,” Kream said.
Kream said he grew up with dirt bikes and bought his first motorcycle at 18. Motorcycles had been a part of his life up until two years ago when he sold his Street Glide to save for his family’s future.
With the new bike, he can recover those lost times to heal.
The Wisconsin vet said he hopes other veterans ask the charity for help. His process for applying for the bike was also a helpful one.
“You get to tell your story. You get to put it on paper, and it’s huge,” said Kream. “Even if you don’t get picked, it’s amazing therapy to write down what you’re feeling and what you’ve been through.”