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2017 Ride to Sturgis Starts in

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TESTIMONIALS

“The trip helped me to take stock and appreciate what I have in my life. It helped to empty my mind of all the junk that was stuck up there. It gave me a peace I have been looking to find for the last decade and it has truly helped me to finish my healing process. So, thank you Veteran’s Charity Ride, those fourteen days really helped put the last 10 years to rest.”

Damon, S.

Army, sidecar passenger

“I was going through a really hard time.  I was at rock bottom… with almost twelve years of active service, all served in the time of war, during which I suffered multiple combat injuries, and was awarded two Purple Hearts for being wounded in action.  This ride changed my life forever; physically, emotionally and most importantly, mentally.  Once I left the Marines, I found myself without an identity, dealing with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and many other physical injuries. The Veterans Charity Ride Organization came to my aid.  They rescued me, and saved my life.”

Doober H.

Marine

“I drastically underestimated the benefit of Motorcycle Therapy. I am a 43 year old combat vet that just graduated from college. After graduation I was lost.  Years spent in the Army, and then years spent in medical hold followed by a divorce and about 2 years sitting on my ass feeling sorry for myself.  After graduation I was right back feeling sorry for myself. The Veterans Charity Ride was just going to be a get-away from the couch…At the end of the two weeks I knew I had changed.  I was more focused, more open, and just happier.  I continue to relive the experiences with friends and family.  I hope to return next year in whatever capacity they will have me.”

Ian F.

Army

“After losing both of my legs in Afghanistan I had no idea what mobility would look like for me let alone any sort of fun activities anymore…Once I was fitted for prosthetics I tried to go and engage in the activities I had always wanted to, but never had.

One of these activities was getting on a motorcycle.  I had plans to get my license upon arriving home from deployment, but obviously plans changed. Veterans Charity Ride gave me the opportunity to experience being on a motorcycle and going on such an incredible route, seeing places I have never seen but always wanted to. Even with how amazing that was it is the people that make it so worth it! Having that military squad feel because everyone was in the military and thinks similarly which builds that sense of camaraderie that is lost when you leave the military. VCR gave me another family through all these veterans I rode with and honestly that is the hardest thing to leave behind once you get out. Thank you VCR for such an amazing opportunity!”

Jed M.

Marine, sidecar passenger

“My “go to” defense for my PTSD has been avoidance.  I really struggled with crowds and being around, and interacting with other people…avoidance and isolation became my remedy.  Years of behaving this way has solved none of my problems, and in avoiding everything in life, I’m missing out on so much of it.  Going on this trip forced me to engage the group, the unknown locations, and the crowds of people daily, and helped me to see the good that so many were trying to do for us.  It wasn’t just OK to be around everyone, but it actually felt good too.  The VCR trip, helped make a significant change in the way I see my surrounding world, which in turn had a profound change on how I’ve decided to continue to live my life. I was again able to brave the crowds, the confined space, and the rest of the triggers around me, and attend my son’s school band performance… for my son, I had no idea how much it would mean to him, he was so proud to have us there. Thank you for your help in changing the way I live the rest of the life I’ve been given, meeting you all, and spending time riding together really showed me a better way.”

Justin M.

Air Force

“I want to thank Veterans Charity Ride for all you’ve done for our family. We started with just a nomination for the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis and have developed lifelong friendships, amazing memories, and a forever support system for me as well as my family. The healing and happiness I’ve experienced in this short period of time takes me to a place I never thought I’d be again.

The beauty of our country I saw from the back of the bike on the Sturgis ride reminded me of how grounded I am here at home again. The support of people from across this nation restored my faith that Americans know what we fought for and why. Their thank you’s and gratitude made me proud to have been able to serve this great country. It was so good to be with a group of my brothers again and to be able to talk about issues we deal with trying to get back to a normal life again.

I can never say enough thank you’s for all that Veterans Charity Ride has done for me. What I thought was going to be a ride of a lifetime to Sturgis was only the beginning of a lifetime full of support, acceptance and a place that gives me new hope and purpose.”

Keith H.

Army

“I knew us helping each other was the deal with this trip.  What I didn’t know was how much support we were going to get from so many.  There was so much love shared from every community we traveled through.  It was so overwhelming to feel so appreciated by so many.   This was the first and biggest revelation to ease my apprehension of moving from military life.  My transition has still not been easy but I have such a wonderful group of peers to look back on for my inspiration or call and get a little push over the hurdles.  Everyone on this ride has been a peer, a leader, a mentor and a friend to me.”

Marylyn Sabol

Marine

“In October of 2007, while deployed to Mosul, Iraq, I had my left leg blown off below the knee.  I tried to build myself back up by participating in activities like Scuba diving, snowboarding, and softball.  However these proved only to be superficial distractions from the mental agony I felt.  Despite my best efforts, I was losing the mental battle and grew to have a jaded, love/hate relationship with all aspects of my life.

Enter Dave Frey and the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis.  Dave pioneered a powerful concept of motorcycle therapy, putting together a first class experience intended to heal veterans through the open road and genuine kinship.  On a cross country ride such as this you are alone with your thoughts while experiencing the thrill of riding.  It binds something beautiful to whatever thoughts you have; in my case I ruminated on my injury and situation more often than was comfortable with.  Enhancing the therapeutic aspect of a good day’s ride further, were the fellow veterans on the ride with me.  We were able to bond through our time together and discuss our problems with an audience that understood.

In that way the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis provided me the tools needed to process, confront, and overcome my damaged mental state.  Equally important, it strengthened my network of friends I can turn to when needed.  Now every time I feel the stress of life bearing down on me all I have to do is take a ride on my motorcycle and the positive memories and experience of the ride to Sturgis washes over me.  I would highly recommend it to anyone going through tough times.”

Michael Brown

Active Army

“To say that the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis is an amazing adventure would be an understatement. It is not just the motorcycles, or the destination that made it great, rather, being given the opportunity for veterans to come together and heal. After all of the injuries, deployments, and years in the hospital, the veterans of the VCR were brought together so they could once again live life to the fullest. It is an outlet, a necessary avenue towards the healing process. I believe that every veteran needs something they can turn to when times get tough. The VCR brings a constructive outlet to veterans by getting them out of solitude and experiencing all that makes this country worth fighting for.”

Nicholas Razzano

Active Army, sidecar pilot

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