By Robert Grant KEVN Black Hills News Fox |
A group of bikers were riding for a cause to support our country’s heroes.
Veterans took to the open roads, with a ride from Los Angeles to Rally Town.
Keith Helfrich, a veteran, said “You’re by yourself on the road. You’re driving. You just have time to clear your mind. You don’t have to worry about anything. You’re not stressing out.”
Keith Helfrich served our country for 26 years with the U.S. Army and worked on 10 special forces.
He was one of 20 veterans rolling into the 76th, Sunday.
They started in California as strangers.
Helfrich said “Pretty much, one thing in common is we all sacrificed.”
And ended in Sturgis as friends.
Helfrich said “We got to know each other and sort of became a family.”
It’s part of the 2nd annual Veterans Charity Ride.
These heroes all served our country and now some suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or physical handicaps, but the ride is a release from their past.
Dave Frey, the founder of the Veterans Charity Ride, said “It puts you in present time – right then in command of a machine and that is very therapeutic.”
And the bikers bond along the way.
Robert Pandya, the PR manager for Indian Motorcycle, said “The smallest group in the military is a platoon and you know everything about your platoon mates. And that sort of thing happens when you have a small group of people riding motorcycles together.”
The charity ride started with 12 vets and grew to 20 for this year’s event.
Pandya said “And that’s about the right size in regards to having that therapy session at night. If it gets too big – it’s a little bit difficult to manage. And for these guys to really get a great experience out of it.”
They kicked into high gear with a partnership with Indian Motorcycle, a company with a history in the military.
They sold bikes to the government starting with World War I.
Pandya said “Our company, with a long history in military, supports – which we will continue to do for years to come.”
And Sunday the crew revved into Sturgis with an outpouring of support from the community.
Helfrich said “You tend to forget that people do care about the veterans. When you see it, and you see people out here that don’t even know you but are thankful for what you did or what you sacrificed, it means a lot.”
The Veterans Charity Ride is now a non-profit organization and is looking to host rides across the country.
Original news source: http://www.blackhillsfox.com/content/news/Veterans-Charity-Ride-supports-our-countrys-heroes-389435052.html