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We Honor Our Veterans

  11/13/2014 at 22:18 pm

Veterans Honored This Past Week

Veteran's Day was Tuesday, 11/11

Six injured service members received brand, spankin’ new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Jacksonville, Florida this week.

Riding motorcycles has been shown to be therapeutic for those who suffer from PTSD. So the Wounded Warrior Project teamed up with Harley-Davidson to make that possible for some deserving veterans, who were all riders without bikes. It’s part of an on-going collaboration to assist veterans.

Here in Washington State, we have eleven chapters of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, each of them doing big things and small things to improve the lives of veterans. You probably remember the All Patriots Ride last August, and we hope you saw the spectacular quilt that was raffled off. That ride was organized by the Bremerton Chapter to benefit the Retsil Veterans’ Home.

Many other motorcycle clubs are organized by veterans, such as the Vietnam Vets Legacy Vets here in Tacoma. Other clubs reach out to vets and include others, among them the Knights Paladin club that includes law enforcement personnel. And still other clubs do fund-raising for veterans’ causes. We know that, because many of them organize rides that start right here at Eagle Leather.

We support all those fund-raising efforts, because without them large goals cannot be met. And you should be proud of your participation in them. But there are other actions club members take, actions you can join in on, or do on your own.

And perhaps the most important of these is just being there. For example, one motorcycle club puts on a monthly Bingo afternoon at their local veterans home. Simple, right? But it takes dedication to keep doing that month after month. What keeps those motorcycle club going is the lift in spirits that they see in the veterans. And maybe it’s not so much the excitement of bingo—maybe it’s just knowing that someone cared enough to visit.

Anyone can do that, just visit. Listen to stories—you’ll learn more than you can imagine. Read an outdoor magazine to a vet who doesn’t see well anymore. Ask the staff which vets don’t get many visitors, and make one of them your newest friend.

Maybe you don’t have time to visit. How about this, then: The Olympia chapter of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association asked residents of the Orting Veterans Home what they would like for Christmas. Can you guess? It was little things like socks, soap, flannel pajamas. Can you find time to drop off a gift or two at your local veterans home?

It’s fine to say, “Thank you for your service,” but isn’t it true that actions speak louder than words?

By Eagle Leather