If you see a motorcycle roaring past you on a local roadway, don’t just assume it’s a youngster out looking for a good time. It just might be a rider from American Legion Post #241.
The motorcycle-owning members of the Post belong to what’s called the Legion Riders. For an event (a ride), they’ll go out, and each rider will pay an entry free (typically between $10 and $25). The money raised by the group, which numbers 50 to 250 bikers – depending on the event – goes to whichever charity the group has chosen to raise money.
So far this year, according to Terry Vice, Post Chaplain and third in command of the Legion Riders, the group has already done 15 to 20 events. These events will include our local Memorial Day parade, the Veterans’ Day parade downtown and three or four veteran’s funerals. But the group will do any event where a veteran requests their presence. They’ve also raised money for local homeless veterans, and for the family of a woman in a local post who passed away from breast cancer.
“As a show of solidarity, any veteran that wants to have our riders present, we will go out. And that’s just out of respect to them,” said Vice, a U.S. Navy veteran.
The Legion Riders can also accompany the Post’s Honor Guard or the Patriot Guard, groups which serve at local vets’ funerals.
Vice also heads up the Post’s Sea Cadet program, which provides training for youth from ages 10 to 17. The program not only gives teens a taste of naval training, but offers significant financial assistance, as well.
“It just gives them an opportunity to try before they buy, so to speak,” Vice said.
And Vice said it is not just about raising money for good local causes; it also shows everyone the good things the Legion is doing.
“We’re like a mobile Legion,” said Vice, who rides a Honda VTX-1300. “It just gets us out in the public view. So many people don’t know what the Legion is and the things that we do.
“Our duty is just to help the veterans in any way we can,” he said.