Local Vet Frank Beierlotzer says “there’s a lot of older veterans that deserve the appreciation we like to give the others and do all the hoopla and that other stuff. And this is a way to come to them because maybe they can’t get out and go to the other events.”
The ceremonies at each center gave the riders a chance to shake hands with fellow vets, listen to the Star Spangled Banner, but most importantly, show their appreciation by giving vets the thanks they deserve.
Air Force Vet Ray Gentilcore says “the last few years recently is where all the “welcome homes” and all the “thank yous” were coming about. Look at during Vietnam; look at during the other eras. They came home, went looking for a job, and that was about it.”
He says they bonds the vets share with each other goes a long way. Gentilcore says “we’re part of a unique group of family. Being a veteran, you couldn’t belong to a better organization in the world then being a vet.
The riders say it was a special moment for everybody involved.
Beierlotzer says “to go over and see their smiling faces and show them the appreciation that they deserve, the little twinkle in their eye, it’s just rewarding for us to do it.”
The Group hopes to expand the event next year and go to more centers and thank more vets.