Fifth Annual Veterans Charity Ride with Indian Motorcycle
The 5th annual Veterans Charity Ride (VCR), in partnership with Indian Motorcycle, will feature a record number of female veteran participants, who will share their decorated military careers and passion for motorcycling with their peers. The veteran-operated non-profit VCR uses “motorcycle therapy” to help other veterans readapt to civilian life.
This year’s ride to Sturgis, South Dakota will embark on July 25, 2019 from Salt Lake City, Utah, winding through Colorado past the famous Pikes Peak before heading towards north toward the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
The group will ride a variety of Indian Motorcycle models, some with custom-built Champion sidecars to transport veteran amputees and paraplegics. The trip not only offers the freedom of the open road and the cathartic experience that only a motorcycle can provide, but allows veterans to bond by sharing stories and engaging in peer-to-peer discussions.
The VCR connects veterans in a peer/mentor environment that reintroduces them to the civilian community to reconnect with the country they served. VCR offers holistic, nature-based programs specifically designed to assist wounded, critically injured, and amputee veterans from all branches of service. Along the way, the VCR stops in several small towns to make connections and to honor and celebrate our nation’s heroes.
This year’s race will feature a total of 17 veterans. Of these, eight are returning veterans who will mentor the nine veterans who are new to the program. This year’s race features four female veterans, the most to join in a single year for VCR. Some of the veterans in the riding this year include:
U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Kaylan Harrington comes from a long line of veterans dating back to World War I and has been riding motorcycles since he was 16 years old. After several tours of duty, Harrington returned to Afghanistan with the NATO Special Operations Detachment and continued working with local children, building schools, helping abused women. and expanding educational opportunities for girls.
Eric “The Iron Fist” Morante is a three-round Navy veteran, whose leg loss did not stop him from achieving his dream and becoming the first Navy amputee sanctioned to compete in boxing in the United States.
Jared “Bones” Thomas spent more than eight years as an Army combat medic who first joined VCR on the ride to Sturgis in 2018. The ride had such a profound effect on him that he chose to return this year and help direct the journey.
To support the VCR, donate or learn more, visit VeteransCharityRide.org. You can also follow Indian and VCR social media channels.