I thought I would re-visit this topic as a follow-up to what I posted last year concerning the VFW Riders program. One of the things I wrote about was the need to dispel the biker stereotype some in the VFW have by proving our worth to not only as comrades in the VFW, but to our community at large.
It's been a really good year for our Riders Group. We are FULLY integrated into "normal" post activities (working BINGO, assisting with post home clean ups and needs, and taking a front-leaning position at events). Members of the Riders Group have assisted with every Post celebration this past year and have been honored to provide escort for veterans participating in the 2012 National Veterans Golden Age Games in St. Louis. We have raised more than $4,000.00 for Post, District and State programs and presented a $1000.00 check yesterday at the Illinois State Convention to the State Commander for his Commander's Project. The balance of those funds were raised through Poker Runs, Post events, bucket brigades at area stores, and working for tips at restaurants.
Our Riders Group is blessed with some great leaders and we count among our members two active Post Commanders, two past District Commanders, one past National Aide De Camp, and four past District officers. So, not only are we an asset in fund raising and additional manpower (and woman power), but we can also provide spot-on advice when matters of the VFW arise.
I am personally aware of more than 54 different websites/ Facebook sites representing Riders Groups across the nation and am certain there are many more out there, just like us, who are combining their love for motorcycling with their love for the VFW and serving our veterans.
I guess this has come across kinda' like a commercial, but my point is that those VFW members who are interested should reach out to established Riders Groups and attend a meeting. If there's no Riders Group in your area, we can help with that, too.
Until the VFW Riders Groups are seen as an asset, the preconceived notions some have in the VFW will remain, but as long as we "Charlie Mike" (continue the mission), we will continue to make head way. Respects 'n take care out there. Squirts (Proud VFW Rider)
Presenting a check for $700.00 to the District Homeless Vets program
Veterans Day Ceremony at the Post
Escorting Golden Age Games Participants
Our Chairman, Toothpick, presenting a check for the State Commander's project at State Convention