Earlier this fall, a group of American Legion Riders, family, friends and supporters departed Arizona for Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego on the first "AZ Riders' Goodwill Ride for America's Wounded Heroes."
The event was sponsored by Merrill-Mitchell American Legion Post 39 in Gilbert, Ariz., and coordinated by Eric McGregory, an American Legion Rider and U.S. Navy veteran. Riders from Arizona chapters 26, 34, 35, 39, 79, 84, 91 and 125 also participated, combining for a procession of 48 motorcycles and five vehicles – including a custom-painted ‘Support Our Troops' corvette coupe driven by Pratt and Sandi Ashworth of American Legion Post 34.
The purpose of the event was simple: to spend time with the brave young men and women who are being treated at the hospital. The idea was to pass along gratitude and appreciation for their service and sacrifices, with the continuing mission being to ensure that those men and women know that they, nor their service, are not and will not be forgotten.
While the event was not billed or presented as a fundraiser, there were donations made in the amount of $10,308.00. These funds were used to pay for a pizza luncheon with the troops, while the rest was given to the Armed Services YMCA for its recreation and rehabilitation fund. While this event can be considered a successful mission, there is already conversation of how to make the next one bigger and better.
To view photos of the event, click here .