Bikers Ride To Support The Troops

By: Mike McCarthy
By: Mike McCarthy

Alcoa (WVLT) -- Nearly 300 bikers jumped on their hogs as a sign of support for our troops overseas.

They lifted their kick stands at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base this afternoon for the 20 mile patriotic road trip .

The East Tennessee Bikers were revving up for U-S Troops.

"I'm here to support the men and women of the Armed Forces," said Virgil Carr, a Vietnam veteran, "that was an unpopular war and I was not treated with respect or given support."

So Carr and his wife ditched the biker black leather for some brighter colors.

"I'm wearing my Harley Davidson red, white and blue shirt and my patriotic hat," said Phyllis, his wife.

The couple joined more than 300 other bikers for the journey, all with motorcycles decked out, with flags, bandannas, and even patriotic bears.

"The only way they're showing their support today is just coming out and riding on this ride," said Tom Bruno, who organized the event four years ago. .

He was exited about today's events, and made sure that riders were reminded of what today's event were for.

"We passed the 278th base and then we passed the Marine base on the route," said Bruno, "because troops are still here. Our troops are still out there fighting for us."

They also ride for soldiers like Staff Sergeant Daniel Morris who was killed last year.

"His momma don't ride so we're riding for his mother," said Danny Bowie, one of the bikers.

The few bikes that didn't sport any patriotic flare got some help from one biker, who passed out red, white, and blue tassels.

"For me it's important to show patriotism for the men and women in the armed forces that are fighting for what they believe in freedom," said Jean McGowan with the Harley Riders.

And Carr has one message for those men and women.

"Hang in there," the Vet said.

The Knoxville Chapter of the Harley Owners Group organized the ride, but Bruno says he hopes they don't have to one next year, because that would mean our troops are home.


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