The Arizona American Legion Riders got together to ride up to Gila Bend to bring awareness to veteran suicide prevention, Luis Lopez reports
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Over at Love’s Travel Stop in Yuma, a place where drivers typically come and fuel up, on Saturday, it served as a starting point for a group of bikers with a very worthy cause in mind.
Saturday morning saw the group gather together in the name of veteran suicide prevention.
Members of the Arizona American Legion riders gathered in an effort to raise money and awareness towards the issue. The Legion partnered with the organization, Save The Brave to conduct the ride, which went from Yuma up to Gila Bend.
Scott Huesing, the executive director of Save The Brave, came into Love’s parking lot with a round of applause waiting for him, in part due to the effort he’s leading towards the cause.
"You can teach people a lot of things, but you can’t teach people to care and the people that we meet during this, the ride last year and the ride this year; that’s the one shared factor is that they care," Huesing said.
For veterans like David Coulter, the chaplain for the Legion, there is plenty of reason to care, including the simple concept of getting people to think more about the issue of veteran suicides.
"The awareness part of it is a big thing for us, because it's kind of been on the back burner of the American mind, everybody wants to say 'Thank you for your service,' but that’s about all you get sometimes, so you want more support for those that are suffering," Coulter said.
Save The Brave is able to help veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, thanks to the help of groups like the Legion, whom help where they can financially, says Director Greg Attaway.
"Any money we make, we want to make sure veterans get the use of it," Attaway said.
When the group made it up to Gila Bend, another one took over with Huesing to go to Tuscon, where he will continue his ride.
By the time his journey concludes, Huesing is expecting to hit a very important milestone.
"Each Harley [Davidson] dealership, each stop has pledged to try and raise $5000 dollars, so just do the math, nine stops along the way we’re probably gonna be pretty close to reaching our $50,000 goal this year," Huesing said.
Saturday’s trip to Tuscon is only part of a trip that will eventually conclude across the country in Miami, Florida.