Hells Angels was the best known "bikers organization," and their reputation and prison records instilled fear in all of us. How the times have changed, and biking has become a great American past time. Those participating do have an edgy thing to their personalities, but then again, so do I, and I hope I always do, even from my nursing home bed. Bike riders now include brick layers, lawyers, doctors, Soldiers, ministers, and one two star general named Kirkland, I know and respect. (I haven't respected many two star generals I have known.)
When my husband touched down in Dallas as his career ended in 2011, he was on a plane load of Warrior returning from the Wounded Warrior Program of Ft. Benning, Georgia. An "honor guard" of bikers escorted his plane as it taxied to the gate. It was the only tribute made to him, other than the one which I did at our home. Since his assignment to the Army Sustainment Command had reverted back to the 75th Division of the Army Reserves from which he had deployed, his "retirement ceremony" never happened in the shuffle, as 30 years of service went unrecognized by the organization to which it was given, other than by the Legion of Merit he received in the mail. I can't resist adding, shame on you United States Army! May those rituals and honors be less of a box checked as a Soldier retires, and more a sacred duty, especially if you aren't even going to get the box checked!
So I love Bikers! Especially Rolling Thunder. They will be in Bellville today, and I am leaving for the fair grounds in hopes of interviewing some of their membership, as well as the family members of our fallen Patriot Son, Spc. Zeferino E. Colunga, whom they have come once again to honor, almost 11 years later. They add validity and commitment to the phrase, "never forget," which can so easily become trite without evidence we truly will never forget. Story and photos to follow.