The Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis hand-selects veterans from all branches of the military to experience motorcycle therapy on Indian motorcycles, trikes and Champion sidecars while riding from Los Angeles to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. For 2016, 20 deserving veterans and veteran mentors will join the ride.
“I’m so grateful to the participants in this year’s ride and all our veterans for their service to our country,” said actor, producer and Indian Motorcycle enthusiast Mark Wahlberg. “This ride is a wonderful opportunity to support each other and enjoy the natural beauty of this great nation.”
To view a short personal greeting from Mark Wahlberg to this year’s Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis participants, please visit indianmotorcycle.com.
The program was conceived and developed by veteran Army Paratrooper David Frey and Emmy Award-winning producer and director Robert Manciero of Full Vision Productions, leveraging the therapeutic effects of motorcycle riding to create an adventure of a lifetime for wounded veterans. For the second straight year the journey will be filmed so the message can be shared with as many veterans as possible.
“We’ll spend over a week riding on America’s most beautiful roads, getting to know each other and helping each other through Motorcycle Therapy,” said Frey. “The shared experience of serving brings us together, veteran to veteran, to help each other heal. We also show the veterans just how much their service means to America by stopping in small towns along the way to meet the people of our nation who want to celebrate these brave men and women.”
The nine-day journey stops in various towns and cities along the way, giving the veterans a chance to meet the grateful citizens they helped protect. Towns along their route include Las Vegas, N.V., Moab, Utah, Denver, Colo., and Hot Springs, S.D. Once in Sturgis, the veterans spend the week of the rally riding the Black Hills, attending events and taking part in the ultimate “Sturgis Experience.”
“Indian Motorcycle is proud to be a founding sponsor of the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis in honor of the sacrifices made by these brave men and women,” said Indian Motorcycle Marketing Director Reid Wilson. “Indian Motorcycle has a long and proud heritage of supporting the U.S. Military and our troops over the course of the past century, and we are pleased to continue that tradition as a part of this noble and worthwhile initiative.”
Special events for our veterans at Sturgis include an exclusive luncheon with members of the Indian Motorcycle Riders Group on Aug. 7, the Legends Charity Memorial Ride on Aug. 8, VIP access to an evening of live music at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip on Aug. 10, the Freedom Celebration Ride departing Spearfish on Aug. 11 and a special shooting competition event at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip followed by an invite-only dinner at Indian Motorcycle of Sturgis on Aug. 12.
“Supporting our veterans by donating sidecars to accommodate amputee veterans in a safe, comfortable manner is something near and dear to our team and to me personally,” said Craig Arrojo, President of Champion Sidecars. “We are honored to be associated with such a worthy event, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Veterans Charity Ride for years to come.”