XENIA — The Second Annual Motorcycle Ride for the Veterans will take place Saturday, June 24 at Buckminn’s D&D in Xenia. Bob Perry, who is organizing the event, said the event is aimed at benefiting the Dayton National Cemetery Honor Squad.
“My main goal is to get out to the public to let them know who we are and what we do,” he said.
The cost is $20 per rider and $5 per passenger with proceeds benefiting the Dayton National Cemetery Honor Squad. Perry added that 90 percent of the recent funerals held at the Dayton National Cemetery were not receiving full honors, which includes the folding of the flag, playing of taps and three volley salute (which is formerly known as the 21-gun salute).
“The government only sends two-to-three people,” Perry said. “Those two people have to fold and present the flag to the family and play taps because of all the VFW’s [and other veteran organizations are experiencing] a dwindling of membership. The military — they don’t send the military out like they used to. An honor squad can contribute by giving the three volley salute.”
Members of the Dayton National Cemetery Honor Squad range from veterans to civilians and include both men and women. All individuals are trained upon joining the honor squad so that they may conduct the three volley salute, according to Perry.
“The civilians — you can’t pick them out,” he said, referring to individuals who volunteer to conduct the ceremony.
Registration for the motorcycle ride begins 9:30 a.m. with the ride beginning 11:30. Riders will make rest stop at the Miami Valley Military History Museum, located on the Dayton VA Medical Center campus, before ending at the Kettering VFW Post #9927 around 3:30 p.m., where they will be fed. Law enforcement will provide an escort from start to end.
In addition to the ride, the event includes a raffle and a 50/50 drawing. Perry said 26 prizes have been donated. In the event of rain, the ride will be rescheduled to take place Saturday, July 8.
“As much stress as it is [planning] it, I’m meeting so many people that have an interest in helping the veterans. They want to know more about what we do. I talked to people who rode on the ride last year … and it’s just fun to get out and meet the people, whether they’re veterans themselves or civilians who support the veterans,” Perry said. ” … This motorcycle ride gets people together to help support it financially and gives us an opportunity to talk to people to recruit them.”
Reach Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532. To follow her on Twitter, search for @FDHWhitney.