Ian Freeman, Sergeant First Class, E7, Retired, US Army Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis 2018 Mentor Sidecar Pilot
Ian Freeman SFC E7 (Army Retired), is a 44 year old father of 3. He was born in Carson City, Nevada, and grew up in parts of California, Oregon, and Idaho. He was a four year letterman in football, basketball and track at Garden Valley High School inIdaho, taking on every sport the school had to offer. He knew then what he wanted to do, as every male member of his family had been in the Army. Ian enlisted in 1991, right out of high school. It was Army all the way.
He trained at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri, as 12 Bravo Combat Engineer and was in the reserves for eight years. After 9/11 he reenlisted and deployed to Iraq in August of 2006. He was part of a route clearance platoon operating in the Al Anbar Province, primarily in and around Fallujah. As the vehicle commander of the lead vehicle his job was to identify Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), and other threats. He was personally responsible for clearing 40 IEDs. Some of them got past him, and he was hit directly by 6 IEDs, resulting in three grade 3 concussions and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). After the last blast he was airlifted to Germany and then Walter Reed Army Hospital for four months before he was sent home to Boise, Idaho, to recover and receive treatment.
The transition back to civilian life for Ian has been a struggle, one he fights and deals with everyday. He works everyday to deal with the permanent damage done to his memory centers, and has come up with specific work tactics using modern technological tools such as cell phones and computers to help him do the jobs he needs to get done, and the people he works with are nothing but supportive.
Ian has been riding motorcycles most of his life. Starting with dirt bikes and moving to sport and later street and road bikes.Ian is a member of the Purple Heart Riders Idaho chapter, and rides about 4000 miles a year. “Riding a motorcycle requires that I be in the present moment, so my mind does not wander. It forces me to be right there and it helps clear my head. The only thing on a bike you are worried about is where you are going, there is no time to dwell on the past.” Ian recently graduated from Boise State University (BSU) majoring in Political Science. He has been a member of the Wyakin Warrior Foundation (WWF) since 2013, and they have played a major role in his success at BSU. WWF provides mentoring and tutoring as well as people to talk to about issues involving PTSD and Multiple Concussion Disorder.
Ian is returning to VCR this year as a Mentor and Sidecar Pilot. “Being a part of Veterans Charity Ride helped me regain lost confidence and independence. I am honored to have the opportunity to give back to more Veterans trying to regain their own confidence and independence.”
Ian continues his personal journey in his home of Boise, Idaho, a concerned and politically active citizen and veteran, helping to improve the lives of other veterans every day.