The VCR to Sturgis provides motorcycle therapy to combat-wounded vets.
Indian Motorcycle has once again stepped up to sponsor the fifth annual Veterans Charity Ride (VCR) to Sturgis by providing motorcycles to the veteran-run non-profit. The VCR helps veterans readjust to civilian life with a little motorcycle therapy alongside fellow veteran riders. Since the ride's inception, Indian has supplied motorcycles equipped with custom-built Champion sidecars for amputee and paraplegic veterans.
This year’s ride starts in Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 25, 2019, heads through Colorado’s Pikes Peak mountain range, and as always, ends at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. Throughout the journey, the VCR stops in towns along the way to support and honor veterans there as well as those on the ride. Seventeen veterans will be going on the 2019 VCR, eight of whom have done previous rides and are returning to mentor the nine new veteran riders. This year’s ride has four female veterans attending, the most for a single VCR to date.
The VCR was founded by veteran Army paratrooper Dave Frey and producer/director Robert Manciero to provide a therapeutic “adventure of a lifetime” for wounded veterans. The ride provides enough veteran mentors so that every first-time veteran rider can have someone to support them as they transition back into the civilian community. To further that mission, the VCR also provides additional holistic programs focused on helping combat-wounded and amputee veterans with their unique needs on a daily basis.
Among the veterans going on this year’s VCR are US Army Chief Warrant Officer Kaylan Harrington whose family military history dates back to World War I, and after several tours of duty, she returned to Afghanistan to work with local children, help abused women, and expand educational opportunities for girls. Eric “The Iron Fist” Morante saw three tours of duty as a Marine, afterwards becoming the first Marine amputee sanctioned to compete in boxing in the US. Army combat medic Jared “Bones” Thomas first rode with the VCR in 2018 and is returning for 2019 to serve as a mentor and ride leader.
To learn more about the VCR, or to donate to the cause, visit IndianMotorcycle.com and VeteransCharityRide.org.