by Sue Frey
US Army Staff Sergeant Mike Brown arrived at Rocket City Indian Motorcycle in Huntsville, Alabama on a recent Saturday morning to talk about the benefits of Motorcycle Therapy with his fellow servicemen. Little did he know that the “event” was orchestrated to surprise him with a gorgeous Indian Darkhorse motorcycle. There were dozens of friends, family, military and veterans in attendance, and it seemed everyone but Mike knew about the surprise.
The Veterans Charity Ride MotoDono program gifts deserving military & veterans with motorcycles and trikes that have been donated to the veterans charity. Mike participated in the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis in 2016, riding from Los Angeles, CA to the famous Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota. That experience changed his life forever. It was during this two-week program that he got the first-hand healing effects of Motorcycle Therapy.
In 2008 Mike was severely injured while deployed with the Army in Mosul, Iraq. He was hit by an anti-tank grenade and lost his left leg below the knee. Most servicemen retire after sustaining such an injury, but not Mike. After his recovery and rehabilitation-- and as part of a unique Army program-- Mike chose to stay in the Army and is currently serving at the Space & Missile Defense Command in Huntsville, AL.
Dave Frey, founder of the VCR, was there to present the bike and said, "We are proud and honored to present this bike to Staff Sgt Brown. With the help of our amazing partners and sponsors like Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys, Avon Tyres, and Team WorldWide we are able to give back an important piece of life to one of our brothers.”
The bike was donated to VCR last year by a supporter under the condition that the bike go to a serviceman or veteran rather than being sold off. With the help of retired USAF Senior Airman, Justin ‘Wardog” McCarty, a VCR alumni and Mentor, the bike was reconditioned to look like new! Justin, a mechanic and custom bike builder, spent many hours retooling, re-painting and getting the bike in top shape. The bike also needed new tires so we reached out to our partner, Avon Tyres and they sent the beautiful white walls that perfectly accent this bike.
VCR wishes to thank the wonderful staff and crew at Rocket City Indian Motorcycle, the military and riding communities, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, and all of their supporters. The mission of VCR is to change and save lives with motorcycle therapy. This mission was a complete success.
To learn more about and contribute to Veterans Charity Ride, please go to veteranscharityride.org.