A Brief History of the American Legion Riders
by Bruce Dauer
In 1993, at American Legion post 396 in Garden City, Michigan, Chuck "Tramp" Dare and Bill "Polka" Kaledas, Commander of the post decided to form a motorcycle enthusiast group within the Legion. This would allow family members to share their love of motorcycles. The Michigan Adjutant, Hubert Hess, liked the idea and told them how to manage this at the post level, and how they could even use the Legion emblem. So the American Legion Riders were formed through a resolution by the members of Post 396. Soon they were flooded with requests for information on their new organization. A central source was established, a web site formed and by-laws put in place.
American Legion Riders is still the guideline for operations of a chapter.
There are over 1000 chapters, including three foreign ones, comprised of 106,000 members. Membership is reserved for the SAL, Auxiliary and the Legion only. Riders in Iowa created an Honor Guard called The 5 Star Freedom Riders, members in Mulvane Kansas created the Patriot Guard Riders to protect the sanctity of military funerals from protesters. The Patriot Guard in now nationwide.
The Riders created the Legion Legacy Run that raises scholarship money for the children of military personnel killed since September 11, 2001. The Riders have raised millions of dollars for this and many other charities. They are also involved with events such as, Rolling Thunder, Operation Wounded Warrior and many local charities benefiting children's hospitals, schools, Veterans homes, and severely wounded Vets. The goal of the American Legion Riders is to support current and past Veterans, and programs that serve them. The Riders have evolved into a powerful force of dedicated and giving members who have created a legacy of their own.
We should all be proud to be a part of this organization.
History of our American Legion Riders at Post 787, Cicero, NY
Early in 2008, Kirk Wilson, together with Neb Barnes and others, applied to the American Legion to set up a chapter under the American Legion Post 787 as American Legion Riders Post 787. The Chapter was approved by the James Harvey Spire Post and welcomed the addition to their Family.
The ALR 787 began meeting in March of that year with Kirk Wilson, President; Rusty Robinsen, Vice President; Jackie Wilson, Secretary; Steve Lilli, Treasurer and Ned Barnes, Sgt at Arms/Road Captain.
A By Laws document was generated and meetings started in March of that year. Membership grew quickly and many rides were organized, including missions with the Patriot Guard Riders.
More information to follow shortly.