American Legion Riders

Norwich 3rd Annual Ride for Troops

Dear Karen, Brian, LHCP Staff and Veterans.

Our third annual Poker Run at the Lt. Warren Eaton Post 189 in Norwich N.Y. went well. There was a threat of rain during the afternoon. As the saying goes, weather will not stop our cause for our Veterans serve us 24/7 and continue the mission no matter what the weather is.

We had 50 motorcycles and Legion Riders from the Various Posts; Oneonta Vets Club, Sackets Harbor, Munnsville, Waterville, Binghamton and Penn Yan PA.

We started off at 11:15 am with Bill Fowler leading the way. As we were turning to cross over the Chenango river and exiting Norwich our Norwich City Fire Department was on the side of the road with a Hook and ladder fire truck, the ladder was extended over Rexford St. with the American Flag suspended in the air. (Compliments from Jeff Stewart). What an awesome and touching site.

As we continued down the road with our first stop at the New York State Veterans Home in Oxford you can tell we road for a great cause. We met several veteran patients at the Vets Home and the Riders couldn’t stop talking about the Flag over the road and the spirit of why we were there that day. We had a group photo with a special Vietnam Veteran named Jim. Jim use to ride and was very appreciated we visited and gave him his wish, (a group photo).

As we road to Greene we stopped for ice cream, still no rain. Then off to Seebers Tavern in Smithville Flats for our third stop. The twenty minute stops were great, but as we were in Smithville the clouds started to come in from the South West and we were heading North. So off we went to the Balsam Inn in East Pharsalla. As we arrived it just started raining lightly and we took cover, however most of us just relaxed and enjoyed the moments.

After the Balsam Inn we kept to our route and went up County Rte 10, W to Route 23 East back to Norwich. As we turned onto Rte 23 the sun came out and the group formation was tight and flawless, the steady stream of motorcycles was so impressive! Most of the time I was a road guard and in the rear of the pack. Being in the back gives you a sense of protection and pride for the group and gives you a different perspective of following the true spirit of being free and working together as a team. The red taillights illuminate and let the person behind know we are there and that we are a group of Riders who pave the way!

As we approached Norwich and entered the Post we parked our Motorcycles in the big lot out back. It was impressive to see the smiles and enjoyment of the ride. Many couldn’t say enough about the beauty of the roads in Chenango County and the route we planned.

Once inside with rain on it’s way, we had an opening prayer and moment of silence for our combat veterans. The quote I used was;” For those that fought for it… Life has a flavor that the protected will never know”.

We started with door prizes from many local merchants that understood the cause. Then we had trophies to give out, Best Poker Hand with a $25 gas card, Worst Poker Hand with a $10 gas card, Choice Bike with gas card and a $25 gas card for longest distance to travel.

Everyone started to depart at 3:30 pm due the threat of heavy rain. As they were leaving I prayed for their safety and as the saying goes, keep the rubber on the road! The experience and dedication our fellow Legion Riders and guests showed they truly care enough to make a difference for the LHCP purpose!

I was honored to ride with many American Legion Riders groups from NY and PA. It is truly a reminder to be an American and respect what our Veterans are doing, both active, retired and for those that served. There were many supporters that truly understand our goals and mission to help our fellow comrades in need.

American Legion Riders, Post 189
President, Paul Russo



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