Veterans needs for the Motorcycle Community
“I am so Thankful To Greg Blackwell for Believing in Born To Ride and for Giving Veterans a platform to come together and to let them know how much we care”
I am Greg Blackwell, past US Army Ranger that spent 11 consecutive years in the special operations world. I have been twisting the throttle inside the Motorcycle community since 1982. I also work with organizations to help rebuild the lives of (and sometimes houses) of veterans. So I bring a unique perspective to what is happening currently.
I say this not to brag, but to add validly to my statements. I have seen an issue and opportunity inside the veteran and motorcycle community.
In the Veteran and motorcycle community, we are experiencing a time that has not been felt since World war 2 and the VietNam era. World War 2 brought our brotherhood together because of a need to be around like-minded individuals, and the motorcycle clubs were formed. Viet Nam started a resurgence in our community based on the same reason. At the time we did not know why, or how to identify that social or mental needs. Today we have a better understanding of the need that our soldiers are coming home with a sense of comradery and a feeling that there is still a mission. Our community provides that connection. The majority of veterans clubs have a mission and focus to provide help and support, not only national charities but local individuals as well. It is time for us to look at how we can reach them. I ask this question. When you are at an event are you standing there with sunglasses on, arms crossed and staying in a small group, or are you out introducing yourself and talking to the public? Just remember, that one person you walk by may need the same brotherhood that you have. It’s time for us to come out of our protective shells and reach out to the community.
22 Veterans a day are committing suicide and one of the key indicating factors is the lack of connectivity. By a simple act of introducing yourself could save a warriors life. I truly understand MC protocol and respect our traditions, but it’s time for us to reach out. Not just for the growth of our community but for the health and well being of those warriors that are returning home. It’s time for us to band together. Every warrior you meet will have different needs. Some may fit better with a motorcycle association, riding association or some may be a good fit for another 3 piece club other than yours. We can’t turn our backs on our brothers. As long as everyone communicates we can have an impact on this epidemic.
As I’m writing this article I was called by a warrior’s wife who’s husband was having issues. He was not a fit for my club or any traditional club for that matter, but I know of a MA that would be a good fit and connected him with them.
My closing point is this. As veterans, we have a primary mission to defend and protect our country. It is now a unique time to start talking to each other, MA, RC, VMC, MC. We have warriors that are out there looking for a brotherhood. We must put down our guard and reach out. If we communicate amongst each other we can direct that soldier in the right direction. If we get to know each other without an agenda we could not only grow our community, but more importantly, save a life,
“Rangers Lead The Way”
Ranger Greg Blackwell