The roar of more than 100 motorcycle engines is intense. The sight of those motorcycles pulling into a parking lot and driving to a gas station, in a packed group, or in an orderly line down US Route 360 and State Route 3 is impressive. The fact that all of them ride to help the children of soldiers who died in combat–even more impressive.
When the riders passed through Tappahannock and fueled up at the Sheetz, they had between 125 and 135 riders. “It’s fluctuating,” said Sean Devlin, the media spokesman for the ride, “We have guys who’ll ride for a little bit and drop out, but that’s how it always is, whether we do our state legacy run or the national run.” By the end of the run, he expected to have between 165 or even 175 riders after they picked more up at each American Legion post they passed.
This the first time the American Legion of Virginia has done a scholarship run in Virginia. “The scholarship run, we give $20,000 a year to the children of soldiers, service members, who have been killed in action since 9/11,” Devlin said. “And we do this for a child for up to six years, so long as they qualify.”
“We’ve been so successful over the years,” he continued. “And we kind of embarrassed the government a little bit, so they started their own program for the children of service members, which opened up a lot of money for us because we continued to raise money. So we expanded that. We expanded out to if you are a disabled service member of 50 percent or greater, your children also qualify.”
For the full article pick up a copy of this weeks Northumberland Echo 7/25/18