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Veteran riders rally for community

In August 2014, motorcycle riders, associated with the American Legion Dane R. Balcon Post 2008 in Falcon, Colorado, formed the American Legion Riders group. President Frank Serrano said the group of veterans gets to enjoy their passion for riding while helping the community.ìI wanted to ride my motorcycle with a group that honored veterans, and that is what made me join the American Legion,î Serrano said. ìI am a patriotic person and a motorcycle person, and this gives me the best of both worlds.îThe ALR is in line with the goals of the Legion. ìThe pillars are veteran affairs and rehabilitation, national security, Americanism and children and youth,î Serrano said. ìWe are just veterans helping veterans.îThe ALR started out with about 65 members with Post 2008; and, in just over a year, the group has grown to 150 to 160 people, he said. ìWe are a very active part of the post,î Serrano said. ìPeople want to join us because of the energy we bring.îSerrano, who served in the United States Air Force, said the riders all want to support the community in various ways. Many volunteer at places like Sarahís Home in Calhan, a faith-based, therapeutic home for underage girls who have been rescued from the commercial sex trade industry.The ALR has also sponsored events for military-related programs such as a paintball event for the Junior Reserve Officersí Training Corps at Falcon High School, Serrano said. The motorcycle group turned out to support the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts at their annual pancake breakfast in July in Falcon. The ALR also held a ìStock the Pantry Poker Runî in September, with proceeds and food donations going to the High Plains Helping Hands Food Pantry.ìThere are a lot of events that we have done that Iím proud of,î Serrano said. ìWe did the Run for the Wall ride, which is an annual event that leaves from California and goes to Washington, D.C. The run honors prisoners of war, missing in action and killed in action military personnel, and shows support for all our military personnel.îSerrano said the ALR visits the Bruce McCandless State Veterans Home in Florence, Colorado, for a barbecue every year, and they also hold a Bikerís Ball in the spring, with all the proceeds going to the McCandless home.ìIf a veteran wants to join us, they have an automatic camaraderie with us,î he said.ìItís therapeutic for veterans like us to join. Some are old, and some are younger. Some are about to get rid of their motorcycle; but, when they find out about us, they decided to keep it and ride more than they ever did before.ìAnything veteran-related, we want to do what we can to help.î

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