EAU CLAIRE (WEAU) While we enjoy fireworks and cook outs this Independence Day weekend, veterans remind us of the importance of remembering those who gave so much to secure and maintain our freedom.
The Chippewa Valley Marine Club held their First Annual Motorcycle Run on Monday, launching from VFW Post 305 in Eau Claire.
“We’re doing it on the Fourth of July because I figured I’d pick a day of happiness and celebration,” said Wendy Smith of the Chippewa Valley Marine Club.
More than 30 local veterans and motorcycle enthusiasts got on their hogs for a 60 mile journey through the Chippewa Valley.
Smith said proceeds from the event will go to Unmet Needs, an organization that helps soldiers returning to the U.S. with post traumatic stress disorder.
“Right now it seems to be an epidemic that is striking innocent people. They’re waking in the middle of the night like they’re at war and they’re in their own beds in their house. We want to help them to feel like they’re in their own bed and in their own house again,” Smith said.
Smith said she thinks the military should do more to help soldiers suffering from psychological battle scars.
“As much as we made a soldier, we need to bring them back to being a regular civilian,” Smith said.
Veterans at the event said they’re happy to help.
“Help out the guys who helped out this country and put their lives on the line. They come back a completely different person. We do what we can to help them,” said U.S. Navy veteran Larry Bradford.
“The country wouldn’t be where it is today without our veterans. You have to bring them home and make sure they’re taken care of,” said U.S. Marines veteran Ty Schleppenbach.
Organizers tell me they hope to raise more than $1,000 for veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
If you’d like to help, Chippewa Valley Marine Club’s facebook page is linked below.