“Wreath Ride” spurs patriotic convoy
FORT SCOTT, Kan. — Hundreds of bikers line Main Street, gearing up for a ride to support Wreaths Across America, but this year is particularly special because they’re joined by all eight military wrapped CFI trucks, all driven by veterans themselves.
“That’s why I volunteer to drive this truck, because of what the truck represents, not only for the company, for myself, but for our country, what stands behind it. It’s something that doesn’t go away,” expressed Scott Bell, an army veteran and CFI driver.
“I’ve lost a lot of shipmates over the years through accidents. We had a couple KIA’s, so it’s a big deal,” explained Mike Slack, a navy veteran and CFI driver.
Each driver’s registration fee goes towards purchasing a wreath, to honor more than 6,000 veterans on their graves at Fort Scott National Cemetery.
“There’s so many graves out there that don’t ever get anything put on them. Some of them have never seen anything on them in years, and knowing that we helped get a wreath put on that person’s grave, it’s a pretty good feeling,” said Kevin Wagner, Volunteer Coordinator with Fort Scott National Cemetery Wreath’s Across America project.
“It’s just a great honor to be able to show support for the veterans that have paid that ultimate sacrifice and bring a little bit back to them,” said Jeff Thurlow, a driver advocate for CFI.
Whether they’re driving on 18 wheels or two, all of these drivers are committed to the same thing: preserving the memory of veterans.
“My step dad passed away in 2012, and we wanted a wreath for his grave, so it’s just a good way to pay tribute,” said Rich Murray, a biker from Nevada, Missouri.
“In the end, we’re all a family. We’re all brothers, and that’s what brings everybody together,” said Bell.
At 11 a.m. on December 14, all the wreaths purchased with funds from this event will be placed on veteran graves at Fort Scott Cemetery.
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