The Orange County American Legion Riders and Hudson Valley Veterans Task Force are teaming up to start the motorcycle riding season on Easter weekend with a ride-and-dine event to honor especially our most recent combat veterans and raise public awareness and support for them.
The two-part Blessing of the Bikes Pancake Breakfast event on Saturday, April 16, starts with a blessing of the bikes and ride at the Orange County Veterans Cemetery in Goshen. Open to all riders, meet-up time is at 8:30am. American Legion New York Department Chaplain Rev. Robert J. Sweeney will bless bikes and riders at 9:00. Kickstands then go up to ride to American Legion Post 1443 in Greenwood Lake to join the community pancake breakfast already in progress.
From nine to noon, the pancake breakfast – open to all veterans and the public – will bring them together to help veterans get the benefits and services they deserve while educating those they defended on how they can help. Representatives from the Legion, the Orange County Veteran Services Office, Department of Veterans Affairs, the Hudson Valley Veteran Task Force, and associated veteran service organizations will be on hand to provide information and answer questions for veterans and the public alike.
The breakfast will also raise funds for Orange County American Legion ‘vet-to-vet” support activities, in which Legion veterans assist other veterans obtain earned benefits, get care for disabilities, and resolve administrative and logistical issues.
The donation for the breakfast fundraiser is $20 per adult person. Children under the age of 12 eat for free, as do veterans with service in Operation Enduring Freedom.
“We want especially our latest brothers and sisters who were in harm’s way to eat breakfast on us and find out more what organizations and the community can do for them at a one-stop event, as way to show them how much we and the public appreciate their service and sacrifice,” explained event organizer and Orange County American Legion Riders coordinator Christopher Holshek, himself an Iraq War veteran.
“The Legion has a lot of Vietnam vets who can empathize with their experiences in Afghanistan, help them navigate the processes, and hook them up with a lot of great local community programs and initiatives that honor them,” he added. “There’s a lot that the Legion can do for them.”