Consider hundreds of motorcycle riders on bikes of all shapes, sizes and colors roaring across the Great Plains, over the Northern Rockies, alongside the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah and the deserts of Nevada on the way to Reno. Now imagine these riders to be American wartime veterans riding 2,100 miles to make possible a college education for the children of those who have died defending our freedoms since the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The American Legion National Commander Paul A. Morin will lead the second annual American Legion Legacy Run from the American Legion National Headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind. to the 89th annual American Legion National Convention in August 2007.
The American Legion Legacy Run will assemble at Speedway Post 500 next to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis on Aug. 18. Early on Aug. 19, the national commander and the American Legion riders will depart Indianapolis and head west, proceeding along Interstate 72 and Interstate 80 through Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada.
According to Morin, the six day journey, designed to raise funds for the American Legacy Scholarship program of the American Legion, is one way to show the American Legion's deep appreciation for those who paid the ultimate price for freedom.
"As an unfortunate consequence of America's war on terror, many children of our active duty military personnel are now members of single parent families," Morin said. "In most cases, this also means their chances to attend college have greatly diminished. Children of military personnel who die on active duty are entitled to receive some money toward a college education, but it is not enough."
The American Legion Legacy Riders' goal is to raise $250,000 for the American Legacy Scholarship fund.
"These funds will ensure that higher education will be a reality for these families," Morin said. "Providing for the children our military personnel left behind is our civic duty, and an education is a powerful way to show our thanks."
Morin encourages riders from all points in the United States to join the Run either in Indianapolis or along the route to Reno.