Military motorcycle clubs, many of them focused on veterans and veterans causes, are seeing a surge in growth and popularity in the United States. For many veterans, these motorcycle clubs help with the transition back to civilian life. They offer a military vets a place to bond with other veterans and continue to serve their country by helping out in local communities, supporting charitable organizations and helping fellow veterans. If you are veteran looking to join a military motorcycle club, make sure to read below for a link to help you find clubs in your state or by military affiliation.
When speaking about his experience with a military motorcycle club, Marine Sgt. Derek Schwartz - a combat veteran who was medically retired last year - told Military Times, "I was amazed — it felt like family," he says of the Marines-only motorcycle club. "Everyone just takes care of each other. It's a brotherhood very similar to the one in the Marines. It's one of the most therapeutic things I've experienced outside of active duty."
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In the wake of World War II, as a generation of troops returned home from combat, veterans across the country found a certain pleasure and purpose through a newly evolved piece of gear they'd become friendly with downrange: the motorcycle.
New "motorcycle clubs" sprang up everywhere, filling the void of camaraderie and brotherhood — not to mention adrenaline and adventure — that many found themselves craving with the end of their military service.
They called themselves "outlaws" — not because they were criminals but because they refused to be boxed in by the rules and regulations of the fledgling American Motorcycle Association.
"Combat is where motorcycle outlaws come from," says Don Charles Davis, who writes the Aging Rebel biker news blog from Los Angeles. "Clubs like the Boozefighters and the Outlaws were either invented or transformed by veterans on cheap Army surplus bikes."
Unfortunately, many Americans associate motorcycle clubs with criminal activity. While some veterans admit there are a few bad apples out there, the majority of military motorcycle clubs do good - for communities, charities and fellow veterans - and are made up with good people.
One of those organizations is The WarFighters — a military motorcycle group with chapters in eight states. Retired Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Phillip Loranger, founding president of The WarFighters said, "To be a WarFighter, you must have an honorable discharge and no felony convictions," Loranger says. "We take an oath to the United States and our support to veteran causes and affairs and that we will never do anything illegal, no matter what."
If you are looking to join a group of fellow military bikers but don't know if there is an military motorcycle organization in your area, take a look at MilitaryBikers.org to find info and links to military motorcycle clubs.
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