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Inaugural Military Appreciation Ride Brings All Branches Together

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Military members across the area are riding as one as part of a new event in the Quad Cities.

The U.S.O. - along with the Garrison Command on the Rock Island Arsenal - put together a military appreciation ride on Sunday, July 13th, 2014.

The event started outside Bad Boyz Pizza in downtown, Moline with the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem.

Afterwards, both active and veteran riders from all branches of the military and several different motorcycle groups rode their bikes up to Poopy's in Savanna, Illinois for a little bit of breakfast and a lot of camaraderie.

"Part of my job is welcoming our new military families into this community and I knew as they were coming in there were a lot of them that had bikes, but they really didn't know where to ride to or who to ride with so this was a way of bringing our community and our military together just to support them and so they have someone to ride with and learn about different places they can ride to," says Lorna Wilson, Event Coordinators.
"It's a great excuse to get out and to ride your favorite toy and to meet and make new friends," says Col. Elmer Speights, Jr., Garrison Commander on the Rock Island Arsenal.
All the proceeds from the ride go to the U.S.O. - a non-profit organization that provides programs, services, and live entertainment to U.S. troops and their families.
"For them to put an event on like this is beyond my expectations," says SSgt. Andrew Gregory, Combat Vets Motorcycle Association. "They do so much work for us - especially the soldiers on the Arsenal - so it's always good to come back and help those who've helped you."