American Legion rides through county

American Legion rides through county

American Legion rides through county

The American Legion Legacy Ride passed through Austin with over 250 motorcycle-riding veterans. Austin provided the riders with lunch and gas before their trip continued towards Reno.

Dennis Lowe, commander of the American Legion post in Austin said, The Legacy Ride was established by the American Legion, the largest veteran organization in the world. The riders, all veterans, are called the legion riders, and they ride down U.S. Route 50 toward Reno.

The trip started approximately five miles east of Dodge City, Kansas. Some riders from New York traveled five days and over 3,000 miles to their stop in Austin. The Legion Riders are traveling to Reno for the 99th Annual American Legion National Convention.

The American Legion wants to ensure that higher education is a possibility for children whose parents lost their lives while serving in the US military. Beginning with the 2017 award year, The American Legion expanded their scholarship  program to include children of deceased veterans.

The Legion Riders stop in several towns on their trip to Reno, where they usually rest. They provide advanced funding for food and gas once they arrive. Austin provided lunch from Susie’s Barbeque. Riders expressed absolute joy in having a hot meal during the trip. 

Paula Tomera said, “One rider told me they had eaten mostly sandwiches since Kansas, I think they were just happy to see a salad.”

The American Legion Ride is an annual event for veterans and Motorcycle enthusiasts to come together to enjoy the freedom of the road. The ride started in Garden City, Mich., in 1993, Chuck "Tramp" Dare and Bill "Polka" Kaledas, commander of American Legion Post 396, shared an idea to start a motorcycle enthusiast association within the organization.

The Legacy Ride has been running ever since and has served a greater purpose by providing scholarships toward veteran education programs. The trip usually starts in Indianapolis, IN, so it is unknown if the Legion Riders will pass through Austin on the next ride. Riders were very pleased with how hospitably the town has treated them. 

Disclaimer: Paula Tomera is Travis Masterson’s mother-in-law.