Don "Alamo" Stone and son Dan. Milwaukee Veterans Day Parade, 2013.


18 years with the Wisconsin Legion Riders - the fun I had

New Berlin, WI

In 2003 I was honored to be a charter member of the District 1 Wisconsin American Legion Riders. For the next 18 years I served as an officer for this unit, until circumstances and physical infirmities resulted in my retirement. I am now 78, and in all that time I can honestly say I've never had more fun, made more close friends and served with more pride than during these 18 years.
First, a little background. I am a 3rd-generation Legionnaire. Gramps was WWI and II, and Dad was WWII and Korea. I moved from St. Louis to Wisconsin in the early '90s for a job opportunity and joined Post 488 in New Berlin, serving in several offices including post commander in 2010.
After moving to Wisconsin and witnessing the Harley-Davidson 100th anniversary, and seeing all the "old guys" having great fun riding their bikes, and hearing of Rolling Thunder, I really wanted to be a part of this. Accordingly, I went out and bought a Harley (2003, 100th-anniversary, black and silver Heritage Classic, sweet). My first group ride was on Armed Forces Day and was led by the Legion Riders. I joined on the spot.
The following items I consider some of the high points of my membership, and made my time in the Riders so very memorable:
* It was always an honor to be one of the first units in the Milwaukee Veterans Day parades. An extra-special perk was being able to share this event with my son (an SAL member and Rider) as he rode right behind me.
* Twice participating in Rolling Thunder on Memorial Day in Washington, D.C.
* While in a group ride on Hwy 94 in Wisconsin, being paced by a falcon in the median, at eye level, at 70 MPH. What a thrill.
* The excitement of leading literally hundreds of parades, including being the lead bike in my hometown's 4th of July parade.
+ Forming District 1 from our original seven members to well over 100 Riders by the end of my participation.
+ The honor of performing funeral escorts for deceased veterans.
+ I cannot over emphasis the pleasure that associating with my Rider friends has given me over the years. The vast majority of my friends since moving to Wisconsin are my brother and sister Riders.
The above are but a few of the many memories I will always carry as a part of my membership in the Riders. Whenever I think of these times I smile. I give my heartfelt thanks to the American Legion Riders as an organization, and particularly to the many Riders I have had the privilege of knowing.

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