22 Veterans Ride kicks off in Lansing

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Dozens of motorcyclists come together to honor and raise money for those who fought for our country.

Two local groups, One of Many Veterans and Blue Angels, started a Lansing tradition today by kicking off the first 22 Veterans Ride in an effort to benefit veterans in our community.

These groups came together to raise money for Foundation 14. It’s a non-profit organization with a mission to put veterans on motorcycles to combat PTSD and depression.

Organizers say these veterans get more than just a motorcycle. They also get a family as well as a home away from home.

For one veteran at the ride, a family is exactly what he gained.

“I spent ten years on my couch, didn’t get up, didn’t do anything. My wife would have to bribe me to get me out of the house,” said war veteran Pat Calender.

Calender was first introduced to Foundation 14 back in September and just a few months later they surprised him with a motorcycle on Christmas Day.  

He says the foundation changed his life.

“I’ve been out of my house more in the last six months than I have in the last ten years,” said Calender.

Jay Holly started Foundation 14 a year and a half ago. He says to see how far its come makes him want to keep going.

“The glory is theirs, the duty is ours, and we’re proud to do it,” said Holly.

Dave Acker is also a war veteran and the President of Lansing One of Many Veterans. He knows firsthand what it’s like to fight for our country and then come home and adjust to everyday life.

That’s why he says the mission of Foundation 14 is so important for veterans like him.

“When they come back, they got a lot of things on their mind. One of the things with motorcycles; it helps you free your mind,” said Acker.

A free mind is what Calender thanks the foundation for.

“I don’t want to be at home anymore. I want to be out on the bike riding, having fun with my brothers,” said Calender.

Through fundraising efforts, Foundation 14 has been able to give motorcycles to five veterans. After today, the group hopes to raise enough money to give even more while helping to change lives.

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