- - Thursday, May 26, 2016

After Sunday’s powerhouse Ride for Freedom, spectators and riders will be treated to the soaring sounds of pipes and drums as well as inspirational remarks from men and women who have long stood up for veterans.

Speakers at the program, held near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, include:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has promised he will “take care of our vets” and has enthusiastic supporters in Bikers for Trump.

Former New York Rep. John LeBoutillier, an activist on POW/MIA issues since the 1970s. During his years in Congress in the 1980s, he served on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and pressed for investigations as a member of the Special House POW/MIA Task Force. Today, he is an author and political commentator who writes at Boot’s Blasts at JohnLeBout.com.

Actor Robert Patrick, a lifelong supporter of the military and USO. Famous for his roles in “Terminator 2,” “Cop Land,” “The X-Files” and “Scorpion,” Mr. Patrick has shined a light on veterans, going on countless USO hospital visits and joining four USO tours to seven countries.

Nicolette Rose, who was raised in the POW/MIA issue due to the 1967 loss of her uncle, U.S. Air Force Major Victor J. Apodaca Jr., in North Vietnam on June 8, 1967. Ms. Rose’s aunts and mother were founding members of the National Alliance of Families, and she has spoken about the issue since she was a child.

Christian Walters, Harley-Davidson managing director for the United States. A West Point graduate, Mr. Walters held significant leadership positions as an officer in the U.S. Army in aviation and special operations assignments overseas before joining Harley-Davidson in 2005.

Country singer-songwriter Rockie Lynne, co-founder of Tribute to the Troops, which raises money for college funds for children who have lost a parent in active duty. His debut single, “Lipstick,” was No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Sales chart; many of his performances are for patriotic and military events.

Country singer Gordon Painter, a strong supporter of veterans and Rolling Thunder.

Musician, pianist and composer Ben Mason, who writes for film and other media, as well as choirs, bands and orchestras.

Loch Rannoch Pipes and Drums, a full-fledged Scottish pipes-and-drums unit that has been participating in Rolling Thunder events since 2008.

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