From coast to coast, members of Rolling Thunder chapters do more than ride for freedom — they step up for veterans and the POW/MIA issue throughout the year.
A roundup of media reports from the last year finds Rolling Thunder chapters giving winter clothes to homeless shelters in Michigan, buying meals for vets in Vermont, and finding homes for homeless veterans in Kentucky.
Rolling Thunder chapters assist with placing Chairs of Honor in public places — like Spartan Stadium in Lima, Ohio, and Brooks Stadium at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C. — and dedicating memorials and parks to veterans, and participating in Missing Man Table ceremonies.
“They are commonly called POW/MIAs. But we call them brothers,” Paul Berenotto, president of Rolling Thunder New Jersey, Chapter 4, said as he presided over a ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park in Galloway Township, New Jersey, according a ShoreNewsToday.com publication.
Rolling Thunder members also fundraise as they ride: In Missouri, members of Rolling Thunder Chapter 1 raised $1,200 for local veterans through a “Zombie Poker Run” fundraiser, while in Pennsylvania, Rolling Thunder Chapter 3 leaders presented a check for $6,500 to the Gino J. Merli Veterans Center that was raised in the annual Salute to Veterans Motorcycle Ride.
Most of all, Rolling Thunder members remind young and old that prisoners of war and missing in action cannot be forgotten.
“It’s our job to bring awareness to the POW/MIA issue — to let people know and educate the youth of America that there are still in excess of 82,000 servicemembers still listed to this day as unaccounted for. That is unacceptable, on any level, anywhere,” J.B. Reynolds, vice president of Rolling Thunder Kentucky Chapter 5, said on Veterans Day 2016 at the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial, according to The State Journal.