Indian Motorcycle is a proud founding sponsor of Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis. Each year, hand selected wounded and amputee veterans are chosen to experience the ride and heal with motorcycle therapy. Motorcycle therapy is getting the veterans outdoors, riding the open road with the wind in their face, getting much needed space that clears their head, and talking about their experiences while serving in the military so they can experience life and living again.  Deserving Veterans leave from Los Angeles and spend 9 days riding America’s most beautiful roads, getting to know each other and helping each other heal from the traumas experienced during war. The veterans also see how much their service means to America by stopping in small towns along the way to meet the grateful people of our nation who they helped protect. The ride culminates by spending the week at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.

Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis® 2016 will be riding for and supporting two worthy veterans charities: Veterans Charity Ride USA and Wyakin Warriors: DONATE TODAY.

Ride Itinerary

Saturday July 30, 2016

Los Angeles, CA. to Las Vegas, NV.
Ride leaves from LA City Fire Station #77 in Sun Valley, CA. Veterans arrive in Jean, NV. for an escorted ride to the Indian Motorcycle Las Vegas dealership for welcome reception.

Sunday July 31, 2016

Las Vegas, NV to Bryce Cyn Pines UT.
Veterans ride through Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.

Monday Aug 1, 2016

Bryce Cyn Pines to Moab UT.
Veterans spend the day riding through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Capital Reef National Park, arriving in Moab, UT.

Tuesday Aug 2, 2016

Moab UT.
Veterans spend the day riding through Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.

Wednesday Aug 3, 2016

Moab UT.
Veterans spend the day taking advantage of all Moab has to offer, with a few surprise activities!

Thursday Aug 4, 2016

Moab UT to Craig, CO.
Veterans ride through Colorado National Monument and then head to Craig, CO, where the whole town comes out to welcome them with dinner and a special celebration at the local VFW Post #4265.

Friday Aug 5, 2016

Craig, CO to Denver CO.
Veterans ride some of Colorado’s most scenic landscapes, stopping at Wooly Mammoth Park. They meet up with Denver area supporters and riders for an escorted ride to Grand Prix Motorsports for a welcome reception at 4:00 PM. They then ride to a huge veteran’s celebration in the Denver Art District at the VFW Post #1 (the original VFW founded in 1899) at 6:30 PM, 841 Santa Fe Dr., Denver CO 80204.

Saturday Aug 6, 2016

Denver, CO to Hot Springs SD.
Veterans ride north to Hot Springs, SD., (Veterans Town USA) where they are welcomed by the Mayor and town with a Veteran’s Appreciation event and dinner at the local American Legion Post #71.

Sunday Aug 7, 2016

Hot Springs, SD to Sturgis SD.
Veterans ride through the beautiful Black Hills towards Sturgis, where they are met by Sturgis City officials and provided a Police Escort down famous Main Street and into the Indian Motorcycle display at Lazelle & 4th St. for a Grand Welcome Reception from 3-5pm.

Rider Profiles

Justin McCarty, Senior Airman, US Air Force

Veterans Charity Ride Rider

Justin “Wardog” McCarty, a Combat Veteran who joined the Air Force right out of high school in 2000 and deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, and the Horn of Africa. Justin served in the Intelligence community, and fulfilled many ad-hoc requirements on the front lines, including combat medic, convoy vehicle operator and translator. Upon completion of his latest tour in 2007, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, and Army Combat Action Badge from the 82nd CAB, as well as the Air Force Combat Action Medal from his home unit for the culmination of his efforts on the battlefield. Learn more about the riders.

Marylyn Sabol, Gunner Sergeant, US Marines

Veterans Charity Ride Rider

Originally from Warm Springs, Georgia, Marylyn enlisted in the Marine Corp in August 1996. Marylyn’s distinguished military career took her around the globe, serving in Okinawa, Japan, participated in numerous operations in Pusan, South Korea and traveling to Mongolia with a joint service team to provide training to the Mongolian Army and the Mongolian Special Forces. In 2013, Marylyn volunteered for a deployment to Afghanistan where she held the positions of Gunner Sergeant and Drive Team Commander for the Join Staff Logistics, United States Forces-Afghanistan in Kabul, Afghanistan. While serving in the Marines, Marylyn attended college and received her Masters of Science in International Relations 2009. It was at this time Marylyn started to ride motorcycles. After 20 years of service to her country, Marylyn retired this past May, 2016 and is looking forward to her adventure while on the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis. Learn more about the riders.

Keith Helfrich, Sergeant Major. US Army

Hero’s Ride of a Lifetime Rider.

Keith Helfrich joined the Army in 1986 as an 11B (Infantryman). After years of training with the Rangers, Keith was assigned to 10th Special Forces. Keith led the most elite soldiers on the battlefield as Team Sergeant and as a Sergeant Major. His combat experience includes Operation Just Cause, Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Provide Comfort II, Bosnia, and Iraq. Keith was awarded the Bronze Star Medal during Operation Iron Fist. Due to Keith’s planning and execution, the operation resulted in the capture of over 100 insurgents, the surrender of the town of Salman Pak and zero friendly casualties. In 2012, with four tours in Iraq and after 26 years of service, Keith was medically retired after sustaining his last injury. Keith currently lives in Texas with his wife Raquel and their three daughters. Keith started riding dirt bikes as a kid and has always had a bike although now her prefers a big V-Twin, and is looking forward to riding in the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis. Learn more about the riders.

Jedidiah (Jed) Morgan, Cpl. USMC.

Hero’s Ride of a Lifetime sidecar passenger.

Jed joined the Marines just out of High School in 2009. After School of Infantry (for 0311, Combat Infantryman) he was assigned to 1/7 (First Battalion, Seventh Marines). Six months later, Jed’s unit deployed to Sangin, Afghanistan. In 2009, while on a daily foot patrol in Afghanistan his unit stopped on a hilltop for a short rest. While settling into a defensive position, Jed triggered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). He lost both legs and knees and the use of his right hand. Jed has undergone numerous surgeries and exhaustive physical therapy. Getting fitted for prosthetics and learning how to use them has become his primary focus. Jed is happily married to his best friend, Anna. They are the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl! Learn more about the riders.

Virgi Bondi, Petty Officer 1st Class, Navy

Veteran Veterans Charity Ride Mentor

With over 30 years of riding experience, we are very pleased to have Virgi returning as a Veteran Mentor. Virgi served 8 years in the Navy, joining in 2002, as a single mother with two teenagers. She first served stateside guarding subs as they surfaced, then deployed with only four days’ notice to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Attached to the first Navy unit to assume duties of the prison brigs in the Middle East. She served as Assistant Guard Commander of the Theatre Field Detention Facility. Virgi told us, “When I get on two wheels with a powerful motor under me, I am empowered. I feel a complete sense of freedom.” After Veterans Charity Ride 2015, she said, “We came in as strangers and we’re leaving as family.” Her life was profoundly changed by the ride last year and she now wants to help other veterans heal and move their lives forward in a positive manner. Learn more about the riders.

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