The Nation of Patriots Tour Rolls into Mississippi with Honor

On July 5th, 2012, the day after our nation paid tribute to our independence, members of the Harley Owners Group paid tribute to all of those in the armed forces that have served over the years. The very special 2012 Patriot Tour began May 26th at Wisconsin Harley Davidson which is where the tour will end on Labor Day, September 1st, after covering 48 states and 14,000 miles in 100 days.
The flag, a special banner and a ceremonial book will be passed from one group of riders to another in over 90 cities. Donations will be accepted at each stop and will benefit the families of wounded veterans who are struggling financially.
Robert Ritter, Assistant Director for the Northwest Florida H.O.G Chapter, along with over 20 Harley owners transported the flag from Pensacola to Biloxi where they met with the Ms. Coast H.O.G. Chapter to make the transfer. A ceremony took place at the Mississippi Vietnam Memorial in Ocean Springs.
Ms. Coast H.O.G. Chapter Director, Steve Carrington, members of the local chapter and Retired 1st Sgt. Mark Hopkins of the U.S. Special Forces Airborne Division accepted the items for the state of Mississippi. The Mississippi group delivered the flag and other items to Harley Davidson of Baton Rouge on Friday, July 6th. From that point, the items continued their journey across the United States. September 1st will see the flag transferred from the 4 Lakes Capitol City Harley Owners Group in Madison, WI to its ultimate destination back at Harley Davidson of Wisconsin.
The Nation of Patriots is a non-profit, 501C organization whose purpose is to raise money for wounded military members and their families. Please visit http://www.nationofpatriots.org for more information and to donate.
In 2011 the Nation of Patriots Tour raised over $10,000 to help struggling families of wounded veterans. This year, the goal is set at a staggering $50,000. 100% of all proceeds earned will go directly to those in need with no administrative or touring costs being taken out. Now that’s a charity you can really sink your teeth into!
Nation of Patriots has put a new twist into the tour this year. A challenge has been issued to participants to find out what group can raise the most funds on their leg of the tour. The winning group will be the first to gain possession of a ridiculously large trophy that will be passed to the winning group next year. The traveling trophy will continue to follow the winning group into the future.
You may wonder who actually gets the money being raised. Well, in 2011, The Nation of Patriots Regional Commander for Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas, Paul Aubert, worked closely with Baton Rouge Harley Davidson to provide financial assistance to two families in the area. Paul, a US Navy Veteran of the Vietnam Era, and his crew accepted donations and sold t-shirts for their leg of the 2011 tour. ALL the monies raised by those efforts in Baton Rouge actually stayed in Baton Rouge with these two deserving families!
Working with the Milwaukee Veterans Administration, the Nation of Patriots was able to provide $700 Wal-Mart gift cards to 7 families. Those families were also treated to an early Christmas party in their honor complete with Santa and toys.
So, you see, this is bigger than just the tour and bigger than just one person. Though the Nation of Patriots was organized simply to pay tribute to those who have given their all, now it has becoming a vehicle for giving back to those who gave to us so unselfishly. No big company donations hit the hat that is passed around during this tour. The money is usually collected in $1, $5 and $10 bills that come in crumpled wads from the old, ragged blue jean pockets of road weary souls that have hearts as big as the sky they ride under. More often than not, those hands full of change and bills, bearing old presidents faces, have been earned with long hours of labor, sweat and tears. Now we can add another attachment to those funds…the blood and courage of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families. God Bless those who gave of themselves for this tour, for our families, their country and God Bless the USA!

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