By Jordan Huether
If you’ve been to a local parade or military funeral in the past few years, there’s a good chance you saw a group of patriotic motorcycle riders play a prominent part in it. They are the Western Sandhills American Legion Riders.
Nebraska American Legion Riders are members of either the American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary or the Sons of the American Legion. Their purpose is to use their common interest and association to promote the aims and purposes of the American Legion, as well as motorcycle safety awareness.
According to the group’s website, they participate in “deployment or homecoming ceremonies, funerals, escorts for our fallen heroes, and support of the families left behind. We also participate in community parades, ceremonies, and veteran funerals if requested.”
The Nebraska ALR consists of 40 chapters and 1200 riders, and covers the entire state of Nebraska. Casey Walton of Gordon is the Nebraska State Liaison. Mitch Gallant is the Director of the local Western Sandhills ALR chapter, sponsored by Post #34.
If you would like to request the presence of the riders for a military or veteran’s funeral, or for a parade, contact your local director. A full listing of chapters, directors and contact info are available online at http://alr.nebraskalegion.net
“We’re available and we love doing what we do,” said Walton.
The latest project of the riders is through Quilts of Valor. They are going to be requesting quilts for local veterans in Gordon, Rushville and Hay Springs, starting with those in rest homes. They are looking at starting with doing one each month. The quilts have the name of the veteran, their branch of service, time served and the war they served in. They also include the name of the quilt’s maker. They are presented to the veterans in a special ceremony.
If you would like to become a member of the American Legion Riders, you can contact Casey Walton at 308-282-2100.