American Legion Riders

Brooks-Flicks Post 49 Troy, PA

Legion Riders History

In Garden City, Mich., in 1993, Chuck "Tramp" Dare and Bill "Polka" Kaledas, commander of American Legion Post
396, shared an idea to start a motorcycle enthusiasts association within the organization. The two longtime riders
wanted an environment where Legion family members could come together to share a common love for
motorcycles.

Dare and Kaledas wrote a letter to Michigan Department Adjutant Hubert Hess, sharing their idea. Hess replied
that he liked the concept and wanted to pursue it. Later, he gave Kaledas and Dare instructions for managing the
program at the post level. He also explained how they could be approved to use the American Legion emblem,
and how to gain Membership's support and recognition. At a regular meeting, Post 396 members passed a resolution
for a new program to be known as the "American Legion Riders."

Joined by 19 other founding members from their post, Dare and Kaledas were flooded with requests for information
about their organization. They agreed to establish a central source for the Riders to ensure that chapters formed
not as motorcycle clubs or gangs, but as Legionnaires and Auxiliary and SAL members joining to ride as Legion
family.

Legion Riders Today

Currently, 106,000 American Legion Riders meet in over a thousand chapters in every domestic department and
in at least three foreign countries. Riders in Iowa have formed an honor guard called The Five Star Freedom Riders,
and Riders in Mulvane, Kan., founded the Patriot Guard to protect the sanctity of military funerals from protesters.
Riders in all states have escorted military units returning home from combat tours overseas, conducted massive
cross-country fundraising events for wounded warriors from all services, and have raised millions of dollars for
countless local, state and national charities.