Rolling Thunder Chapter 6

Rolling Thunder NY Chapter 6 PTSD Rides

Story & photos by Cowboy

Contributing photographer, Tami Ellinport

On a cloudy, rainy Sunday in October, Rolling Thunder N.Y. Chapter 6 held their motorcycle run to bring awareness to PTSD and to create awareness about the Veteran suicide epidemic that is plaguing this country. Everyday Veterans are losing their battles with hidden injuries. Project Miller 22 + 1 is also helping to educate the public about this issue.

Cpl. Keith Miller had a dream of riding his Harley across the country. Beginning on September 1st Keith’s best friend, Jr Matzner along with Rolling Thunder NY Chapter 6 members set out from Yuma, AZ on a 1 + 22 day trip ending in Keith’s home town of East Islip in an effort to fulfill Keith’s dream. Photos from both of these events are included in this article.

This year’s local PTSD ride started and ended at Eisenhower Park. This event was put in place to honor all our Veterans who have lost their battles. It was a very moving event with some displaying photos of their beloved Veteran. It was a day to remember & educate. The members of both Project Miller & Rolling Thunder are determined to keep the memory of these fallen Veterans alive through their educational programs. Rolling Thunder is always looking for new members. They meet at the Marine Corps League in Massapequa on the 3rd Friday of every month. You are welcome to stop in to learn what this group is about.

Thank you to my Full Throttle colleague, Tami Ellinport, for the photos from the Eisenhower Park event and statistics regarding members of our armed forces who have lost their battles. Remember folks: not all wounds are visible! Ride safe!

In the photo of the Nassau County band shell you will see photographs hanging beneath the stage. These photos are of soldiers that committed suicide due to PTSD.

In the photos displayed – the youngest soldier who took his own life was LCpl Michael E. Blanco, USMC, at the age of 19. The oldest soldier who took his own life was SFC Jack Ray Black, US Army, at the age of 86. These men and women who are living with PTSD fight a constant battle every day. Through research and the support of people like yourselves, together we can help to make a difference.

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