Texas American Legion Riders
American Legion Riders is an American Legion Program at the American Legion Post Level reporting directly to the Post Commander, and has Advisors at the District, Division and State Levels. Chapters are formed by active American Legion program members who ride motorcycles and with the approval and oversight of the Post Commander as called out in the Post Commander's handbook and governed further by National Guidelines and Resolutions (see American Legion homepage under the Riders Program / resource page, or on the Forms page on this website).
Texas American Legion Riders chapters are well known for their charitable work, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local children's hospitals, schools, veterans homes, severely wounded servicemembers and scholarships. Riders are members of the American Legion, Sons of American Legion, or the American Legion Auxiliary.
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, over 150,000 American Legion Riders meet in over 2,000 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. Riders in Mulvane, Kan., in 2005 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. Many Riders, supported by their departments, conduct annual statewide Legacy Runs in direct support of American Legion scholarship progras of Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW), supporting our wounded servicemembers across the nation.
True to the Legion's grassroots tradition, each chapter manages its programs at the post level, where the best ideas are born. The Riders are part of many projects and events, including:
Rolling Thunder, the annual POW/MIA rally in Washington on Memorial Day weekend.
Annual regional rides such as Operation Wounded Warrior, sponsored by Riders in Nevada, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, California and other Western states.
Local charity events in support of The American Legion and local communities.
Raising money for VA hospitals, women and children centers, children and youth centers, schools and other facilities.
Sponsoring or participating in motorcycle runs to benefit numerous charities.
Local memorial ceremonies and community parades.
The American Legion Legacy Run, an annual cross-country fundraising ride from National Headquarters in Indianapolis to the national convention city.
Riding to honor fallen military men and women, and to protect the sanctity of their funerals from those who would dishonor their memory.
Escorting military units to departure airfields and airports for combat tours overseas, and welcoming them home upon their return.
AMERICAN LEGION RIDERS CREED
R IDERS DEDICATE THEMSELVES TO THE SUCCESS OF THE AMERICAN LEGION.
I KNOW THROUGH MY EFFORTS I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. I ALONE AM RESPONSIBLE FOR MYSELF AND MY FELLOW RIDERS. I WILL CONDUCT MYSELF WITH THE HIGHEST DEGREE OF INTEGRITY AND HONOR.
D EEDS NOT WORDS CREATE CHANGE. I WILL PERSEVERE AGAINST ANY AND ALL THINGS THAT PREVENTS MY SUCCESS. MY RESOLVE AND STRENGTH WILL OVERCOME ALL OBSTACLES.
E ACH RIDER IS FIRST A MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN LEGION FAMILY. I WILL ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE IN AND SUPPORT THEIR ENDEAVORS.
R EADILY WILL I JOIN OTHER RIDERS IN ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS WHICH SUPPORT OUR MISSIONS. I WILLDO SO GLADLY KNOWING I VOLUNTEERED TO BE AN AMERICAN LEGION RIDER.
S UCCESS IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE CONCLUSION. I WILL ALLOW NOTHING TO DISSUADE ME OR IMPEDE ME FROM SERVICE TO MY FAMILY, COMMUNITY AND COUNTRY, ESPECIALLY TO OUR VETERANS.
RIDERS LEAD THE WAY
This website was created by the vision of the Texas ALR State Advisor to help with communication flow between the American Legion, American Legion Riders and the Community. ALR Chapters can post their open events for anyone to see/join, share pertinent ALR news from across the state that is worthy of public share, enable getting the word out to the community and to military veterans about the American Legion and the AL Riders Program, help with recruiting new members (American Legion, Sons of American Legion, AL Auxiliary, and AL Riders), and share information/guidance updates as they are modified/adopted by National Leadership.
To contact the State Advisor - please see the LEADERSHIP page of this website